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?
Seriously though, wonderful putting your unit together of the 6 factors. I really enjoy the fact it provides a chance for a lot more websites to become mobile friendly without having a lot of work, the best strategy. A small business can use a responsive web design theme from WordPress and get a lot of bang for the buck :)
Hi Akhtar – Agreed – I converted my WordPress website to a new responsive theme based on one called Catch Box – it’s free and I tweaked it a bit for my use. There a quite a few responsive themes in the WordPress Theme directory.
An excellent article! Content marketing is very important going into 2013. Having a mobile site is a must for any small business website, especially a local business.
Hi Adam – thanks for the kind words. Mobile is so important and being able to support all devices with one responsive theme is the best option for a small business.
Glad you mentioned optimization because without optimization you won’t know what’s working, what’s not, what’s gotten old and so much more.
Hello Sameep – Watch your analytics for updates to your keywords, what content you are missing and could add to improve your optimization and how people are navigating your site. All of it helps us get better at responding to our visitor’s needs. Cheers!
Thank you very much for sharing this information..
You’re welcome Tyrone.
Hi, Debra! Nice article! We’re especially loving content marketing ourselves for 2013!
Thanks Nicki – content marketing is an absolute must for small businesses for 2013.
Great article about how SEO is changing, and changing for the better. Alot of my SEO clients are stuck in the past and don’t understand the importance of fresh content on their website.
Hi Rebecca – yes, it’s time small business owners take control of their SEO. With content marketing, SEO happens. Add the important SEO pieces using the WordPress SEO plugin and you can gain visibility in the search engine results. Thanks!
This article is right on time, Debra, as I plan for 2013. Thanks for the reminder to focus on marketing and creating more visibility for my brand.
Hi Romona, we all need to remember that what we are doing online is marketing! Tools and gadgets are fun but if our time spent isn’t paying off in visibility and ultimately clients, why bother! Thanks for commenting.
SEO has changed with Panda and Penguin and so has how people access websites. Quality content is more important than ever as well as mobile targeting. Responsive web designing coupled with high quality and relevant content has been shown to boost traffic and revenue tremendously. Its a win win for both the customer and the business. I plan to offering these two approaches to my clients come 2013.
Hi David, SEO is definitely different in the post Panda/Penguin world which is why small business owners need to take control of it sensibly. As you point out providing quality, optimized content across any device will a lot to attract clients. Thanks for the comment.
I totally agree and this is written so business owners can understand it. We speak the same language.
Thanks Alana! Great minds think alike :)
I must agree to you, Debra. These six small business marketing techniques are totally critical to every small business to be able to meet the level of big companies. Since having web presence means penetrating the global market, it is but crucial to any business nowadays to engage into online marketing. If any business wants to succeed, that business must know these techniques by heart and practice it.
Very exciting trends! I will definitely watch out for these and see how to use this knowledge to the advantage of small businesses. While technically it wouldn’t be planning ahead anymore, here are some tips for 2013 trends. http://smallbusinessology.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/a-look-into-the-future-planning-ahead-for-2013-trends/
Print Marketing is very much needed for networking, client meetings, seminars and even when interviewing employees. Having a business card on hand can mean the difference between a sale and nothing. But besides the necessities, what does a new business, or even a business trying to reinvent themselves,in terms of print marketing? Here’s a laundry list of print marketing materials and why you need them.
This is obligatory, but you’d be surprised how many people thing they can do without them. There are several reasons you need a business card including: Physical business cards are a powerful touchpoint that amplifies the first impression. Business cards are harder to forget and can continue to make an impact long after that first initial meeting. A great custom designed business card can be a powerful part of your brand that engages the recipient and makes them want to learn more about you. It provides all your most important contact information and will drive people to your website to learn more about you. Still think you don’t need a business card?
While letterheads are used less frequently than business cards, it’s still an important piece of your business’s marketing materials set. These pieces are branded with your business’s logo, and contact information, and can be used for anything from an employee acceptance letter to thank you letters to clients.
A brochure is a sales tool that can be looked at immediately. It’s a natural action for someone to open or read something right away that’s either just been handed to them, they have received in the mail, or has caught their eye that they have picked up. Whatever you are selling or promoting, a brochure or flyer gives you something tangible that puts your business into the hands of a potential or existing client whether you are promoting an existing/new product or service. What’s more; in many cases the response to a well designed and executed flyer or brochure can be instantaneous.
Print Vs. Electronic Media
Print and electronic marketing work together; well designed print materials have the potential to hang around someone’s home or work place for a long time. Remember, many people may print off information from your web site, but will often do this in black and white ~ not bright, vivid, eye-catching color. What’s more they can easily click away from a website but a brochure can always be left lying around, meaning your potential client may be staring at your business unconsciously for quite some time, and when the time comes to use your product or service, they will know exactly where to find you. That is the power of print.
The Importance of Branding
A good brand is essential for business success. Most logos or marketing campaigns are good for around 5 to 10 years. After this time, the market changes and businesses need to change in order to keep up with a more modern image and newer company ideas. Evolving is necessary to keep up with the competition, meet consumers ever-changing preferences and, as they say, ‘Keep up with the Jones’. An ever evolving brand identity is the best way to stay relevant and fresh in an ever evolving market place. If you look at a company’s brand history, most major brands have gone through a metamorphosis. It is essential to compete in this time. Coca-Cola now is very different from the Coca-Cola of the 1950s. They have kept the same principles of their brand, but their image is constantly evolving to keep up with their target market. Apple is another brand that has changed drastically over the years. If you looked at the original Apple logo today, you wouldn’t know what you were looking at. It’s archaic by today’s logo and design standards. For them, it was absolutely necessary to rebrand in order to stay relevant and in keeping with their message of revolutionary technology.
Hope this is helpful information
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