2016 was one of the most challenging years to be an entrepreneur in Alberta. With waves of job losses and bankruptcies hitting record levels, you can count yourself a success if you just kept your company afloat through such stormy seas. 2017, however, seems to be the turn-around year which Albertans have been anxiously awaiting. We rejoice at a healthy uptick in job ads for oil drilling personnel and rig moving companies. A barrel of crude is almost double the price it was a year ago; surging up from a low of $29.78 last January to rise above $50.00 currently. The recovery is real. The time to be bold is now... but how?
Dust Off Your Marketing Plan
If you reacted to the challenging economy like most businesses and shelved expansion plans, reduced advertising expenses and ignored your social media outreach, now is the time to go big or go home. Companies and consumers alike are emerging from their forced economic hibernation and are starting to peer out from their safe places like waking groundhogs. Confidence is flooding back to the Alberta marketplace and you must ensure your company is poised to take advantage of the improved prospects with an impactful online presence. Now that provincial industries are starting to buy things again, you will want your products in front of their eyes.
Contact Your Website Company for an Annual Review
Meet with your website company to discuss text edits and image updates to freshen up the look. Many reputable web design firms, like INM, offer this service regularly and at no charge, as a matter of course. Go over each web page with the designer to be certain each page has a specific, identifiable purpose and that the purpose is obvious to the visitor. Make sure the visitor can take the next step in the sales process, such as going to the online catalogue or to the contact form. Make sure it is absolutely crystal clear.
Inspect your Website on a Smartphone
It is super critical to ensure your website is viewable on a smartphone or tablet, since these devices have emerged as the medium of choice for web-shopping and pre-purchase product research. Google actually punishes sites that are not iPhone friendly, with low or non-existent search rankings. If your website is unreadable when viewed on a smart device, it is essential to have your web design company make your site "mobile responsive". The importance of this inexpensive tweak cannot be overestimated. You can find Google's testing tool here: Mobile-Friendly Test
Expand Your Social Media Reach
Compared to "old-school" advertising methods like radio spots, TV commercials and print ads, social media marketing is significantly less expensive and can out-perform the more traditional platforms in price, geographic coverage, message availability, and opportunities for organic reach (the new millennial version of word-of-mouth advertising). If you are too busy to hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like, or it is "not your thing", this form of customer engagement is too important to ignore. You may want to consider contracting this task out to ensure it is done properly and professionally.
Opportunity is finally knocking on Alberta's doors once more. Resolve to excel in 2017!