For many businesses the coming year in 2010 will be a year of recovery; it’ll be a year where they want to not only recover from the previous 12 months but also provide a firm base to grow.
Especially for the tech sector this will be an increased look at traffic generation to their properties.
Our ministries have experienced the exact same thing; for some it’s been a devastating year, but we need to not only recover but grow!
One particular area that you may want to consider investing some time in is your competitive intelligence for your online positioning and marketing. What does this mean?
Here are 5 things you may consider:
1. Know What’s Working
For a business this typically means “know your competition” and “market intelligence” but for the ministry we know this to mean “what’s working really well for other ministries.”
Essentially, invest in some time and research to see what other ministries are doing well to gain traffic to their web properties. Ask questions, shoot off some emails, join conversations where they’re happening, join seminars, conferences, whatever.
Then, start looking for tools and strategies that will help you get there. But remember, the goal isn’t to catch up; be yourself.
2. Know Thyself, Better
One of the most significant things you can invest in is simply know what your ministry online is about.
Who are you in the online world? Does your ministry “brand” translate well into this space? What is your particular “marketing advantage” really for the purposes of expanding your mission or for something less-than effective?
Now’s the time to invest in an online strategy that’s as close to who you are as possible; in fact, it may require that you challenge some of the historical precedents so that you can create a foundation for the future.
3. Copying is Still Flattering (and Still Works)
Here’s the point: It’s ok to copy what the “competition” is doing and what’s performing well; that’s fine. But make sure it’s done with wisdom, discernment, and that it speaks your language as a ministry and organization first.
But perhaps more important is to study how they engage successfully and marrying those strategies into your own relevant system. Where are they linking to and from? Where are people headed? What partnerships are they forging? What conversations are they engaged in?
Make note, because you can do better.
4. Study Your Own Failures
Your current properties are getting traffic, trust me. The problem might just be that they don’t stay very long because they can’t find what they’re looking for (design issues, etc) or that it isn’t structured in the best way possible.
With the help of Google Analytics and a number of other solutions you can quickly determine where you’re losing people (and traffic). Invest some time in studying what’s currently happening with your properties and you’ll be better for it.
Look for patterns. Remember, every “leak” is an opportunity.
5. Prepare for the Future
Your online presence this past year was one thing. The coming year it’s another. And the year after even more so.
The value and importance of your online equity and efforts is going to only become more important. Is your leadership investing in it explicitly? Is monies being shifted in that direction? Is your staffing representative of this shift in values?
This year is just as much about preparation as it is recovery. 2011 will be here sooner than you think. You don’t want to be in the same boat when it comes.
[Image from Erica]