The first month of the New Year is just the time to start thinking about, and reflect upon, the new strategies and directions that you are planning for your small business. It may seem like a daunting proposition to keep pace with consumer buying behaviors and technology changes, especially with a tight budget. However, there are numerous opportunities and rising trends that you can take advantage of and adapt to for marketing your business. You can do all this while staying within your financial means.
Here are five of the hottest small business marketing trends that you should follow in 2019.
Paying More Attention to Voice Search
Small business owners must pay attention to the fact that more consumers are switching over to voice search. This indicates that you must understand how to get your business found accordingly. A survey by ComScore points out that by 2020, 50 per cent of all searches will be through voice. Younger generations are growing up in an age where voice search is gradually ruling the roost. This can be attributed to digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart speakers, smartwatches, and all the other smart devices.
The question is, how to play with voice search for marketing your small business? Until very recently, keyboard search inputs influenced search engine optimization. Voice search changes the dynamics as there is a difference between typing and speaking. So you have to start transitioning your SEO strategies in the direction of natural speech patterns to stay ahead in the game.
For instance, while conducting a traditional Google Search, people generally use a key phrase like “used furniture shop Chicago”. In the past, this is the phrase you might have targeted and optimized for your used furniture small business in Chicago. However, the game changes when it comes to voice search as a consumer is more likely to use a phrase like, “where can I buy used furniture in Chicago?”.
Focusing Strongly On Social Media As It Is Only Getting Bigger
2019 is the year to build up on your groundwork for social media. We cannot help but repeat the great potential social media has for small business owners, both for attracting a new audience as well as engaging existing customers in new and meaningful ways.
According to Forbes, ad revenues for Instagram are expected to grow three times to $11 billion in 2019. This is the growth that you need to cash on to make your small business thrive. You might think that your used furniture business will not have any advantage of being online, by say having an Instagram account, as your clientele is local. On the contrary, you can grow beyond your local area, neighborhood, district, or even city by being present online.
Another important point to remember is that you don’t have to be on every social media platform. Identify your target audience and evaluate which platforms they are most likely going to be found on. If your customer base is teenagers then they won’t be on Linkedin. If you are selling to an audience comprised of middle-aged people, then you won’t find them on SnapChat.
Most social media platforms also provide highly targeted yet affordable advertising that allows small business owners to reach their actual customer base, with specifically designed ads. See which platform offers a good proposition for your business and give it a go.
Identifying the Importance of Content Marketing
A survey by Clutch has found that nearly 80 per cent of small business owners do not invest in content marketing, in spite of it being one of the best sources for high-quality leads. This year your small business can grow by tackling content with a multimedia mindset. You are missing out if you do not have a blog that adds audience value.
Sharing relevant and valuable information online such as eBooks, infographics, videos, and blogs that promote your brand can help inform your audience base and simultaneously build engagement and trust. Most customers feel more positive about a small business after reading custom content. Good content is also beneficial for lead generation, driving traffic to your website, promoting your brand, and even opening the door to more conversations.
While creating content, you must remember that it alone won’t get any results unless there is a good content marketing strategy in place. You need to ask yourself a few questions to outline your approach, such as:
- What is your main goal for creating content? Is it SEO, improving loyalty, thought leadership, or lead generation.
- What does your customer base/targeted audience want from you?
- What content do you require to get the attention of customers at each phase of the sales funnel?
- How to make your content different from competitors?
- Will you use a blog, email marketing, social media, or a combination of all?
- How will you be measuring success?
Once you know the answers, you will be in a better place to create the appropriate content marketing strategy to grow your small business.
Giving Importance to Location-Based Marketing
You can promote marketing based on location in two ways:
- Understanding the importance of geo-location
- Getting local press coverage
2019 is the year for small businesses to cash on the benefits of geo-location. Surveys and statistics show that people are increasingly using location-based services on their mobile devices. Therefore, it is only correct if you take advantage of location data for targeting promotions and increase your consumer base.
Getting your small business covered by the local press is a smart way to get noticed. We are not talking about big publications but small media outlets in your area that are always on the lookout for local news and events. If you have an interesting story about the origin of your business, which may strike a chord with the readers, then you should especially reach out.
Expanding the Cloud
If you still have not made use of cloud technologies for your small business, then now is the right time. Research by Deloitte has shown that the use of cloud services help small businesses grow 26 per cent times faster and also bring them more profits.
So get moving and find out the tools that could be beneficial for your small business, such as using a phone system based on cloud technology. It will also help you in saving money and time while helping you run your business in a more efficient manner.
While you are following all the marketing trends for your small business, do not take it as an intimidating, huge task. Tackle one step at a time and stop doing the things that are not getting you anywhere. This is the year to make marketing work for you!
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