Like the business world, the marketing arena is always changing, and small-business owners who stubbornly cling to marketing techniques that may have worked in the past may find themselves losing market share to more adaptable competitors. Which marketing techniques are poised to get the best results for small-business owners in the year ahead?
Email Marketing Is Still Essential
While marketing via email may be far older than some of the newer marketing techniques that have come of age in recent years, it’s still a very effective means of getting the word out. In fact, it can yield a far better ROI than social media or search marketing. Clients who receive email marketing purchase nearly 30% more often and place larder orders than those who don’t. It also has the advantage of being very cost-effective, very targeted, and easily measurable.
Mobile Is Booming
Today’s mobile devices provide small-business owners with ample opportunity to increase engagement among their target customers. From SMS marketing to mobile applications, there are plenty of ways to tap into the mobile revolution. At the very least, owners of small enterprises should make sure their websites are mobile-friendly. Consider this: recent stats have indicated that mobile device users now account for nearly 30% of all web traffic. That’s a big opportunity for small-business owners, and making a website mobile-friendly isn’t as difficult as one might think.
Social Media Is Word-of-Mouth, 2014-Style
Of course, traditional word-of-mouth is still crucial for any small business, but social media is like word-of-mouth multiplied by every member of your clients’ social networks. Social media lets small-business owners connect with their clients on a meaningful, personal level, and provides an ideal forum for increasing engagement and building a sense of community around a brand.
Video Is a Must
More than a billion monthly YouTube visitors can’t be wrong; the popularity of online video is through the roof. Small-business owners should use online video to add value to their products or services. Simply posting a commercial isn’t enough, unless it’s a really funny commercial. Instead of going for a traditional TV-spot style advertisement, small businesses should offer video tutorials, customer videos, demonstrations of hot new products, and other types of video content that clients are likely to find engaging enough to share with their social networks.
The Right Kind of Content
There’s plenty of talk about creating content, but what is content, exactly? Just about anything that could possibly be shared online could be considered content, but the type of content likely to make an impression on potential clients is content that doesn’t come off as advertising. Sure, they know that it was created by a business with the intention of bolstering the bottom line, but if it’s entertaining enough, that won’t matter. Infographics, action shots, factoids, tutorials, and top 10 lists are popular forms of content that have the potential to make consumers stop what they’re doing and pay attention.
[Photo Credit: money.usnews.com]