Top 3 Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2019
It is no secret that the world is changing rapidly. The evolution of the Internet the past 10 years has changed everything about the way that we live, from communicating with loved ones, to purchasing a product/service, or even searching for a new job. We are now on the cusp of Virtual Reality and Voice taking the world by storm, so it is imperative that you are prepared for even more change in the near future. Even though most of us understand that these changes drastically affect the way that we do business, what you may not understand is what the best strategy for growth is in this new, tech driven environment. I’ll give you a hint, it has very little to do with direct sales, and everything to do with Brand. Below is my take on the top 3 things that you can do to drive growth in 2019:
- Produce Brand Driven Content that provides direct value to your audience
This is the #1 thing that is going to help you establish trust, build your brand, and ultimately increase revenue. Let me explain. I am astonished at the number of companies that are either not creating content for social media/web, OR the content that they are creating is sales driven, not brand driven. So what’s the difference? Let’s say you make a post on Instagram about a St. Patrick’s Day sale, and you let your audience know that you are giving them 20% off any purchase. That would clearly be sales driven content, as it has a direct correlation to the amount of revenue you bring in. Now, let’s say instead that you create a post informing your audience that you are doing a free product giveaway for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and the person with the best St. Patty’s day themed outfit is going to win. You then have your audience post on their Instagram story and tag your business in that post. Once you have a good number of submissions, create a poll for the top 2–4 outfits on Twitter, and have your audience vote on the one that they think is best. The winner gets the free product. That is an example of a good piece of content that builds awareness and trust around your brand.
2. Streamline Administrative Processes, Set Your Team Up for Success
If you are wasting valuable manpower on mundane administrative tasks and paperwork, now is the time to consider other options. Regardless of what sector you do business in, there are plenty of tools available for companies of all shapes and sizes to help you take time management to the next level. Remember, time = money in any business, so if Billy Bob the sales executive is getting paid a six figure salary to sell or promote your product/service, it is in your best interest to ensure that he is not spending 10 hours per week filling out Excel spreadsheets for your records. When it comes to choosing a platform, this depends greatly on your individual needs as a company. Salesforce might be a great CRM option for a large corporation with enterprise level needs (and pockets). Conversely, a small business or Startup may not need this level of complexity, and it may turn into more of a headache than it is a help. There are quite a few simplified, lower cost solutions to consider such as Pipefy for project management, or Copper/Prosperworks CRM for businesses built on Google Apps for Work. Now, with the steady advance of Artificial Intelligence, it has never been easier to automate your customer service and response time by integrating messenger bots with your website and Facebook page (this is especially helpful for eCommerce). So, what are you waiting for? Do some research, and get to work!
3. Make Intentional, Unemotional Business Decisions
This is one that I am incredibly passionate about, because I see so many businesses holding on to the nostalgia of what has worked for them in the past, instead of looking to the future. The bottom line is, if a particular process or marketing strategy is not working, cut your losses and focus your energy elsewhere. Let the market determine the decisions you make, not your emotions. The reality is, Email marketing was a gold mine in the early 2000’s, because everyone opened their emails. It was a new and exciting technology that hadn’t yet been overly saturated. In 2019, a lot of people have 2–3 separate email addresses, and typically one of those is dedicated exclusively to product/service emails. As you can see from the chart below, the open and click-through rates for email has dropped considerably, with an average open rate of 23.67% across all industries (Q1 2019). This is down almost 10% from the second quarter of 2017, where we saw an average open rate of 33.8%. Now, don’t get me wrong — I understand that Email still has a valuable place in business communications, and if used correctly, can certainly help you drive growth, but is it the best use of your time and marketing dollars? Probably not. Some strategies that I’m very bullish on in 2019 are Influencer Marketing, and organic reach on LinkedIn (I’ll go into this more in depth in my next post).
As always I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and I hope this brought some value to you.