Five Effective Ways to Keep Your Business Relevant in a Changing Market

by Thom Tracy

3 min read

Markets, industries and businesses are evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Every year, there seems to be a new product or idea that changes the way an industry or entire market conducts business. Keep your company relevant when you follow these five easy steps.

Social Media Presence

Every business has some sort of social media presence, such as a Facebook page or a Twitter feed. However, simply having a social media page is not going to drive customers to your business. You need a strategy.

Only share what you know appeals to your readers and leaves a positive impression of your business. The behavior of buyers is exceedingly important when considering marketing strategies; invest a significant amount of time in profiling your company’s target audience. This investment can result in dividends in the future.

You want content that is new and different without losing its familiarity. To accomplish this, you can cycle the same themes, such as Starbucks’ distinct themes of pleasure, comfort and coffee on Twitter, and apply different formats and sources, including videos, blogs, gifs and infographics.

Repurpose existing content. If you notice a post that has garnered a lot of engagement, choose a new angle that has been discussed in the comments section and begin a new post with a fresh title.

Advanced Marketing Technology

The second most prolific problem impacting Canadian small businesses is marketing. Marketing and the technology behind it only grows more quickly by the passing year. Businesses need to employ responsive design to optimize their websites for mobile phones and tablets or risk being penalized by Google in search engine results. This is a clear statement by Google that times are changing. Mobile currently serves as the primary touchpoint for consumers looking to make purchases. Take this direct feedback from Google and begin thinking like a mobile customer rather than relying on the same old tactics that have worked in the past.

Thanks to geo-precise marketing, you can stop worrying about reaching every potential customer. You can now employ your customers’ purchasing data and other analytics to pinpoint postal codes that are excessively active in purchasing. You could utilize IP targeting to increase your focus onto individual households. Facebook advertising and Google Adwords offer extensive geo-targeting services. (Check out additional ways to keep your business tech-savvy.)

Industry Trends

The best way to be on the forefront of the issues developing in your industry is to follow a trade journal. If you are not an avid reader, set aside a day or two and force yourself to read every article in that journal. Another option is to make it a habit to read small chunks daily. Either way, there is no such thing as being too informed when it comes to your industry.

Podcasts are another superb option for keeping you up to date on news and issues. Listen to podcasts to gain a complete grasp of the topic at hand.

Community Outreach

Keep current on developments within your industry by going to local events and conferences, and sign up for training sessions. Talking about your industry face-to-face can be quite enlightening. Also, speak to expert panelists at these events. You may find differing views and perspectives between these two groups.

Engaging in online message boards and forums, like an applicable subreddit or LinkedIn group, are easy and efficient ways to stay current on changes occurring in your industry. To get the most out of the experience, participate instead of keeping silent and soaking up all the knowledge provided by others.

Competitor Analysis

Know what your competitors are generally doing. Studying competing companies can help you determine whether they are responding to emerging trends in your field.

Compare competitors’ website to your own. Sign up for their mailing lists using a generic email address, instead of your company one, to avoid detection. Scan customer reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews and Foursquare to find out what people are saying about your competitors. Look for commonalities, trends or patterns in the complaints or compliments.

Examine your company’s page ranking on the most used search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo. If your competitors’ websites are listed higher up on the page than your own, then that is a sign you need to improve your search engine optimization efforts. Check out the search engines to see if your competitors are utilizing pay-per-click or Google Ad campaigns to direct traffic to their webpages.

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