Digital Marketing Trends for Small Businesses: 2017

digital marketing

New Year, New Digital Marketing Trends

A new year is always a great reason to improve your business. A new year is new beginnings and new goals that everyone sets for themselves and hopes to follow through with. As discussed in a previous post, marketing is very important for your business in order to be successful. You want people to know who you are and what you do, you want to show them your brand and what makes you stand out from other small businesses. This new year has already brought so much new information and resources to small businesses, so why not take advantage of them? It is never too late to be successful.

Videos

Content that is more ‘in the moment’ is growing in popularity among social media users. Live video streaming is getting easier to access due to faster Internet and the increasing use of mobile devices. Many things such as makeup tutorials, baby animals, eagle eggs hatching, and even Presidential debates are being streamed live, with hundreds if not thousands of viewers. Small businesses should take advantage of this growing trend, using videos to interact and communicate with your customers. Many people or organizations notify their audience of the next live video, giving them time to plan for it.

An introduction live video can give your audience a moment to ask questions and introduce themselves. Interacting and communicating with your audience can show them who you are as a business owner and shape your reputation and how your audience perceives you. You can also do individual videos where you explain your services. These allow you to go more in depth and answer any questions your audience may have. Special offers and promotion videos can be a fun way to increase business, whether it is for current customers or new customers who just discovered you. Live videos can always be viewed by people who may have missed them or would like to go back and see them again. Having them available even after streaming can be helpful to any new customers your business may receive. Take advantage of this popular way to share content and get your business out there.

Going Mobile

With more people using their smartphones, businesses should always be sure that their content is reaching those phones. Many people believe that what they see on a desktop is the same as what shows up on someone’s phone. Unfortunately, that is not the case and businesses should always be aware of that. Their content needs to reach as many people as possible or else they could lose a lot of people. If someone is interested in your business but cannot access certain content from their phones, they may just give up and find another business. Some people do not have time to sit at a computer so if it is not convenient for them, they will find what is.

Even if someone views your business from their phone for five minutes, that is still some attention your business gets. In that short time, they could look at your services, your business goals, and your business’ brand as a whole. They may be busy but if they can see all the right content, they could remember to return later or reach out to you for some more information. Live streaming videos must also be available for mobile devices so while people are on the go, they can still tune in to see what you have to say and what you have to offer them. A small business looking to rise can really suffer if their content is not available on a variety of devices.

Personalization

Many businesses send out mass emails, wanting to reach as much people at once. That can be beneficial but it is also important to personalize and connect with your audience. A lot of companies send out emails that are pretty standard, only looking to be seen and heard of. There are some things you can change as a business to make sure that your customers feel important and individual. Doing so can really improve a customer’s experience and build your reputation.

When your company makes phone calls or sends out emails, treat them individually and not like another dollar sign. Addressing them personally is more effective and more personal. If they have worked with you continuously, thank them for that and show them how their business has helped you. Each customer is different, so customize the way you perform a service so that it fits for that particular customer. As your customers see how you treat them and how you make them feel important to your business, they will appreciate it more and see you as a business that does more than just make money. They see that your brand is different than the others and you take pride in making your customers feel important.

Native Advertising

A type of ‘non-disruptive’ advertising, it is becoming more frequent with many companies. It is known to build trust and engagement with those who come across them. They are in-feed units, paid search units and promoted listings. Essentially, they are within a lot of the daily content we see on social media and other websites. Instead of interfering with the customers’ activity, it blends in so it is obvious that it is slightly different than the original content but it is not disruptive. They have been found to be cost-efficient for businesses, so they can get their word out without spending too much. This allows them to spend more money on other aspects involved with keeping a small business up and running. Here is a link to 9 Examples of Native Ads People Actually Enjoy Reading so you can see how familiar and popular they are.

Big Data

Big data can play a huge role in your business. When you do your research, you go that extra mile to show your audience why your business is useful and beneficial to them. You are becoming aware of other businesses and what they are doing to help set you apart from them. It may be a lot of work but it can help when you reach out to customers and get your business running. Gathering data can keep your marketing techniques unique and specific to your business.

Identifying trends and seeing the competition you may have can really help you out. You want to know what other similar businesses are doing so you can improve and make yourself more appealing. Find the latest trends on social media platforms or even through surveys. This way, you are not taking a shot in the dark as to what your customers could like, you will know what they do like. Another way data can help your business is by helping you to improve operations as you become more well-known. You do not want to stick with what you have and hope it works forever.  You want to know how you are doing, how other businesses are doing, how you can make improvements, keep your current customers, and gain new ones.

Increase your Marketing Techniques

2017 has already brought about a variety of things one can do to increase their marketing technique. We are only a couple months in but the time is still perfect to adopt some of these trends. It is never a bad time to successfully market your business. Going live on social media, reaching mobile devices, personalization for your customers, taking advantage of native advertising, and big data are just a few of the most beneficial marketing trends. Utilize these trends to make your business unique and successful.

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