Reputation and the ability to reach customers are crucial to any business, so here are some marketing tips to help your small business stand out, from David Hinkley from Forbes Community Voice. Photo from VisualHunt ~WizeOwl
Effective marketing requires a consistent awareness of upcoming trends and emerging channels. Even if you feel confident in your business’s current techniques and strategies, you should keep an eye on what’s coming next so you can stay competitive and ahead of the rest. To keep your small business successful in 2017, here are five marketing tips to help you.
1. Blog With Expertise
If you’ve been in the marketing industry the past few years, you know that blogging is a trend that virtually every business has adopted. Blogging is a great way to utilize search engine optimization practices and get your small business noticed. Unfortunately, many businesses focus on frequency and forget the importance of quality.
By optimizing your website for search engines with quality blog posts, your business will appear at the top of search results for topics related to your service offering. This will lead to more visitors to your website, increase your leads, and help your organization grow.
You can post a blog with keywords every week, but unless the content is valuable, you will lose the interest of your readers. The effectiveness of your blogging is going to be based on exciting and informative content. Accomplishing this might mean hiring an expert in your industry or scheduling your own time to draft a quality post each month.
For example, a former client of mine, Justworks, regularly publishes valuable and timely content on their blog that is relevant to their customers. The payroll management company recently published a great article about the basics related to IRS Form 941 – just in time for tax season.
2. Mobile Takeover
Everyone has already witnessed the impact of mobile technology on marketing strategies. The last few years have been focused on mobile browsing and utilizing social media platforms that are only available on mobile devices. In 2017, think about marketing options like text message marketing; 95% of Americans now own a mobile device and 98% of text messages are opened.
If you have not yet developed a mobile marketing strategy, you’ll want to invest the time to do so in 2017. There are a number of SMS marketing services online that provide software that will allow you to create lists, draft messages and send them to your customers.
3. Personalized Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has become a crucial aspect of marketing effectiveness in the past few years. Small businesses can’t afford to become complacent or get in a routine with their social media strategies. Pay attention to personalized marketing techniques; tracking consumer behaviors and targeting them based on their interests is becoming an essential tool of marketing.
Personalized marketing techniques can be as simple as using your customer’s name in the bulk email messages you send out or as complex as targeting individuals that work at a specific company you’d like to sell your services to with Facebook or LinkedIn ads. Social media sites like Facebook have improved their advertising platforms to let you be very specific to the audiences ads are shown to. With this information, you can create specific ads that target groups that can provide a strong ROI for your effort.
4. Visual Strategies
Live-streaming has taken the social media world by storm. Live feeds and videos have become the new normal for communicating your message. Facebook reported last year that 100 million hours per day of video are watched on their site. Engage your audience with live-streaming at events or conferences that highlight you and your product offering. It’s a quick and effective way to connect with customers and build your brand.
Visual marketing effectiveness will also rely on engaging graphics. While graphic design has always been important, it will need more attention this year. Viewer engagement durations are shorter and social feeds are getting more crowded. Stand out with powerful graphic content.
5. Email Marketing
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of email marketing. Too many businesses see it as an irrelevant aspect of marketing as social media has expanded. The truth is, email marketing is still beneficial to the growth of a small business. In fact, 91% of U.S. adults reportedly like to receive promotional emails from companies they’ve done business with in the past. Your email marketing strategy in 2017 should be focused on helpful content including industry news, guides and links to your expert blog content. Don’t run customers off with an email about sales every few days. Make your email content engaging, informative and interesting by containing insights that you personally would like to know and receive about your product offering. If you wouldn’t want to read the email you’re sending to your customers, don’t send it.
Marketing is constantly evolving. This year we can expect marketing strategies to be detail-oriented and mobile-focused. Consumers are not paying attention to fluffy content or staying engaged through traditional avenues alone.