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We’re now a month into 2017, and like many small business owners and entrepreneurs, you’ve used January to recover from the holidays, refresh your New Year’s marketing and solidify business plans and goals for the remainder of the year. As you continue to build and develop your marketing strategy, we wanted to highlight a few marketing trends we expect to advance in 2017.
At its core, marketing is about connecting with customers. Whether you’re a service-based business, a brick and mortar retail shop, a restaurant or cafe, or another small business, the goal remains the same: provide excellent service and create a memorable experience. And while the tools of the marketing trade may wax and wane, the focus is ultimately about connection, communication and conversion.
To aid in your marketing efforts, here are our big four marketing trends to focus on in 2017:
There is no question that the world is going mobile. In their annual U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2017, marketing research firm BIA/Kelsey projects $148.8 billion in advertising revenue this year, with more than $16 billion of that revenue coming from mobile ad spend. Is your business poised to share in the profits?
Ensuring that your digital presence is 100% mobile optimized should be a no-brainer. And it’s not as daunting as it seems. Small steps like mobile-responsive web design and email templates are a great start. Your business logo should also come in a variety of formats, including print, web, and — you guessed it — mobile. Once you’ve gotten the basics like your logo, website and email locked in, you can expand your mobile marketing efforts to social media, couponing and even SMS alerts.
As we mentioned above — it’s all about connection. And in this era of “data-driven marketing” and “big data,” connections are being made on a one-on-one basis. But getting personal with your customers has moved beyond starting emails with “Hi, [NAME]!” As marketing has gotten smarter, so have consumers.
Consider hyper-segmentation of customer lists on email and social media — you can tailor messaging, ads, and campaigns to specific lists and create more personal and specialized content to build relationships with your clients. When your messaging is relevant, your targeted clientele will be more likely to convert. You can also A/B test content and imagery on your website and emails to see how customers engage with the different versions. Remember, the ultimate goal of personalization is to provide your audience with the right information when and where they want it. Consider how your brand can cut through the noise.
If becoming mobile-friendly and personalizing your message feels like a lot, don’t worry! This is where automation comes in. Once you’ve tested campaigns and found that special formula that drives conversions and builds brand relationships, why not do it again? Automation is the busy marketer’s best tool. It requires some time investment up front to set up and scale, but once it’s created, you can sit back and let your email nurture streams or social media campaigns take flight.
Look no further than Facebook for proof that video has seen a boom over the past year. Research shows businesses who use video have grown revenue 49 percent faster than those without video marketing. And with the growth of mobile marketing and high saturation of mobile devices, it’s no surprise that mobile video views have grown six times faster than desktop views over the past two years. Even a simple video shot on your smartphone and posted to your social media channels or embedded in an email can capture your customers’ attention in a new way.
If video is outside your reach, other dynamic content has also seen a boom in recent years. Interactive content like quizzes have grown exponentially thanks to sites like Buzzfeed, and virtual or augmented reality is on the rise (just consider the phenomenon that was Pokémon GO!). You can create your own customer surveys easily and integrate them with your email or website to capitalize on our final trend.
Whether you choose to incorporate all four of these digital marketing trends, just focus on one or turn your attention to an alternative, there are a myriad of ways to get started. Deluxe Small Business Services can help get your marketing on track for 2017 and beyond.
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