Do you have an “I can’t afford to pay for marketing” attitude? If you do, how’s business? Marketing is a necessary cost of doing business. It is an important investment in your success. Without the opportunity to tell others about how you can help them, you could not BE in business. Using effective small business trends help your business succeed!
To understand small business trends, it begins by assuming people regularly need to know who you are and what you offer. So start by asking yourself a simple question – Where is your 2016 small business focus? Is it on increasing email marketing? If so, you are in line with the survey results found in this recent Selligent and StrongView study.
To summarize their study, 56% of small businesses intend to focus on increasing email marketing budgets for 2016. Using email, you stay in personal contact with your prospects and customers. The next marketing activity segment getting the largest budget increases include social media, online display, mobile and search (SEO/PPC). That means that businesses will put less money into print, tradeshows/events, direct mail and radio/TV budgets.
From the survey think about your own 2016 marketing budget. Do you have writers who know how to create correctly formatted SEO content for your small business? If not, better start looking. Writers will be an even more important element of your successful business this year.
What’s The 2016 Effective Small Business Trends Plan?
This plan starts by creating connections through email with your prospects and customers. This will be the biggest activity to use to connect and stay connected with customers and prospects.
The best email messages to send are what’s called “content” emails. These messages to your list are “newsworthy” flashes of information designed to help readers solve problems, engage to maintain your brand with them or to improve their life quality. They contain the type of content that a friend would send. So, don’t make your emails all about the sale. Make it predominantly about sharing solutions to problems or “how tos” that make things better for your fans.
For example, suppose you are a holistic health practitioner. You specialize in helping women raise their self esteem. By writing content with a simple “1-2-3” step process on building self esteem, WITHOUT asking for a sale, you are giving first like a friend would do.
After you’ve developed a relationship through email, then create a following with social media (SM.) Using SM (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) provide uplifting messages about how things can improve for your target audience. Doing so, your fans will open and read your messages.
Fans WANT you to send them engaging messages. Don’t update what’s happening in your business. That’s not marketing and sometimes it’s even boring. And it can turn off your fans because there’s nothing in it for them. Give fans something THEY find entertaining, useful, or interesting to THEM. That keeps your brand pure and considered priceless to them.
What to share in your email and SM posts with fans? Be conversational, relevant and newsworthy. Think about things friends, co-workers, couples or whomever make up your predominant target market. They want information they can conversationally.
Customer Relationship Marketing
The people side of your business (compared with the “Google pleasing” side of your business) comes with customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) efforts. Once a prospect first connects, nourish and nurture that connection. Give more information and answer questions. The more customers or prospects engage with you, the better. Just keep thinking “befriend” them and develop a genuine, long-term relationship.
For example, if a prospect fills out a survey, thank them for their time. Time is one commodity that cannot be replaced. Express gratitude for their feedback and send them a coupon in an additional email for completing the survey. Or, do something that benefits the prospect/customer and compensates him or her for her time. Coupons work great. Or, pre-paid debit cards. Think about what fits your company’s marketing budget and do it.
Superior Customer-Oriented Service
2016 sees marketers offering customized programs for doing the work FOR the prospect. Customers want the company to reveal how to get the job done and will pay for you or your employees to do it. This may include coaching programs. Offer coaching workshops to your customers. They do want your help.
We encourage you to bet big on planning and enacting those plans for your prospects and customers. Of course we are here to help if you need us. If you do, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.