It is time once again for small business entrepreneurs to think about how to grow their business in the coming year. Most have vague ideas about attracting new customers and making more money, but not the specifics of how to accomplish these lofty goals. The secret to success lies in developing and implementing a strong marketing plan.
In 2017 we saw Instagram emerge as a potent communication platform. Facebook and Twitter extended their massive reach, and consistently created new ways to reach prospects. Video is an increasingly popular way to spread a message. The Millennials’ continued takeover of the Baby Boomer’s economic power will shape marketing strategies for years to come. To build on these concepts, here are five marketing tips your small business can use to grow faster in 2018:
1. Social media marketing: Based on interviews conducted with 1000 small business owners, Infusionsoft sees 2018 as the year of social media marketing. 75% of those interviewed plan to include Facebook as part of their social media strategy. If you’re not on board with this opportunity, your competition probably is.
2. Self-publishing opportunities: While small businesses previously concentrated on building website content, the next step is to take that information and offer it to a wider audience. Self-publishing is now more feasible through outlets like LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook Instant Articles is a mobile publishing format that publishes articles to Facebook’s app that load and display faster than the standard mobile web.
3. Live streaming: If you’ve got something fast, topical or informative to say to your prospect or customer base, 2018 is the year to pick up your mobile phone and stream it live. You can answer interesting questions, showcase products, offer behind-the-scenes insights, and introduce new team members faster than the time it previously took to send out a press release.
4. Stories and emotional engagement: Small businesses previously built their reputations based on marketing and advertising strategies which were brand-driven. Consumers now seem to want to engage on more of a personal level with the companies they choose to patronize. Instead of a mere recital of features and benefits, they want to know more about the story behind the product, the company and the businessperson. Emotions will move them to action much faster than strong-arm tactics.The growth of influencers: Similar to the need for engagement, consumers are looking less to companies and more to their circle of acquaintances for information and recommendations. If you’ve seen a Facebook thread that starts with somebody “looking for recommendations,” you have seen the emergence of the influencer. This puts more pressure on you to keep top-of-mind with your customer base, and to be more active about asking them to refer your business to family and friends.
2017 was certainly a year of fast-paced marketing developments, and 2018 promises to be an even more interesting ride. Good marketing luck!