If you have a small business, it is vital to keep up with the latest trends in marketing, technology, customer service and other fields that affect your business. Each business is unique in their own way, so every trend does not necessarily impact you equally. However, almost all major trends do influence your customers’ expectations, so it is good to be up to date.
We have compiled the top 10 essential marketing tips for small businesses to focus on. These are the trends we feel are entitled to most of your time and money and most likely to help sell your products or service.
1. Define your brand purpose.
Reports claim that traditional CSR is old news: in 2020 you will need to show that a good cause underpins your whole business strategy. Whether you are a nutrition coach who aims to make the earth a healthier place or a business specialist striving to improve the local economy, 2020 is the year to raise brand purpose and integrity at the top of your marketing agenda. Position your brand as a driver of change, and you are most likely to fuel your business’s success well beyond that midnight countdown
2.More emphasis on personalized customer service.
Your customer is an individual, you need to serve them with customized customer experience. One of the examples of customized service is Amazon. When you visit your homepage on Amazon, you will see product suggestions similar to what you had purchased earlier and not something irrelevant. If you have bought kitchenware earlier, you see more kitchenware, books you see more books, your home page is yours, it is customized and tuned to your requirements.
According to Gartner, by the year 2020, smart personalization engines that are used for recognizing customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%. The days of simply showcasing everything to each customer are over. There are redundant noise and redundant options for the modern customer. They will naturally advance towards those businesses which offer them personalized service, reducing the noise and giving them precisely what they want. It is now up to you to be that business.
3.More voice search adoption
Voice search has kick-off to pick-up pace and just as predicted a few years ago “50% of online searches will be voice-based in 2020”.
Besides employing smart speakers like Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana or Google Home to answer users’ questions and play music, brands can easily leverage these devices to provide voice-service for their customers.
Thanks to startups like Blutag and Jetson, businesses trading online can now turn their product catalogs into fully-fledged voice-enabled marketplaces and hence allow their customers to use their existing voice-enabled devices to place orders with simple voice commands. This leads to the quick and simple customer experience by getting them to their intended results, fast and secure.
4.Local Services Ads.
One of the extensive digital marketing tips for small businesses today is the push to become more locally-oriented. If you are a small business that offers a key service (let’s say plumbing or lock-picking), it is fairly obvious that you will want to show up when someone searches for something “near me.”
Google has introduced Local Services to support businesses by connecting them with the customers that need them, positioned over and above paid advertisements. If you are not a good fit for the person who is searching, Google will not charge and instead will connect them with someone more appropriate.
There are massive ways to manage your Local Service Profile but the key here is to make sure you go through Google’s process and that you have reviews to help push customers to your business. That means pursuing a strategy that prioritizes getting reviews over every other single thing.
For a good deal number of businesses, offering some sort of deal for completing a review can help build online credibility. But be careful: Requiring customers to give you a specific rating is often a violation of review sites’ terms of service.
5. Invest in video.
Web-users just simply love watching videos — according to one study, more than 50 percent of survey respondents confessed they consumed video content at least once a week. This does not imply that you should upload traditional promotional materials to the Internet and hope that your intended customers watch it. Instead, you should just try to reach audiences through the types of videos they are interested to watch. Most people log on to watch and enjoy funny clips, you can sponsor or commission to feature your company name or watermark. It is one of the subtle marketing tips for small businesses that work perfectly.
6. Seek Out Micro-Influencers.
These are not household names. But they have numerous amount of followers who match your customer profile. These are often niche yet loyal fans. You can “borrow” or “buy” their influence to further build or promote your brand.
You are probably asking, why would you want to work with micro-influencers? Here’s the thing about them. Even if they have fewer followers compared to macro-influencers, they still have higher engagement. As a matter of fact, the lower the follower count is, the higher the engagement will be. And since the cost of collaborating with influencers usually depend on the number of followers, these micro-influencers will, therefore, cost less than macro-influencers.
In the local arena, this could be someone like a beloved high school basketball coach. Or you could just work with a respected businessperson or other “local” celebrity.
If you are in e-commerce, search for an Internet technology guru, Instagram personality or someone else who people respect. Always monitor and choose someone who makes sense for your brand.
Reach out. Share what you do. Offer them free samples to try your product or service.
7. Customer reviews will be more important than ever.
Online reviews are not really a new trend, but they are becoming more crucial all the time. Customers trust reviews over advertisements or any other content that the businesses create themselves. It is absolutely essential to have your business listed on sites such as Google My Business, Yelp and others that are relevant to your business.
The best way to get positive reviews is to supply great products and customer service. After that, it only helps to nudge your customers and gently remind them to leave reviews — whether you do this in person or via email or social media sites is one of the well-strategized marketing tips for small businesses.
8. It is time to focus on Gen Z
Gen Z is getting older, which means they are starting to enter the workforce and possess buying power. You might recall how marketers scrambled to understand millennials (there did not seem to be an industry they did not kill — but hey, they are just broke and much difficult to lie to), so now is high time to pay attention to Gen Z.
It is impossible to make monolithic statements about members of the second-youngest generation, but you should remember a few deals: they seek authenticity, and they prefer socially responsible businesses. They are growing up in a scary world and a struggling economy, so they are more likely to get attracted to companies that make the world a better place for them to survive.
85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent by 2020 end.
Chatbots initially offered canned responses and pre-written messages to general queries most businesses thought they would be asked. Keywords were basically used to trigger bot’s responses.
Chatbots are being improved and innovated with new algorithms and no longer required canned, pre-written content. Chatbots are also able to talk to multiple people simultaneously. Something a human customer service representative cannot do easily.
Chatbot’s intelligence and popularity are most likely to grow in 2020.
10. Relevant and Interactive Mobile-Friendly Content.
Interactive content enables users to participate and take action. It includes assessments of quizzes, polls, surveys, and interactive infographics. Your users should be able to participate and take action using natural gestures such as tap, double-tap, slide, and swipe etc.
Interactive content is one of the most successful inbound marketing trends. It enables you to engage your target audience and offer them real value. According to a survey, Interactive content converts buyers about 70% of the time. The conversation ratio for passive content is mostly just 36%. This is an almost 2times increase in the conversation rate.
The top trend on this list pertains to outsourcing for a particular reason. Rather than trying to manage everything in house, outsource tasks to virtual assistants, inbound marketing strategists, and outreach experts.
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