If you run a small to medium business, you need to read this
What a ride the last few years have been; we’ve enjoyed substantial growth and entrepreneurs across the world have prospered. To a point that the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest point ever in October 2018, only nine years after it reached the lowest point of the GFC.
But that’s all about to change and in my humble opinion here’s why.
We all know housing prices are in decline, some areas more than others, with Sydney leading the decline charge with a cumulative 9.5% drop in values, just a freckle away from the 9.6% decline recorded in the recession that hit Australia in the early 1990s.
This, coupled with an oversupply of apartments on the market, makes for a bumpy property ride for the next 18-24 months at least.
Simple supply and demand principles are always in play, but in this case, unless you’re a poised cashed-up investor, they are playing the wrong way.
On top of this, you just have to see how the banks, after being under the Royal Commission microscope, are now choking the economy by locking up the cash and shutting down the lending!
Without lending people aren’t building, which means people aren’t investing and the knock-on effect from this is just astronomical, it affects everything!
So now that the construction industry and all things associated with it are dying a slow painful death, how else could it possibly get worse?
Well, Politics is how.
Let’s face it, the Liberal National Party of Australia are likely to be sidelined sometime early to mid-2019, and that will be when the new game starts.
Not getting on a political rant here but as history has shown, the ‘other team’ generally haven’t had the best track record when it comes to this ‘economy’ thing.
Besides all this, no party in Australia have really had a plan for growth and prosperity for the last 10 years at least; it’s been more about self-preservation than anything else, so governing took a back seat and we are suffering because of that right now, and the worst is yet to come.
So now that you’ve heard all the cheery news, it’s time for you to stop focusing or worrying about the macro and drill down to the micro: the real areas in which you can exert control, well, to a point anyway.
This is where peace-time Generals, the business owners, need to prepare their businesses for war.
Obviously there are a lot of areas in your business where you are going to need to shore up, but, from a marketing perspective, here’s what we would recommend you do.
Firstly, it’s time to review your digital assets as these will be your most affordable frontline sales team when the war comes.
Moreover, you need to optimise your website up to speed with the key issues that have come to the light in the last 12 months; these were:
◦ Security – ensure you have a correctly implemented SSL certificate that has all the redirects done properly.
◦ Mobile First – you have moved passed the first phase of ‘mobile friendly’ where your site rendered to all devices, but now it needs to be ‘mobile optimised’ where it provides a good user experience across all devices. There is a big difference between both and a lot of businesses are overlooking it.
◦ Page Load Speed – picking up from the Mobile First point, it is now expected that your site and pages load fast, and by fast, you have to aim for sub 3 seconds to ensure you are not losing impatient visitors. Just click on the link to test your site now.
Additionally, whilst it isn’t a brand new hit, it has been at the top of the hit parade for quite some time now, continuing to get a lot of airplay on Google FM, and that is…
◦ The Google E-A-T Principle, simply put, you need to optimise your website content to demonstrate that you have expertise on your subject matter, a real respected authority in your field, and that you can be trusted as a business that can and does deliver what the market is expecting from you.
So these are the basic points to focus on when it comes to best practices, and once they are up to market expectations you can move to the big one, the one that will make a big difference going forward, that is, Inbound Marketing.
The methodology of Inbound Marketing is relatively simple in that it’s about attracting strangers to your optimised website, converting them into customers, then continuing to delight these customers into promoters of your brand.
First step in this is getting what’s commonly referred to as ‘Inbound ready’.
Effectively getting your business and your website set-up for what inbound marketing requires and how it will change your business
Here’s some things that will help you do that:
◦ Clarify your buyer personas
◦ Map out and understand their buying journey
◦ Conduct an audit on your existing content, keep only what is relevant and meets your buyer personas
◦ Ensure you have clear CTAs in your website optimisation steps and that you are measuring everything
◦ Review the right marketing automation software for your business, take a leap of faith
◦ Get your sales and marketing into alignment with a good ‘lead loop’ working in unison
◦ Look for gaps and opportunities in your content that could benefit your buyer personas
◦ Get buy-in from your team, Inbound Marketing is a definitive shift in your business
Remember what we said about the peace-time General preparing for war, well this is it, the time to move into a strategy that is going to see you through the tough times ahead is right now, not tomorrow, not after Christmas, but now.
You need to think about the long-term view, not just the next quarter, and by moving into the Inbound Marketing realm you will position your business well ahead of those competitors who will have no choice other than to react to a market downturn with short-term expensive tactics like discounting and alike.
Where can we help?
Being certified Hubspot partners, with proven results on the world stage, we will ensure that you are taking the right steps, at the pace that is required to get ahead of the storm.
We will get you Inbound Marketing ready in the most fast, efficient and affordable way possible, we just need to get started.