8 Sharp Digital Marketing Hacks That Small Businesses Need To Look Out For In 2017
Small business marketing used to seem simple. Putting out an ad in the local paper was basic. However, marketing has largely moved to the internet today. Digital marketing is even increasingly necessary for really small businesses. In fact, many new small businesses operate almost exclusively online.
Since technology and the web are constantly changing, digital marketing trends are too. To stay relevant as a small business, keep up to date with the latest digital marketing hacks. Start with these 8 hacks for small business marketing in 2017:
1. Get Mobile
As increasing numbers of people rely on smart mobile phones for multiple purposes, it’s essential for small businesses to optimize all of the web content for mobile viewing. Local restaurants will look outdated by the end of 2017 if customers can’t read the menu easily on their phone.
Not being able to find store hours, search for products or contact customer support through a mobile device will hurt a business’ credibility. The modern consumer expects business info to be accessible anywhere they go.
2. Build an App
Besides optimizing websites and content for viewing on mobile phones, it’s a current trend for businesses to offer their own mobile apps. Some apps offer coupons or news updates to customers. Others may allow users to order electronically, save prospective purchases, and more. There are even apps that will blend brands into games or activities.
Any and all of these types of apps get your small business brand in front of customers daily as they use their phones and see the icon. They can also boost consumer satisfaction with interactions with your modernized business.
3. Email Relevant Info
Somehow, many marketers and businesses have come to believe that email marketing is on the way out. On the contrary, email marketing is on trend in 2017 and will likely remain effective for many years to come.
What makes email marketing so important? Unlike social media marketing or advertising on web pages, email marketing is something consumers choose for themselves. Consumers either subscribe to your email list or give you their email address, which means they actually want to hear from your business. That means your emails may actually be opened instead of bypassed along with other hundred ads and businesses on social media.
However, email marketing will be ineffective if you use it to bombard customers with sales pitches. Consumers like to receive emails that share news, relevant information, details about local events, or coupons.
4. Check Up on Competitors
To get an idea of what’s working for competitors, whether they or local or not, use an analytics app designed to track others online strategies. This is especially useful on Twitter, where virtually all interactions are public. Use a service like Tweepi to figure out how competitors are finding success. Then adapt.
5. Get an Edge with Smart SEO
If you haven’t heard of it yet, one of the most important aspects of digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) This is the process of using keywords and other strategies to optimize all web content for ranking high in online searches. Basically, it makes your business’ info accessible and visible to consumers online.
There are many articles providing tips on using SEO for small businesses. SEO also changes over time, though. Earlier this year, Media One Marketing published an article about 2 important SEO predictions for 2017.
According to the marketing firm’s predictions, there two important things small businesses need to do to stay on top of SEO in 2017: Get local and optimize for voice searches. The research shows that search engine ranking and consumer searches are tending toward looking up info based on local listings. As a result, businesses should make sure their info is correct and linked with Google Maps, review sites, local directories, and other location-based web services.
To optimize for voice searches, small business should begin to use keyword phrases that people actually say out loud. Many people are embracing the ability to tell their phones to search the internet for info, but instead of typing a search shorthand, they actually say it out loud like they would to another person. For example, Media One Marketing suggests using “Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant in New York” as a keyword phrase instead of just “Chinese food NY.”
6. Automate What You Can
Although getting robocalls can make consumers crazy, having access to automated chatbots can be helpful. Many chatbots are basically search engines combined with customer service FAQ pages that interact to help consumers answer questions independently. Automated services like these can help save your business on time and money offering support while streamlining the process for consumers.
7. Be Graphic (In a Good Way)
You might have heard before that visual are important. In 2017, they are even more essential. Your website, social media, and web advertising must have good graphics. Online videos are included. Consumers are so overwhelmed with info online they tend to only pay attention to what immediately stands out. Good graphics stick out more than words do.
8. Test Instead of Interviewing
Often, getting some help with digital marketing for small businesses is a wise choice. Whether hiring a freelancer, a new employee, or even a marketing agency, ask for a test project instead of an interview. This will show you the kind of marketing skill prospective parties have, and, if you find one you like, you may be able to use the test project in an actual marketing campaign.
Don’t worry about tests turning potential marketers off. Many would rather show you what they’ve got than the interview. Plus, test projects are increasingly popular and becoming expected in the field.
Planning for Positive 2017 Outcomes
When you incorporate strategies and hacks like these into your digital marketing in 2017, you can expect success. To understand what worked well and tailor your strategy for more growth in 2018, use analytics software online starting in 2017. That way, come to the New Year, you’ll know which trends are past and which ones you’ll need to continue with moving forward.