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Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2017

Tools that will help you make the most out of 2017

With global economic and political uncertainty, the past few months have offered challenges to businesses everywhere.

Small and medium businesses are usually the first to feel the effects when customers lose trust in the market, and so, to ensure growth in 2017, SMEs must stay ahead of the game.

Employing a few simple solutions can help you use your time more efficiently and effectively, leaving you free to concentrate on bringing your business to its full potential.  

  1. Plan ahead – with project management tools like Asana and Zoho making a splash in the market, there is no excuse for not mapping out your full business plan well in advance. These planning tools allow you to set projects, assign tasks to yourself and your colleagues, set deadlines and keep track of KPIs.
  2. Remember that your time is precious – whether you live in a major city or a small town, time spent travelling to meetings is, more often than not, wasted time. With the advancements in international conference calls, there is no reason why meetings with business partners, clients, investorsor even colleagues need to happen face-to-face.

Conference calls also make it easier to work from home, while still remaining connected to the wider workforce, and building relationships with both new and established clients.

  1. Content is king – content has always had the power to transform businesses, but in recent years brands have been increasingly reliant on storytelling to help customers relate to them on a more personal level, therefore increasing their appeal and, consequently, growing their bottom line.

This shift has been largely driven by consumers gaining more control of the content they engage with. A survey by Adobe found that 68% of consumers thought online ads were “annoying” and a third believed they simply did not work.

By contrast, articles are readily liked, shared and discussed on social media, making them a much more effective way for brands to engage their audience.

  1. Communicate–Email is no longer the only way colleagues can keep each other in the loop; Workplace from Facebook is growing rapidly as an internal communication tool. With the ability to create groups and comment on posts, Workplace is a great way to create a level playing field and break down silos.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

That said, when it comes to communicating with customers, email marketing is having a resurgence. Social media platforms have been increasingly focused on advancing their own interests, which has meant brands having less and less control on how they interact with fans and supporters online.

This has led companies back to newsletters, where they have full control of content. According to Content Marketing Suite, The Washington Post has over 75 e-newsletters in circulation and Buzzfeed has seen an increase of 1 million in email subscribers in 2016 alone.

Whichever tools you choose to work with in 2017, remember that the market will always have ebbs and flows. Work on perfecting your product and staying up-to-date with the latest social media and digital marketing trends, and you should be able to enjoy a piece of the proverbial pie the market has to offer.

Author: Pankaj Deb

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