Happy New Year! We are so excited to be back at work after an amazing holiday break filled with food, friends, and fun. Our marketing team has jumped into preparing our 2019 strategy and have been scouring the internet to learn about some of the projected trends and new ideas that are expected to dominate this year. We wanted to share some of these findings with our fellow small business owners to help you kickstart this year’s marketing efforts.
In the past, competing businesses have not been encouraged to work together, however, more and more frequently we are seeing small businesses form coalitions and share customers leading to greater success. For example, when dining at a local restaurant I recently got a $10 voucher to another local spot for every $25 that I spent. This type of incentive is a great way for businesses to find new customers and let each organization’s unique personality shine through as they think of creative ways to collaborate.
Video leads to higher engagement than text posts or still images and as a result is valuable in online marketing. Use a mix of short videos and .gifs in stories, medium length videos on social timelines, and longer videos on platforms like Youtube. These different types of content provide varying levels of value to customers, for example a full length tutorial provides more than a short commercial, but when used together they create an engaging online presence. A new platform, TikTok has recently seen a surge in popularity which you may want to harness for your business.
Take advantage of machine learning
Recently, I was making an e-commerce purchase and was having difficulty getting my address to populate correctly. I considered purchasing from a different site, but the website had a chatbot in place which I was able to use to get my problem solved quickly. As this type of technology continues to improve, adding a chatbot to your site can increase your level of customer service without greatly increasing your costs.
Use your voice
“Alexa, how do you polish a pair of boots?” Wouldn’t it be great if anyone pondering this was directed to a post on your site which sells a variety of shoe cleaning and repair products? Devices that use our voices are becoming more and more entwined into our everyday lives, get ahead of the curve by creating content with headlines that relate to something someone may ask their home device and take advantage of this growing technology.
Continue your commitment to social media
We have all read about the frustration around social media as algorithms make it difficult to be seen and the prices of paid promotion continue to rise, but social media marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon as studies show its use in small business marketing is rising. Embrace these platforms by developing a robust content calendar and trying various social media strategies to see what works best for your brand.
Take advantage of location-based marketing
Technology today allows for very specific market segmentation and this should be taken advantage of. If you have a brick and mortar location, set careful targeting that reaches those within your geographic area so you are not wasting funds on those who are too far away. If you have an online business, you can still use location targeting based on the interests and behaviors of people in varying regions.
Expect more influencer collaborations
Influencer collaborations have proven to be very successful for many small businesses on Instagram, Youtube, and blogs. We have all seen the Kardashian sisters endorse detox teas and sales of these products soar after they post. For small businesses to tap into this phenomenon, find an influencer that is important to your niche market. For example, if you sell organic skincare, find a beauty blogger who is known for their love of natural products and create a partnership. This new type of advertising ties into word of mouth advertising and has been proven to be able to bring in a lot of sales.
Email has not faded
It is true, consumer inboxes are absolutely flooded with email offers and spam which has made it much more difficult to reach customers this way, however email remains a powerful tool. Add helpful content to your emails in addition to special offers. This, combined with clever and unique subject lines will help your message stand out. In addition, you may offer a discount or incentive to encourage new users to provide their email as you work to build an address list.
Develop a unique brand story
Millennial shoppers are not only interested in your product, but also the unique identity of your brand. Let this shine through by sharing your story, creating unique and memorable branding materials, and consider engaging in sometime of philanthropy that relates to your brand mission. All of these things will help you stand out in overcrowded marketing and lead to more customer loyalty.
Content is king
Potential customers are flooded with online marketing material everyday and content that is useful is what really stands out. Here are a few ways to improve your content marketing strategy this year:
1. Create concrete plans for distribution so you can easily track the conversions that come from specific pieces of content. This will help you to know what is working well and what isn’t.
2. Vary your formats to include longer and shorter pieces, listicles, videos and infographics. Determine which content was most successful and find ways to re-share it. Twitter is a great place for this since things appear on timelines for such a short amount of time.
3. Analyze your backlinks for high SEO quality.
4. Assess the length of your content and aim for at least 600 words to gain the most traction.
Tap into word of mouth marketing
Testimonials and reviews can be huge in driving sales. It is estimated that 20-50% of purchases are influenced by word of mouth marketing and 92% of consumers trust the opinions of others. Ensure that you provide outstanding customer service so that reviews and testimonials are positive. Then encourage more user generated content by offering incentives for posting or by encouraging engagement through hashtags. Repost your favorite posts that use your branded hashtag to create additional buzz around your brand.
We hope these ideas provide a helpful start to your 2019 marketing plans! What new strategies are you planning to use this year? Let us know on Twitter, @KuvioCreative. And, if you want to spruce up your website so that your new leads turn into conversions, contact us. We are happy to help!
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