Top Small Business Marketing Trends
Marketing continues to evolve, and we are being introduced to new types of marketing strategies every year. As consumers and their buying behaviors change, we must also change what we do to reach them and get in front of them.
As a small business, it’s extremely important to understand how the marketing landscape is changing to identify which of those strategies will work for you and your business.
The new and emerging marketing trends focus on types of distribution, increased technology channels, content creation, and changes in overall consumer behavior. Integration will continue to be vital in reaching prospects and customers by creating multiple touchpoints. One thing that remains consistent is our need to create relationships with prospects and customers to earn their trust and their repeat purchases.
Video marketing will continue to grow in areas of branded content, especially videos on the homepage of a website, and the sales pages that engage users; hence, live streaming will continue to gain momentum. Focus on content that will engage your audience. Small businesses often find success in Q&A videos such as, “How to” tutorials, storytelling, testimonials, and demonstrations.
There is no shortage of data. As marketers, we have website analytics, social engagement metrics, email metrics, and more. In a recent report by Econsultancy, more than 50% of marketers use no less than 21 platforms, each containing their own metrics and data. Small businesses may use fewer, but there is still strong need to show attribution and how each channel is impacting our business goals and objectives.
Data can be used in experimentation, A/B testing, to guide your business decisions (such as personalized marketing opportunities) discovering new opportunities, identifying touchpoint opportunities, and enhancing customer service.
It’s easy to think email marketing is archaic and no longer a viable marketing channel. While the rise of social media and other trailblazing marketing channels pushed email marketing to the back burner, email marketing has continued to hold its ground and proved to be highly effective and simple when reaching out to prospects and customers.
Going forward, we will see email marketing being used as a sophisticated tool by utilizing consumer behavior and triggers to personalize the email messages that are sent.
Personalization is key. Consumers no longer want the generic message. Need proof? Look at how Amazon uses personalized marketing and how Google uses it when it comes to your online behavior. Your behavior influences what you are shown throughout your online journey.
Personalization can create customer loyalty and increase the chances of a consumer making a purchase. Work to create content that is unique to the audience that you are trying to reach. Relationships are created when a consumer feels as if you are speaking directly to them. You can use data to identify the content that you need to connect with your consumers. You can also use that data in your e-commerce efforts by recommending products and/or services based on their behavior on your website.
Social Media Engagement Marketing
Social media will become more about engagement. Social media platforms have tweaked their algorithms and the way they determine what content they will display. If a social media post is not engaging its platform users, it will be shown less, making it more difficult to get in front of who you are targeting.
Measuring overall engagement shows us what content works and resonates with consumers we are targeting. Engagement has been proven to support the buyer’s journey.
Influencer marketing will become one of the top marketing trends. Larger companies are creating influencer strategies, but that doesn’t mean small businesses should be left out in the cold. As a small business, you have the advantage to create a real strategy that works to build relationships and trust with the influencers within your industry. Start off with a micro-influencer strategy, perfect it, and then cast a wider net.
Cross Device Marketing
Your small business needs to create a marketing strategy that accounts for all devices that consumers use. Today, more than 50% of searches happen via mobile devices, but there is still a large portion of individuals that use desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. A recent ComScore study conducted that measured multichannel marketing provided the following stats that may surprise you:
- 18 – 34 years old: 97% are mobile users with 20% not using a desktop or laptop computer at all.
- 35 – 54 years old: 82% use multi-platforms when accessing the internet.
- 55+ years: A sizeable percentage (26%) still only use a desktop or laptop computer.
You must be able to meet your prospect or customer right where they are. Spend time optimizing each channel and provide a tailored experience based on where your information might be accessed in the customer journey. A good rule of thumb as you are developing your strategy according to Adweek is to remember that mobile ads come first.
Marketing With a Purpose
It is very important to explain your purpose behind your brand. By doing so, you will create a story that consumers will want and can identify with. Purpose-driven marketing, which is the “why” behind what you do, is one way you can set yourself apart from your competitors.
Written by LAURA LAKE