As the holiday season kicks into high gear, many small businesses are forging ahead with less resources than in the past, thanks to a global pandemic that has lasted for years and a job market that can make it harder to find good employees.

However, the holiday season provides opportunities for small businesses. Yes, you should definitely plan digital marketing strategies for the holidays. But it’s also the perfect time to look ahead to cost-effective marketing ideas for the New Year.

December is a Good Time to Evaluate

Early December marks the beginning of the end for the year. For all businesses, it’s a good time to begin a month-long evaluation process that looks at the past year and projects ahead to the next. It also presents an opportunity to look at cost-effective ways to drive business growth.

The following focuses on fundamentals. With what everyone has gone through in the past two years, it’s a smart move to reassess and make sure your business has all the basics covered. These cost-effective marketing ideas for the New Year can make a big difference in the success of a small business.

Build a Great Website

Many small businesses still do not have a strong website. That’s unfortunate. Surveys have found that 92 percent of business owners believe a website is the most valuable asset in digital marketing. But that’s just the beginning. Websites need good content with frequent new content published. They need information that’s both easy for humans to find and helps the site rank well on search engines. It’s important to keep a website fresh because a vast majority of consumers now say they do research online before purchasing.

Build Brand Loyalty

Review every part of the operation, especially the website, where consumers have direct contact with your brand. This is especially important on pages where consumers must make purchasing decisions. Does your site do everything possible to gain and retain consumer trust? Do you make offers and provide security measures that will build your reputation and lead to stronger customer loyalty? A review of your site at the end of the year can lead to needed changes in the coming months.

Evaluate Web Presence

Search for your business and see what you find. Do you appear in searches that focus on keywords important to your industry? Are there reviews on social media that you should respond to, both good and bad? Do you have a presence on social media? These basic areas are what drive a company’s presence on the web, heavily influencing brand reputation.

Seek Customer Feedback

The end of the year is also a good time to find out what customers think about your services. You can solicit comments through email, social media or on your website. Make sure customers have a chance to give honest feedback that can help you identify problems you need to address in the New Year.

Make Some Resolutions

No one ever reached a goal without having a plan. After evaluating the previous year, determine the next steps you want to take in the New Year. Use customer feedback, as well as input from employees and co-owners. Set realistic but ambitious company goals. Write them down in a formal business plan. More businesses have success by setting a small number of goals and then focusing on them achieving them all in the coming year.

These cost-effect marketing ideas for the New Year can help a business become stronger in the coming year. By focusing on doing the fundamentals well, even the smallest business can find success in the digital marketing world.