Small Business Marketing Trends for 2013 And Beyond
The key to any strong economy is a strong small business community. In the global marketplace that we live in today, small businesses have to be better than ever if they want to compete with larger corporations. Small businesses around the world have always had to be nimble, be creative, and try new things in terms of attracting customers.
Technology has greatly helped small companies compete on a more even playing field with some of their larger competitors. The internet, and the ability for anyone or any company to have a potentially global reach if they so desire, has greatly aided small business. As consumers wants and needs continue to change, their personalities continue to change, and technology continues to change.
Here are 5 small business marketing ideas that you will see small businesses implementing now, and over the next few years.
Small Business Uses Social Technologies to Build Online Communities
Building, growing and maintaining an online community is a great new way for small businesses to add prospects to the top of your sales funnel. For all businesses with a product and service that is desired by a group of people, larger or small, they know that total sales depends on how many prospective customers they can reach with their marketing message. With the rise of social media, small businesses now have a cost effective marketing channel for reaching their target audience. Social Media also allows small businesses to create a community of prospects and customers whom the business can interact with on a daily basis. Small businesses around the world are investing more of their marketing resources into building their online communities as they know that the work they put in today adding quality prospects to their online community becomes the sales pipeline for tomorrow.
Small Business Embraces Video-Based Communications with Customers
For decades businesses have realized that video-based communication is the most effective way to get their message to resonate with their target audience. Unfortunately, until very recently, video marketing was only affordable to large organizations. The main reason for this was that there used to be only one marketing channel for video-based marketing communications, and that was Television. Now, through the internet, the cost to develop professional video marketing tactics has come way down. Small businesses can now afford to create high quality videos that they can present to a global audience through the internet. Once again, social media plays a big role here as it provides the tools and the audience to create and promote cost effective video communications. More and more small businesses are taking advantage of video-based communications for marketing to customers.
Small Business Uses Tablets for Marketing to Consumers
Tablets like the iPad have seemingly transformed some aspect of every industry on the planet. From doctors using them when treating patients, to schools using iPads in the classroom, and now to business using tablets for marketing to customers while in-store. What’s really amazing about this new marketing trend for small business is that almost every single type of business can probably benefit in one way or another from using iPads for marketing. Tablets are a great way to serve up digital content to consumers while they are at “peak interest” in the small business. If a consumer is at your booth during an event, in your retail store, having lunch at your restaurant, visiting your college with their parents, they are at “peak interest” in your brand, your products, and/or your services. Leveraging tablets to engage those consumers on a level that they are not used to can create opportunities to increase your value proposition and increase your chance to make a sale. Over the coming years you’re going to see tablets in almost every brick and mortar storefront you enter.
Mobile Marketing Strategies Shift Into Focus for Small Businesses
Over the past 5-7 years marketers’ research has shown a big shift in the marketing & advertising spend of businesses of all shapes and sizes. More and more dollars are being committed to mobile marketing strategies, while less dollars are being used for more traditional marketing strategies like print & radio. The costs for running effective mobile marketing campaigns has come down a bit over the years, while at the same time the quality & quantity of available tools on the internet have increased, allowing more and more small businesses to shift their marketing strategies toward mobile. This trend is going to continue with the proliferation of tablets as we discussed earlier, and the fact that most people within a business’s target audience has a smart phone.
Small Businesses Use Tablets In-Store
Lastly, just as we discussed above how small businesses were using tablets in-store for marketing, those same businesses are realizing that they can also leverage tablets in-store for customer service, as well as, to replace outdated hardware like point-of-sale systems. Tablets, and specifically the iPad, are quickly replacing the cash register at many businesses. Small businesses around the world are using square to process payments with the iPad. As more and more apps become available for businesses to use for customer service and marketing, more and more small businesses will take advantage. Small businesses are looking for ways to lower costs while increasing value. Using tablets in-store for customer service can help small businesses reduce hardware costs for outdated items like cash registers, while also adding value to the in-store experience as many times the new iPad-based point-of-sale systems have built in loyalty programs, which allow customers to earn rewards during checkout. Using tablets in-store is a trend that’s here to stay, and will only get bigger from now on.
5 Small Business Marketing Trends
These are 5 marketing trends for small business that I see having a lasting impact on the growth of small businesses over the next 5-10 years. What do you think? Are there more important marketing trends for small business that should be included on this list? Please share your thoughts with the community by leaving a comment below. We appreciate you taking the time to read this article and hope you found it valuable. We look forward to reading your opinions in the comments section.