You heard it here first, small businesses will thrive in 2017 and these top five trends will make it possible. As the average consumer becomes savvier, so will astute small business owners. Modern tactics and approaches will set up a year for record sells and increased visibility.
So, without any more feet dragging, here are the 5 top small business marketing trend of 2017.
#1 Social Media
We are entering a phase of sophisticated social media channels. Not only do they exists to engage with consumers, they are becoming store fronts, advertising beacons, and special places for brand loyalists. In a recent study, 85 percent of small businesses see Facebook as a great social channel, but only 70 percent are actually collecting the data from social media channels.
In 2017, business will have look beyond consumer interaction on social sites and take a look at the analytic side of these platforms to get information on what drives their consumers and prospective consumers. Here is a list of the hottest social platforms for the new year.
- Bonus: SnapChat (For GEN Z consumers)
#2 Email Marketing
Although email marketing is one of the oldest online marketing tools, it is still one of the most effective. Business around the globe use emails to promote products, introduce new products, give special offers, and to increase consumer recall. the most beneficial use of emails is to provide relevant information and not sales pitches.
the most beneficial use of emails is to provide relevant information and not sales pitches. Engage consumers with information about products and services or industry news. Many small businesses make the mistake of thinking emails only functions are to sell. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When recipients are engaged and see value in the emails, they build trust with the brand and may consider moving to the next step and make a purchase.
Here are some of best email platforms that are free or low cost:
- Constant Contact
To learn more about each email platform check out this article.
#3 Video Stream (Live and Produced)
The reign of videos will carry into the new year. With video streaming platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, YouTube and Facebook live, businesses can expand their marketing efforts with videos that engage consumers in new ways.
Launching Q&As, live streaming events, hosting webinars, and how-to videos add a personalized touch to your brand and will keep consumers clamoring for more new exciting ways to interact with your brand. In most cases, all it takes is a smartphone and a steady hand.
For those with a bigger budget (or a family member/friend with video skills), produced videos will give your brand an advantage.
#4 Mobile-Centric Marketing
It will no longer be enough to be mobile-friendly. Brands will have to be mobile-centric. Mobile devices are outnumbering desktops, so small business need to ensure their websites can handle many different devices. Responsively designed sites are here and they aren’t going anywhere. If your site isn’t responsive, you are losing customers. This isn’t an opinion this is fact. And, your non-responsive website could be costing you your Google ranking.
In 2017, if your site isn’t mobile-centric get one. If you have a responsive site, maintain it by running checks to ensure download speeds are optimal, images are clear, and formatting is comprehensive.
#5 Local Marketing
We aren’t simply talking about direct mail. We are looking at the larger scale local marketing in the form of online local marketing. Technology is making it easier for your local market to expand and for you to reach consumers inside of their homes, cars, and around your city. Businesses should focus on the needs of their consumers and ways they can help.
Some great ways to get started next year are:
- Use paid social media. Place a Facebook ad or sponsor a post.
- Get active in your community. Network with other businesses and meet the people where they are.
- Be visible online include you NAP (name, address, and phone number) on every piece of collateral and on every digital platform.
- Encourage and ask for reviews. Reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google can highlight your businesses value and relationships.
- Invest in SEO. Even if it is simple SEO plans that help with local search.
- Set aside some money for geo-targeting.
- Make good impressions in-store and online.
Never before have business owners and decision makers had so many resources at their disposal. The digital landscape is making it easier for small businesses to compete with large ones and carve out their niche in their community and on a global scale. Small businesses are the lifelines to our economy and their success is our success.
As we venture into the new year, keep in mind that online marketing doesn’t have to be a scary or uncharted quest.