Coming up with yearly marketing goals is a huge hurdle for every business. And small businesses in particular are faced with added constraints—limited time, budget, and resources.
The team at Infusionsoft works exclusively with small businesses. They've seen first-hand what marketing trends are worth investing in, as well as the current opportunities many small businesses aren't yet capitalizing on.
We asked Carey Ballard, Director of Content Marketing, and Jake Johnson, Senior Managing Editor, to give us their insights on what the most successful small businesses are doing to ensure 2017 is the best year yet for achieving their marketing goals.
Analyzing the latest marketing trends
Successful marketing outreach shouldn't be about throwing all your brilliant ideas against the wall and seeing which ones stick. It takes deliberate planning, monitoring, and analysis to get to the point where you're ready to start implementing your strategy.
As both Jake and Carey point out, building personal relationships is the foundation for connecting your customers to your company vision. From personalized emails to targeted social media engagement, intentional outreach is key.
Perform an audit of your email and social media communications. Are you personalizing your follow-ups? Are your tone and voice consistent across all platforms? Aim for cohesion so that your content is easily identifiable as your brand's.
You can simplify this process by creating a voice and tone document that codifies your approach to written communication with your external audiences. Make sure to share it with your team members, so that your entire organization is aligned.
After you've built trust with your audience on social media, create a "lead magnet" (like an ebook, discount, or video) to get more information from your followers. Then, you can send them relevant content that will lead them further down the sales funnel.
Taking advantage of missed opportunities
Fear of missing out is a huge motivating factor for any business, especially if your competition is making strides while your marketing ideas seem to be stagnating. Because so many marketing trends are fleeting, how can you know which ones you might actually be missing out on?
Technology plays a huge role in how people interact with your brand, whether they’re reading a blog post on their desktop or checking out your pricing page on their smartphone.
It's no surprise that Jake and Carey encourage utilizing the latest technology to support users' experiences and encourage prospects to become full-fledged champions. And perhaps more importantly, companies that think beyond the desktop experience facilitate a more effective sales process.
Start thinking of simple ways to formalize your sales process. You might not have a big sales team at your disposal (that "team" might just be you, in fact!), but that shouldn't deter you from laying out a detailed structure that supports your ideal vision of the buyer's journey. This will give you a deeper understanding of the marketing resources that you should be creating.
If your site isn't responsive to mobile devices, you're potentially alienating a huge portion of your customer base. The stats Carey shared are only going to grow exponentially with time, so allocating resources to ensuring every user can interact with your site—regardless of how they view it—isn't just a nice-to-have: it's a necessity in the digital age.
Looking ahead to the future
No one likes overly aggressive marketing communication. Audiences today want a brand experience that's genuine and honest. So how do you make the outreach process feel authentic and friendly without verging into the "pushy" territory?
In the coming years, technology will continue to pave the way for humanizing online business. With video, the people behind your product become familiar faces, making your brand feel more trustworthy.
Thankfully, building a studio isn't a prerequisite for creating high-quality videos that connect with your audience. In fact, you can easily create a professional-looking video with your smartphone, if purchasing a more expensive camera isn't feasible.
And when you start pairing those videos with marketing automation? That's when the real magic starts to happen.
Emphasize human interaction in your follow-up communication, then take advantage of tools like video voicemails and one-to-one videos to solidify those connections.
Use marketing automation to simplify the follow-up process and deliver personalized content to your customers.
What marketing trends are you hoping to capitalize on this year? Are there any new marketing opportunities you're excited to try out?