23 Dec 2015 Small Business Marketing Trend Wrapup
Square has published a well condensed list of 2015’s hottest (read: most effective) small business marketing trends, and we tend to agree with their list. As online marketing grows each year, the winners will be those who nurture the process with a customer-first approach and consider their own behaviors and preferences as a customer when crafting the messages you send as a business.
- Consumers want to feel good about where they’re shopping.
Your customers WANT to shop at your small business, but the convenience and price of large chain businesses are difficult elements to compete with. Focus your messaging on why your local, independent business is good for your community, and good for your customer.
- Social media engagement trumps popularity.
Ok, you have 30,000 Facebook fans. Now what?
- Online booking is on the rise.
Square’s list focuses on appointment software, and if that is appropriate for your business then you should definitely have it. We would extend this item to also include ticket sales, RSVPs, and other ways for you to directly capture and address your customers needs in an efficient and helpful way. Automated email responses are also a must-have to send out reminders and helpful information, and position you as someone who helps and enhances your customers experience.
- Email quality is more important than quantity.
How many lists have you unsubscribed from? How much spam do you still get, even through the filters and folders? Bombarding your customers with continuous emails is a sure way to lose subscribers. Instead, focus on well crafted, thoughtful communication. Ask yourself each time, how would this help my customer? Does my customer need or want this information?
- Online storytelling is gaining popularity.
- Personalization beats mass-market efforts.
- Transparency is key.
These three items really make the difference between effective online campaigns and generic marketing. Are you selling a granola bar or are you selling an experience? Are you one of a million faceless companies selling the same thing, competing for the same market, or do you have your own story, your own product? Is what you are selling authentic?
As a small business, you have an uphill battle to cut through the din of competition to stand out as unique. Luckily, the most effective marketing trends moving forward are honesty, thoughtfulness, and engagement, so if you have something real that you want to share with the world in a genuine way, you’re already one step ahead.