Small businesses today need to be ready to pivot and change direction on a moment’s notice. A competitor may come out with a new product or marketing strategy, a new social media opportunity could become available, or the interest of the core demographic could begin to subtly shift. To help your small business continue to grow it is necessary to be able to recognize these events when they occur, and to respond to them appropriately. Here are five current trends to be aware of, and some thoughts as to how they might help:
1. The Summer Olympics: This might seem like an odd trend, but very soon there is going to be a lot of attention focused on Olympic events. Think about how you might tie them in with your business, comment about them through your social media, or offer special promotions. Sometimes marketing in a different way attracts a different audience. As they search for information about the Rio Olympics, your business might just pop up and they might be motivated to explore further.
2. Marketing on Pinterest: Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and Pinterest is proving this point. It can be helpful if your business has a lot of products to promote, or especially if it appeals to women. Use it to include product images, product usage ideas, interesting quotes, or helpful tips. Careful pinning can help increase brand awareness and draw unique visitors to your website.
3. Mobile Technology: Use of smartphones and digital devices on the run is spreading rampantly. If your small business has a need to communicate to consumers on the go, you will want to make sure your digital prowess is up to the challenge. Websites must be optimized for mobile viewing, and offers will need to be easily accessible at the exact moment a consumer has a need for your product or service. The next big trend is mobile payments. If your business accepts money from customers, this is definitely something you will need to investigate.
4. Millennials: This demographic group is rapidly overtaking baby boomers as the dominant purchasing power. You’ll have to think about how to adapt your business and your marketing strategies to specifically appeal to this group of connected consumers. If you’re not communicating to them on their own terms, they will simply move on to the next business that does.
5. Online Reviews: You may not know it, but potential customers could be checking out your business online right now. The online review is growing in popularity and effectiveness as a marketing tool. Make sure your business is listed on highly-trafficked review sites such as Google+, Yelp, and Angie’s List, as well as those that review local business in your market area, and invite customers to comment on their experience. Positive reviews will attract new customers, but you’ll also need a strategy for monitoring these sites and dealing effectively with any negative comments you may receive.