7 Ways Marketing is Changing for Small Businesses
The world of advertising and marketing has been experiencing drastic changes lately.
The entire landscape has now changed for businesses of all sizes.
However, it is much harder to make your brand’s presence felt when you are a small entity surrounded by some major industry giants.
In such situations, it is essential to make way for your brand and effectively reach the masses.
To help you to achieve that goal, we bring you 7 tips to improve your marketing strategy and adapt to the new ways. (Continue till the end for a bonus tip!)
1. Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors
It is always healthy to face a certain level of competition from one’s peers.
The same holds true for businesses as well.
To gain an advantage over your competitor brands, you need to conduct thorough research.
Looking into the strategies that your competitors follow is a smart move.
While every tip and trick may not work for everyone, there is no harm in considering multiple strategies for marketing your business.
However, would it be enough to pick up only the positives and completely ignore the negatives?
An essential part of trying to gain an advantage over your competitors is to be able to learn from the mistakes that they have made.
Observe your competitors carefully and find out where they went wrong.
There are now several competitor analysis tools that are readily available, such as Ahrefs and Feedly.
2. Don’t Try To Survive As A Lone Wolf
In this increasingly competitive world of business, it is tough to survive on your own.
You need to build partnerships and collaborate with other people to grow.
While your competitors may seem like a threat to you, the businesses that are even remotely related to your niche may be able to help you explore new avenues and reach wider audiences.
There are several examples of joint marketing ventures where two brands market their products together.
One of those strategies is to offer a free sample of company A’s product with every unit of company B’s product that is sold.
You could try to come up with something similar to that and look into possible partners.
3. Build A Website (And Blog) To Cement The Online Presence Of Your Business
Technological changes have made it a necessity for every business to launch a website, perhaps accompanied by a blog.
A business website serves two primary purposes.
- It acts as a platform where you can showcase your business offerings. Your target audience can directly view whatever services or products you wish to sell to them.
- You can use your website as a platform to interact with your existing as well as a potential consumer base. A blog can help you to communicate your ideas to your target market in the form of opinion pieces or informative articles and videos. You can even ask them for their feedback on any new ideas you come up with for your business. Your customers will then be able to voice their opinions on your content by leaving comments under your posts.
There are a few things that you must keep in mind when you are getting started with a website for your business.
● The website should be light, taking minimal time to load. Otherwise, the visitor might get impatient and leave.
● Make sure that your website runs smoothly on mobile devices as well. Platform independence is important. Nowadays, responsive apps are gaining popularity.
● Incorporating support for differently-abled visitors is also a good idea. For example, you could have proper alt text available for media elements so that text-to-speech systems can read it aloud for visually impaired visitors.
Take a look at this excellent example of a blog-website combo. It is simple yet elegant and has content that is relevant to the products and services showcased on the website.
4. Post Content That Deserves To Be Posted
Setting up a basic website or blog site is a straightforward task.
The real challenge is to run and maintain it successfully.
Imagine the following scenario:
You search up the words “Lady Gaga new song free download”.
Google shows you a website with the search terms in its title.
You click the link, confident that you have found what you were looking for.
Upon opening the website, you discover that it is just a bunch of shoddily composed text with your exact search term stuffed in a bunch of times. You feel betrayed.
Websites cannot trick search engines like that anymore.
Gone are the days when you could copy content from multiple sources and trick search engines into treating it as original material.
If you “copypaste”, Google will know, and so will your customers. And nobody likes a copycat.
You need to come up with exciting content that your readers will be compelled to read. Please keep it simple and straightforward.
Add a few colourful illustrations or videos to improve the quality further.
The second important aspect of content-publishing is making sure you follow the latest SEO guidelines.
Google is the most commonly used search engine.
It would help if you made your content so good that Google is forced to display it among the top search results.
The competition may be high, but here’s the good news: Google provides guidelines on how you can make your web content discoverable.
It keeps updating its policies to make it easier for good content to show up higher in the search results.
5. Set Up Proper Online Marketing Channels
Building a website or blog site is not your end goal.
Some might say that it is the start of your marketing journey.
Visitors are not going to appear on your brand’s site magically. You need to bring them to your content.
This is where social media comes in.
Social media popularity is a significant determinant in a business’s success.
However, recently, social media marketing has transformed drastically.
Businesses now hire social media marketing experts to manage their brands’ Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and even LinkedIn profiles.
However, if you learn the basics, you can handle them yourself too.
Email marketing is another active marketing channel.
Sending out email advertisements has existed for a long time.
However, the way you decide to harness its power now is what matters.
If you craft a creative email, you will be able to effectively get your message across and get them to sign up for your newsletter subscriptions as well.
There is a straightforward rule of email marketing: NO SPAM. If someone declines your subscription, don’t bug them repeatedly.
6. Don’t Speak AT Your Audience. Speak TO Them
Another up and coming trend in the marketing world is about making things much more personal.
Give your business a human voice.
Your target audience should feel that they are speaking to a person, perhaps even a friend. Here’s how you can do that:
● If a customer emails you to ask about something, address them by name, such as “Hello Mr Brown” instead of “Dear Customer”.
● If you get a new subscriber, make sure you give them a warm welcome by sending a short but sweet email.
● Make your business as approachable as possible.
7. Introduce Technologically Advanced Marketing Elements In Your Campaign
If you genuinely want to stay ahead of your competitors, you will have to take a giant leap and take full advantage of the ongoing scientific and technological progress.
Artificial intelligence is all the rage these days. Chatbots, in particular, are the latest addition to the marketing process.
You can think of chatbots as customer service representatives, except that they are not real, and they are not humans but machines talking.
You might even have interacted with one at some point without realising it.
They speak the human language and are trained to answer customer queries. Thus, they can hold a decent conversation with the human interacting with it.
Moreover, the best part is that they get smarter with each interaction and learn over time. Consequently, they are a good investment.
Another great implementation of artificial intelligence can be seen in the form of programmatic advertising.
This is where using artificial intelligence; you can place your ads more effectively.
The underlying concept is simple.
The AI software gathers sufficient data over time and becomes smart enough to choose when, where, and to whom a particular ad should be shown.
It promotes the idea of targeted advertising instead of wasting an ad on a market segment that is beyond your business’s scope.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Fear The Change. Embrace It
Following these 7 tips is sure to help you come up with a great marketing strategy for the upcoming years.
However, you can only be sure to achieve success if you stay updated on the changing trends.
There is no reason to be afraid of the continually evolving marketing prospects.
As long as you follow the latest online marketing techniques, your small business is guaranteed to scale new heights.
Author Bio: Emily Williamson, am a Technical Writer for GoodCore Software. I’m passionate about exploring and writing about technology innovation, including software development, app development, IoT, and digital marketing trends. I also manage my blog at Medium, where I frequently share my thoughts on these topics.