A New Year, a new marketing focus?
This 2020 the goal is the same as always - the customer. Engage with them, reach them and keep in touch with your existing ones. Whilst new technology and platform changes are inevitable, it can be useful to understand what trends are on the horizon.
As a small business, it can be difficult to take on board all of the emerging trends so here are my top 4 that you can look to embrace in 2020.
Private Messaging Apps.
You may have heard me talk about this previously - how we're moving from public posting of content to more private, focused groups.
Stats for the use of private messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger are huge, billions of users have signed up and this makes it an important area for marketing folk to consider.
Whilst these types of apps can blur the lines between customer service and marketing, its an important area to have as part of your strategy.
Customers want to be able to contact the brands and companies they buy from. It helps to build trust and loyalty and can service both prospects and existing customers.
Most people are phone shy (especially younger generations) and Messaging Apps help to plug this gap. Sending a message is easy and quick for a customer to do and if you can be there to reply, you are going to go a long way in building trust with that user.
Whilst smaller businesses can't afford the luxury of large scale, omnichannel strategies and technologies, they do have the ability to setup and use tools such as Facebook Auto Respond.
Messaging Apps will continue to grow in 2020 and companies of every size need to ensure they are considering this as part of their sales and marketing plan.
Reviews. Reviews websites. Endorsements. Testimonials.
Before a customer will make a purchase, they are highly like to read online reviews across multiple platforms. Positive customer reviews can increase the trust in a brand and aid in the sales cycle. What are your customers saying about you?
As a small business, it is essential that you understand what is being said about you online and are monitoring the comments. There are free tools available that should be used to record feedback - such as Google My Business.
- Consider incentives for customer feedback
- Actively seek customer feedback
- Respond to customer feedback
- Consider endorsements through other businesses or influencers
Your online reputation is important. If customers or prospective customers are using Search to find you, you need to be aware of and respond to the public feedback being left about your company.
As a company, being authentic is very important. If you're not, you are likely to get found out.
Whilst we've been bombarded with perfect looking Instagram grids and flawless selfies over the last couple of years, there is still a strong need for some authenticity. This is an area brands, and small businesses, can really look to get on board with.
Consumers are starting to cut through the glossy ideals and are responding positively to more transparent and 'real' marketing efforts.
As a small business this is a perfect opportunity for you to play to your strengths - personality and humanisation.
As a small business you will have a story to tell. Showing that story, without the gloss, will help consumers to relate to you and your company.
- Show what goes on behind the scenes
- Celebrate your team
- Share success stories
If you're worried about losing the look and feel of your grid, why not take advantage of features such as Stories or consider blogs, vlogs or podcasts to get across the more personal side of your business.
With more and more functionality coming to the major social media platforms, it is important to start considering where you are allowing your customers to buy your products.
Known as 'social eCommerce' there is a push by the major players to allow business accounts to sell their products via their Apps and platforms. For example, Instagram shopping features are a great way for users to go from browsing to purchasing very easily. A user can see product information, descriptions and pricing without having to leave the app.
Instagram shopping takes a bit of work to get setup, and you will need to have a product in order to do so. If you fall into the category of businesses that can use these features, make 2020 the year to do it.
The Big 5 - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn - are still looking strong heading into 2020. Whilst there was backlash from the 2018 Cambridge Analytica case, users are still activity using their products.
If you have limited time to spend on your marketing this coming year, then make sure you're investing your time wisely - the correct platforms and right type of content for your audiences.
If you need a hand in 2020 with your marketing strategy, get in touch and let's see how we can build your brand together.
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