Building a small business into a major brand is a challenge for even the most ambitious entrepreneurs. Given the immense competition in today’s world, trends shift and methods evolve with startling speed. As a result, any team that fails to keep up risks being swept away by the current altogether.
However, to help inspire you, we’ve taken a look at the latest small business trends: any company searching for ways to make waves and boost their visibility must explore these possibilities in the months ahead …
Mobile is leading the way. While millions of us use desktop computers to browse websites and conduct work in our professional lives, consumers are searching via their mobile devices more and more.
Google is splitting its search index into two separate categories. One will focus on mobile, while the other will be dedicated to desktops – and the former will become the primary one to generate search-responses.
Any businesses that fail to optimise their site for mobile devices can expect to see weaker performance on Google’s SERPs. The search giant is catering to user-demand, and with mobile traffic only growing, it’s imperative that every enterprise pays attention.
Video marketing is expected to keep growing during 2017, being a faster, more engaging mode of communication than text. Social media, in particular, is an ideal space to spread your videos, for everything from advertisements to tutorials.
Depending on your sector, you may be able to generate interest and boost shares by creating such viral pieces as ‘hacks’; showing viewers how they can make life easier for themselves, or discover shortcuts, is a terrific way to lead people to your brand.
Apps are everywhere today. Don’t think your business needs one? Think again. Having an app is a great way to build engagement and nurture stronger relationships with consumers.
Google’s App Indexing can actually crawl your app’s content, indexing it as they would with the content of your website. This means that, should anyone conduct a search that matches your app’s content, they will be taken to it in two different ways: if they have it installed on their device already, they will see an invitation to open the page in said app directly; if they don’t have your app already, there will be an invitation to install it, and choosing it will take them to their app store.
Investing in an app may not be as expensive as you imagine, and with an experienced developer on board, you can work together to build a formidable application that increases your visibility significantly.
Finding and attracting new customers is vital, of course. However, no small business can afford to provide current paying customers with sub-par service while actively wooing new ones – not only do you stand to lose those buyers you already have, but a poor reputation will only chase away fresh prospects over time.
Concentrate on developing incentives to retain customers and maximize their satisfaction. For example, create a loyalty scheme through your app, which enables customers to earn free points to spend on products or services. You may also want to hold regular prize draws for members of your loyalty club, and offer discounts if they refer friends to your brand.
Research shows it’s six to seven times more costly to attract new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Spend your money wisely and never underestimate the power of a solid reputation – after all, word of mouth is a simple, efficient, free marketing technique!
Have you thought about following any of these small business marketing trends?