As technology advances, consumer needs evolve, and market share changes… marketing departments are being forced to evolve and re-evaluate their planning and marketing tactics as they go into each New Year. One of the things we try to look out for is marketing trends that can impact our small business in a BIG way.
So far in 2017, we have identified 5 marketing trends that small businesses should be watching out for and implementing as they move forward with their marketing goals.
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly popular way of reaching target audiences, especially for businesses in the B2C sector. According to the Huffington post, “influencer marketing is simply the action of promoting and selling products and services through people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.” It is important to make the distinction between an influencer and a celebrity. Celebrities are followed because of what they do whereas an influencer is followed because of who they are. While there is often overlap between the two, influencers are, more often than not, ordinary people. Influencer marketing is becoming so significant because brands are able to reach their consumers more easily. It is less likely that members of their target audience will dismiss their sponsored content as an ad because it is coming from someone the consumer already follows.
2. Native Advertising
Native advertising is, in simple terms, creating ads that look like they are an extension of the website or platform that they are being displayed on. This form of advertising is so effective at increasing click-through rates because the audience is less likely to ignore it. Native ads don’t hinder a user’s experience on a website, instead through their subtlety it encourages users to click. Small businesses should redirect their online advertising dollars to curating as much native advertising content as possible in order to maximize return on investment.
3. Content Marketing
According to The Content Marketing Institute , “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience- and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In other words, content marketing is about curating compelling content across all platforms that is relevant to the consumer. For small businesses this means that content on your website and social media platforms need to be cohesive and cater to the expectations of your audience. By ensuring that your content is unified, your digital credibility will increase. This, in turn, results in increased search engine optimization.
4. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is, perhaps, one of the more obvious trends to implement and watch this year. Using third party software to help automate email blasts and social media posts help decrease the man-hours previously required in the marketing process. There is a lot of cost-effective software, such as vertical response, that are extremely helpful to small businesses.
With the development of live streaming videos, such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live, video engagement is continuously increasing. On Facebook, videos get more shares than any other post. Audiences like content that is direct. Facebook videos that are up to 2 minutes long get the most audience engagement. Small businesses should focus some of their social media efforts to creating and sharing videos that are relevant in order to optimize consumer engagement. For more information on Facebook, videos visit facebook.com
We know that as small business owners it is nearly impossible to implement all of these tactics at the same time, but after you have identified your goals and what you need to do to work toward them, start by implementing one of these trends.
With proper implementation, measurements, and tracking you can quickly identify if these are working for you or not. And good thing is, many of these trends are easy, cost-effective ways to drive web traffic and increase sales so if one doesn’t work for you, you can easily try another!