It can be a challenge for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to excel at marketing while also focusing on growing the business and overall brand.
According to the U.S. business Administration, two-thirds of small business owners and entrepreneurs are responsible for three or more areas of their business including marketing. With 2018 coming close to an end, there are trends to look out for the upcoming year and making sure your SMB is putting efforts in the right direction.
From email marketing, to social media campaigns, budgeting, branding and a valuable strategy, these are some trends to look out for and ways your SMB can prepare marketing efforts for 2019:
New technology means more ways to communicate with your customer, and your target customer is expecting your brand to communicate in ways they like. Knowing the communications tools and preferences will make it that much easier and more valuable for your consumer base.
Ask questions like; which platforms/channels are best for your target audience? What kind of communication suits your customer? Focusing on putting efforts into a few core channels that will suit your brand and audience will show good traction and double down on those small business marketing channels.
Some marketing trend analysts say they estimate close to 50% of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
Currently, two in five adults perform a voice search once a day. Does voice search suit the kind of brand you aspire to become? Knowing your communication tools and preferred channels are important factors for your future 2019 plan, and key areas for your brand to focus on when it comes to the marketing trends of 2019.
One of the biggest trends continuing into 2019 is focusing on video content as a marketing strategy. With 400 million people around the world using Instagram stories on a daily basis, having video content for your brand is a fun and interesting way to connect with your audience and offers a unique opportunity to capture the direct attention of audiences and potential customers.
According to Buffer’s research on video content, embracing video for your marketing efforts is the most effective way to engage with your audience across all social media channels. Four times as many people prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it, and 4 in 5 millennials look for video content as a form of research when making a purchasing decision.
Cisco reports that in 2019, video will represent over 80 percent of all internet traffic and for the U.S. alone it will be over 85%. It is evident that video content has become a major part of marketing plans, and you want to make sure your brand is thinking about whether it’s worth to put efforts into creating a marketing plan that consists of video content for 2019.
According to Forbes, the trends for 2019 foresee people putting more trust in others they know and reputable content, and including ads. The top four most-trusted sources of advertising are: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites and reviews according to a Nielson study.
While ads are on the bottom of that list, there is still a place for them; it’s where your brands content marketing comes to use. For your brands 2019 marketing plan, ads need to be relevant and valuable to your consumer. Surrounding your budget around content marketing, influencer marketing, referral partnerships and other ways designed to deliver actual value to your target audience is where your brand can thrive and stand out. Co-creating and partnering with influencers can boost excitement, brand awareness and result in valuable marketing overall.
Building relationships with influencers is becoming a very important part to marketing plans, as it helps promote content and delivers value to the targeted audience. While 64% of brands say they place importance on building relationships with influencers, only 24% actually take action and partner with influencers for their content marketing. Sixty-five percent of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy that includes identifying a primary goal and design for a successful content strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Developing valuable content is incredibly powerful and has taken over marketing strategies with its useful function in communicating a brand message. Understanding the kind of content your brand should be pushing and creating relationships with influencers that relate to your brand story can set your brand up for success and increase brand awareness.
While social media is an obvious area that your SMB should place its focus on for the upcoming year, email marketing is one of the few remaining marketing channels that you actually own as a business, unlike Facebook and Instagram which are third parties. Email marketing is a critical piece of your marketing strategy, as it allows you to share your story, promote your business and showcase your products through a genuine brand voice.
Your brand can start by creating automated email flows that focus on four main parts; welcome email, abandoned cart email, first-time customer email and a re-engagement email. On average, abandoned cart automated emails generate 29.7x more revenue than regular emails. If email is the way to go for your brand, then start growing your email list and start using branded pop-ups and email sign up forms on your website to gain more subscribers. You can double your email list size in just 30 days if you use pop-up forms on your website.
It is extremely important to know how well your marketing is performing. If your SMB is reaching the right audience and if it’s resulting in increased revenue, then take note and boost more of that content. It’s always best to know if your budget is going in the right direction and whether your efforts are being put to good use. With live chat bots or ways that your customer can communicate with reviews and with feedback, you can provide the best quality customer service for them.
While every business is different in how they put their marketing efforts, there is no single “right way” to build a marketing strategy. However, you can achieve any marketing goal if you are aware of the marketing trends and ways you can build your brand voice through your marketing efforts.
Does your SMB need help finding a plan that best suits its marketing strategy? If so, we can help! Get in touch with us today to build your plan for 2019.