Another year has come and gone – what are your marketing resolutions for 2018? Check your goals and strategies against my top 3 predictions to help make sure you're aligned with today's biggest small business marketing trends.
1. Growing or Building a Social Media Presence
If your small business doesn't have a social media presence, 2018 is the year to build one. There are numerous statistics to drive this point home. For instance, if you provide a positive customer service experience over social media, 71% of consumers are likely to recommend your company to others – whereas failure to respond can increase customer attrition by 15%. Being active on social and having a policy in place to provide quick, effective service through social channels is one of the biggest areas where small businesses can help enhance their marketing efforts this year.
2. Increased Focus on Influencer Marketing
With more online users installing ad blockers, all businesses are being forced to get creative with their marketing strategies. If you browse through your favorite online channels today, you'll likely encounter a relatively new phenomenon known as influencer marketing. This marketing tactic leverages the influence of people with strong online followings by asking them to review, share, or promote your products or offerings, and it can produce 11 times the ROI of traditional marketing efforts.
While partnerships with celebrities and other influencers can be costly, the most effective influencer relationships aren't always the most expensive – they're the most authentic. If you want to explore the power of influencer marketing in 2018, look for people in your community or industry with a targeted following that aligns with your customer base. One authentic endorsement from the right influencer can lead to hundreds of leads, even if their following is only a few thousand people strong. Just make sure both you and your influencer clearly disclose the relationship in any endorsements.
3.Outsourcing Website Optimization
As Google and other search engines become more sophisticated, it's getting more and more difficult for small businesses to keep up with their myriad site requirements and recommendations. In 2018, we predict that more small businesses will outsource their website marketing services, specifically when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) – in fact, many small businesses already are. In 2017, 68% of small businesses already reported outsourcing their SEO needs. Another 48% paid for external Pay-Per-Click (PPC) services, and 28% enlisted the services of marketing professionals. Outsourcing the more technical side of digital marketing can free your in-house staff to provide better service and come up with new business solutions.
While there will be many more small business marketing trends to keep tabs this year, the proven performance of these three tactics merit special consideration as you build your strategy.