When it comes to marketing, small businesses face numerous challenges. Compared to their competitors, they have small manpower and marketing funds. Given that they’re working with so many constraints, their marketing approach needs to be creative and thoroughly focused. They might lack resources, but they cannot take the emerging and ever-changing trends in marketing lightly. They need to keep themselves up to date. Here are 7 big trends that are going to dominate the marketing of small businesses in 2017.
1. Mobile Taking the Central Role
Mobile is now at the very center of marketing. It is no longer a question of whether your business has a mobile presence or not. Now, it is more about how big and loud your mobile presence is. A mobile-centric marketing plan needs to address these aspects:
- First of all, ensure a mobile-friendly Website that besides drawing an audience from mobile users will also create a positive impression for Google. Google punishes any Website by moving its ranking down if it is not mobile-optimized.
- Secondly, your contents and design layout must be optimized for easy viewing across devices. From addressing readability in handheld devices with viewer-friendly fonts to making commands easier with bigger finger-friendly buttons, in every possible, way you need to ensure ease of use for a mobile audience.
- There is not a better way to make your customers feel at ease than allowing them to pay through a mobile device. When you allow people to pay through a mobile payment option, you help them take action quickly.
- The importance of having your mobile app will be felt more than ever in the coming months. As most people have a habit of checking their handheld devices frequently, an app pushed to your customers can increase engagement to a great extent. If mobile apps have drawn the attention of marketers in pushing engagement in the recent past, the trend will continue in the coming months.
- An upsurge in mobile-only social apps is a clear indication that your business needs to ensure a presence across these platforms. Mobile-only social platforms like Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., are growing at a rapid pace, making them invaluable for the overall social strategy of businesses.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has already taken over the marketing scene. In the last couple of years, we have seen social comments and reviews of products and services emerging as most influential factors to shape buying decisions. The trend will only grow with more marketers taking positive steps target influencers on social and other platforms on the Web. The social presence a brand has is more important than ever, so you need help from bloggers, social influencers and celebrities promoting your products.
The biggest advantage of influencer marketing is that it is affordable for by small and big businesses alike. Even with a tiny and really negligible marketing budget that proves terribly insufficient in comparison to big brands, you can give your brand a loud voice with influencer marketing.
3. Email Marketing
In spite of the fact that a vast majority of marketers are still unaware of the advantages of email marketing, many organizations have garnered unmatched ROI. In fact, 68 percent of marketers still consider email marketing as either good or excellent. Most important of all, it is one of the most affordable marketing tools for small businesses.
In this respect, it is important to know the ways you can make your email marketing effective. Providing relevant and valued information that can help consumers is more crucial than just addressing customers with sales pitches. Emails with true value for customers get people more engaged and drive business better than an email with just sales pitches.
4. Data-Driven Marketing
With big data, analytics have become a positive source for actionable insights, and marketers now are focused on carrying out their initiatives based on data. In this respect, collection, analysis and processing of data-driven insights from the staggering volume of consumer data have become important more than ever. With 82 percent of marketers openly professing the importance of customer data, in the time to come, the integration of data processing tools and analytics with marketing will be an inevitable thing.
5. Video Streaming Sill Holds the Key
Video ads have arrived as a big tool to revive interest in consumers bored with banner ads. Streaming videos showcasing a product or service is perceived more as contents than advertisements. A whopping 70 percent of customers express that they prefer learning about brands through a piece of content instead of ads. Among these people, 60 percent of customers prefer video over texts when learning about a brand. Naturally, the stage is set for the rise of video ads, and in 2017, we can expect more brands to rely on video to draw attention and engage the audience.
Small businesses that cannot opt for expensive commercial media prime time ads can easily bank upon online video to grab the attention of the audience. Whether it’s telling a brand story, explaining with “how-to” videos or just influencing with a video comprising customer testimonials, in multiple ways, video ads can prove effective.
6. More Focus on Location with Beacons
While personalizing contents to address different customers is already a driving force, on an broader level, this personalization begins with localization. You need to address customers as per their real-time locations. Thanks to the latest location technologies, such as beacons, now retailers can send push notifications to individual customers visiting nearby and thus can push for business conversion with individual promotional offers.
While beacons have emerged as a powerful location technology, in the coming months, we can expect a bigger proliferation of this. Beacon as a technology is still in its nascent state of development and it is expected to mature over the coming months.
In a Snapshot
Finally, what is evident from all the recent marketing trends is that personalization of contents will continue to be a big force, and more marketers irrespective of niches and sizes will adopt it.
Keval Padia is a Founder and CEO at Nimblechapps, a fast-growing android game development company and ios app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.