In a fast-paced world that doesn’t wait for anyone, they need to adapt is imperative for survival. Technology is continuously advancing, the tastes of customers vary greatly, and competitors are growing in number. The landscape of business is ever-changing, and the desire to continuously improve is what sets apart a good business from an excellent one. To remain competitive and to assert yourself ahead of the learning curve, it’s essential to know the latest trends and methods that companies utilize for their growth.
The evolution of businesses also requires marketers to adapt to change as well. A spike in marketing research has caused marketing strategies to become highly-targeted. Unlike before, when marketing methods were structured to connect to the “average person”, such methods now prove ineffective and personas like that do not exist anymore. Consumers have various wants and needs and it’s up to marketers to make sure that they are aware of product offerings that fit their needs.
Technology has advanced and communicating with your audience has never been easier. Today, small businesses have the convenience to instantly share their products and services through digital marketing channels. There are also peer-to-peer businesses using open source marketplace software to offer their services to customers. This allows them to remain competitive and stand head to head with giants in the market.
Recent Marketing Trends
While it’s impossible to predict what exact marketing methods will resonate most with your consumers, this is where analyzing patterns and behaviours come in most handy. Below are 5 of the biggest trends that have shaped marketing in recent years.
1. Making your customers your ambassadors
Empowering your customers as ambassadors help them feel engaged with your brand. By asking your consumers to post, your brand’s presence in their social media accounts gives your business the opportunity to expand their social networks. This also paved the way for the rise of the micro-influencer>.
2. The need to provide relevant and timely content
Consumers usually prefer brands that they can relate with. With the right content strategy in place, creating fun or educational posts related to what your consumers are looking for can slowly help your brand gain the right amount of growth.
3. The Rise of Video
People want to consume information as fast as they can, so it should come as no surprise that people would rather watch video guides and demonstrations than spend their time reading about it. Blogs, articles, and newsletters are still an effective way to get your product out there but producing short and concise videos can give you that extra boost in engagement.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is developing at a faster rate than ever before. AI can help your brand perform better by personalizing and automating tasks. It also helps you track and decipher the behavioural patterns of your customers, leading to better decision making with regards to your marketing and sales funnels.
5. Social Media is the key
The interface of social media changes rapidly. Facebook, which was once a social network site, has now evolved into a digital marketplace. If Facebook were a country, it would be the largest country in the world. With two billion active users, promoting your business there gives you a convenient and cost-effective way to market your brand. That’s why social media was one of the most effective marketing channels for small businesses in 2018.
The Right Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in 2019
Let’s cut to the chase. As mentioned previously, the success of small businesses depends greatly on how they utilize their social media channels. Reportedly, small businesses are increasing their investment in social media and digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing.
Make sure your brand is heading in the right direction. Utilizing your social media channels does not only allow you to have one-on-one interactions with your consumers, but it can also give you valuable information to help formulate your next marketing strategy. By analyzing the kind of visitors that land on your page and how they interact with it can help you decide on what type of content to produce, how frequent you should be posting, and which parts of your site need improvement.
Good content marketing isn’t about selling your product, it’s about using your content to appeal to your target audience. With content production tools becoming more and more accessible, content can come in many forms. Good content is what sets businesses apart from each other. Not only does good content raise awareness for your brand, but it can also be used to entertain and engage with your customers.
Small Businesses Getting It Done
- Imperfect Produce
Imperfect produce is a company committed to fighting food waste. Some products are too ugly to be sold in supermarkets, so the company outsources these products directly at sells them at a lower cost. You may be wondering how a small and exotic company raise that much awareness, the answer is simple. Their content marketing is fun which leads to word of mouth and referrals.
They know that their products are a little out of the ordinary so they made use of this circumstance by creating funny Instagram posts.
But aside from giving a weird looking apple some eyes, feet, and hands, imperfect produce also develops useful and practical content. An example would be how they made recipes and cooking guides for their customers.
- Nut Health
Nut Health started off as a company with 129 Facebook likes, 95 twitter followers, and 35 Pinterest followers. With the help of Motion PR, their goal was to attain 1000 Facebook likes, 500 Twitter followers, and 250 Pinterest followers by the end of their Nut Year’s resolution campaign. The campaign was designed to promote awareness for tree nuts, and how tree nuts can be used to improve health.
Nut Year’s resolution required users to like the Nut Health Facebook page and made them make a pledge that they will add 1.5 ounces of tree nuts into their diet. To motivate people to participate, each person that entered has a chance to win $100 worth of a Whole Foods Gift Card. Each person could also gain another entry by following them on Twitter and Pinterest.
By linking their social media channels to one another and by making their customers their ambassadors, they were able to eclipse their growth expectations. Their Facebook page now has 10,670 likes, Twitter with 1,924 followers, and 872 followers on Pinterest.
- Pic’s Peanut Butter
What started out as a stall in a local New Zealand market now exports 2 million jars of peanut butter annually. By producing peanut butter without the high sugar content, the emphasis on the health benefits of the product helped it gain more traction.
The content marketing of the brand has played a crucial role in its growth. The brand has a blog that provides excellent content consistently. The blog showcases interesting kinds of recipes, the ones that you don’t see every day, along with excellent photography. Their Instagram feed currently has over 46 thousand followers and is poised to continue growing. Pic’s Peanut Butter using Instagram is a perfect example of finding the social media channel that fits best with your brand and its content.
BarkBox is an online subscription product that sends you a box filled with dog goodies. By mixing fun and wholesome content with serious advice about how to take care of your dog, they were able to capitalize on their content to grow their business. An example would be their article, “15 Dogs Who Thought Their Ninja Skills Would Score Them Food”. The content is simple and guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any dog lover.
What sets them apart with other brands is how they tailor different types of content to each social media channel. The content you’ll see on their Instagram page is different from their Twitter page. This is what a lot of brands tend to get lazy with. By taking the time and effort to think about what type of content will work best for each channel, BarkBox was able to maximize their social media ROI.
- Lion Brand
Lion Brand is a wool business which has sold online for the past 10 years or so. Just like BarkBox, they have content specified for each social platform, but what really stands out is their YouTube channel. Their page has videos focused on showcasing their products and also provides educational videos with knitting.
Videos like these are a great way to learn and have fun at the same time. They teach their current customers how to make the most of their products while continuously providing new content for their target market.
Never belittle the potential of your small business. Hopefully, these examples above have finally shown you that you can thrive with your creativity and proper planning. Just because small businesses may not have as many resources as big companies do, that doesn’t mean that you can’t innovate campaigns to make your brand stand out.
Your brand’s creativity is what will set itself apart from other brands. Always remember to produce timely, relevant, and entertaining content to make sure you’re always in the loop!
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit.