Small business owners don’t go into business to become marketing experts. For you to succeed however, mastering marketing is a critical component. Although there will be many posts on small business marketing trends for 2013, I believe that these following six small business marketing trends are critical for you to implement sooner than later.
What are the most important small business marketing trends that will positively affect your online presence?
1: No more static, boring websites
A static website that talks only about you is no longer a useful marketing tool. No one has time to read about how great you are if they don’t know what you can do for them. Instead, transform your website into a useful tool that helps your prospects understand who you are and what you can do for them while making it easy for them to contact you.
To make this transformation, add content marketing to your plan. Creating quality, relevant content attracts your target market and positions you as the expert in your industry. Whether you like to produce content or not, you must find a way to create information that helps your customers. How you provide this information will depend on your target audience. Just make it easy for them to acquire and consume your content.
By providing helpful content, you:
- Educate your prospects
- Capture their attention
- Earn their respect
- Gain their trust
When someone has figured out that they want to work with your company, respond quickly to their inbound requests. This will continue to build the relationship with them that you began with your content.
2. Fresh content is mandatory to online marketing survival
A content plan and editorial calendar helps you create a road map for what content you will develop over a period of time. Whether you can plan for 12 months or a few weeks, planning ahead helps you to not waste time trying to figure out what content to produce and in what media – text, video or audio. You might want to check out the Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin to plan your blog posts.
3. SEO is the responsibility of the small business owner
With the changes to the Google search algorithms over the last year, old style SEO no longer works and in fact, there are many SEO techniques that if you keep doing them will kill your visibility.
The best thing you can do is learn a little about SEO, what works and what doesn’t. Then you can decide whether you should hire a local, reputable marketing company to help you or do it yourself. Start with on-page SEO for your WordPress website. Install a plugin called WordPress SEO and spend some time learning how to use it. This robust plugin helps you walk through the SEO process for every page or post on your website.
4: Support mobile visitors
Mobile is how people are using the Internet now. Get ready to support mobile access to your website so you don’t miss out on this opportunity. Most small businesses will not be able to afford having both a browser website and a mobile website designed and developed. If you transition your website to a responsive theme, you can support all devices easily.
Responsive web design responds to the size of the device being used and there are many free and premium responsive WordPress themes available. Although a responsive theme may not be the right choice for all websites, the benefits of responsive theme design outweigh the negatives. Therefore, it most likely will be the most popular small business solution for mobile support.
5: Email marketing is not dead
Have you developed an opt-in email list for your business? Email marketing complements your online presence. It enables you to reach people who have proven they are interested in you by signing up for your email list. Make it part of your content plan to create a valuable product such as an ebook, whitepaper or useful tool, that people get for free when they sign up for your email list. Then develop a content strategy that continues to help your list with problems they have. This continues to develop a relationship with your subscribers and attracts those interested in your business.
6: Web presence optimization is the future
Web presence optimization helps you consistently increase the digital footprint for your business. Expanding your presence onto the proper social media sites:
- Creates more visibility for your brand
- Enables you to network with people online in addition to offline
- Attracts your ideal client through useful information and tools that help them solve a specific problem
Review your presence on social media sites and determine whether you need to focus on fewer or expand your presence to other platforms. New sites such as Pinterest, offer visual businesses with a simple way to share their work via a Pinterest business account.
Can your future clients find your business online?
Evaluate your business based on these six small business marketing trends and determine whether you need to do something drastically different. If you are stuck in a rut of online marketing with a dated website, no mobile support, an expensive SEO firm asking for more money and little to no fresh content to help your prospects solve a problem, then it’s time for you to take control.
How will you take control of your online marketing and reap the benefits of these trends in the new year?