It’s 2020 and in today’s world marketing continues to rapidly evolve, with business owners and strategists being introduced to new marketing strategies every year. As consumers and their purchasing behaviours change, we also need to pivot our plans to reach them and get the right message in front of them.
As the owner of a small business, it should be essential for you to understand how the marketing arena is shifting to identify which strategies work effectively for you and your business.
Today’s emerging marketing trends have their focus on the various angles of distribution, increased technology channels, content creation, and changes in overall consumer behaviours. The rest of 2020 will see integration remain as a vital means of reaching prospects and customers via the creation of multiple touch points. However, one thing which will remain constant is our need to foster relationships with prospects and customers to gain their trust and enable repeat purchases.
Video has been king for most of the last decade. Video marketing will continue to grow in the realm of branded content, with videos on the homepage of many sites becoming more prevalent as well as on the sales pages which engage visitors. Live streaming will continue to dominate as it has been during the current pandemic. Whatever the medium or social platform, video has become one of the most popular marketing assets. We recommend focusing on content which is engaging and informative to your target market. Many small businesses find success in simple Q&A videos, how-to tutorials, webinars, storytelling and product / service demonstrations.
In today’s digital age, there is no shortage of data. The marketers within your business have access to website analytics, social media engagement metrics, email metrics and more. Marketers have access to a plethora of platforms, all which boast their own metrics and datasets for you to take advantage of. As a small business owner, you might only need to use a few, but it’s still vital to consider how each channel and platform impacts your business goals and objectives.
Data is useful in experimentation, for instance, A/B testing, which can help guide your business decisions (such as personalised marketing prospects), unearthing fresh opportunities, identifying touch points and enhancing overall customer service.
Many marketers today seem to think of email marketing as an archaic and non-viable marketing channel. Of course, while social media marketing and other rapidly growing marketing channels have pushed email marketing to the back burner, email marketing has actually held its ground and proven to be extremely useful when used to reach out to prospects and customers to increase acquisition and retention.
With so much competition out there, personalisation is critical. Consumers are no longer buying into generic marketing messaging. Not convinced? Take a look at how Amazon has used personalised marketing and how Google uses it when it comes to users’ online behaviours. Your online behaviour has a definite influence on what you’re shown throughout your online journey.
Effective personalisation has the power to create customer loyalty as well as increase the chances of a prospect becoming a customer. We recommended working to create content which is unique to your target audience. Relationships are developed when a customer feels as if they are being directly spoken to. Furthermore, by using data-driven marketing, you can identify which kinds of content is necessary to connect with your customers. Lastly, data gleaned from e-Commerce marketing efforts can also be used to personalise recommendations of products or services based on the behaviours of people who visit these sites.
Social Media Marketing.
Social media has in the past few years become more about engagement as opposed to simple vanity metrics such as ‘likes’. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are continually tweaking their algorithms to determine the right content to be served to their users. Should a social media post not engage users, it will be shown in feeds less, which of course makes it more challenging to get your message in front of your audience without the help of a boost or promotion. The effective measuring of engagement shows marketers what content works and resonates with the consumers being targeted.
Influencer marketing was said to become one of the leading marketing trends in 2019, and this is accurate today in 2020. Larger corporate companies have seen the light and are creating influencer strategies, but this does not mean that small businesses will be left behind. As the owner of a small business, you have the advantage of developing real strategies which work to foster relationships and trust with the influencers in your market. We advise starting off with a micro-influencer approach, perfecting it and then proceed to cast a wider net.
As the owner of a small business, you have to create marketing strategies which account for all the devices which consumers use. Today, close to 60% of online searches are completed via mobile devices, but there is still a large volume of people who use desktop computers and laptops. A study conducted by HelloYes earlier this year revealed the following:
There are 103.5 million mobile connections in SA.
We have 36.54 million internet users.
Twenty-two million active social media users.
94% of internet users in South Africa aged 16-64 use smartphones.
76% of internet users in South Africa aged 16 - 64 use laptops or desktops.
As the owner of your small business, you have to be able to meet your prospects or customers where they are. Ensure that you spend enough time optimising all your channels to provide unique experiences based on where your information could have been accessed along the customer journey. An excellent strategy from Adweek, as a rule of thumb, when developing your first strategy is to remember that mobile ads come first.
Marketing with a purpose.
It’s of vital importance to adequately explain the purpose behind your brand. By properly achieving this, you will craft a story which consumers want and can identify with. Purpose-driven marketing refers to the “why” behind what businesses do and is one surefire way to set yourself apart from the competition.