Marketing Checklist

Small business: Marketing checklist

Don’t have a large marketing department for your small business? No problem. Use these tips to assess your website, track your marketing performance and get ahead of the competition.

  1. Develop “buyer personas.” If you haven’t already, take a good look at your market and target audiences to start developing buyer personas for your business. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. These buyer persona research questions will help you get started.
  1. Refine key messages. Now that you have a firm grasp on who your customers are, what they care about and why they’d choose your product or service, refine your key messages. Key messages about your business, products and services should tell your buyer personas why they should choose your business: what problems you help them solve, what goals you help them achieve and how your business is different.
  2. Grade your website. How strong is your website? Is it fully functional, easily navigable and does it load quickly for users? Before you completely redo your website, test it out. Try, a free tool that will quickly analyze and grade your website.
  1. Optimize for mobile and local. More and more people search for businesses on their mobile devices, so it’s important to optimize your website for mobile. Your business information, like website, phone number and address, also should be accurate on Google’s local search results and across all social channels. Learn more about optimizing for mobile and about Google’s local search display.
  2. Communicate regularly. Be intentional about conversing with your target audience and current customers. Post helpful content and promotions on your blog and social pages and update your website regularly. Collect email or mailing addresses from potential and current customers. By regularly communicating with them, your business will remain top of mind.
  1. Assess budget and ROI. Especially if you’re spending a lot of time and money on marketing, be sure to assess performance regularly. Look at all the channels (website, social) and activities (events, promotions) you’re investing in and determine whether or not they’re bringing in customers. If you’re not sure, start establishing ways to track marketing performance now, so you can come back and assess in six months.
  1. Track the competition. Every few months, it’s a good idea to check in on your competition. Look at their website and social channels to see what types of content (blog posts, newsletters) and promotions (events, specials, sales) they’re sharing and which ones are gaining the most attention. Also be on the lookout for new products and services to be sure the competition isn’t taking over your customer base due to expanded offerings.

Start small. If this list feels overwhelming, tackle only one or two items each month. In no time you’ll have an improved website, understand which marketing channels are most effective and have one up on the competition.