Small business owners know the importance of focusing on business growth and customer retention.
The role that marketing plays when it comes to fostering growth and retention is crucial. For instance, 75 percent of small businesses believe that Internet marketing is ‘effective’ or ‘very’ effective at attracting new customers and in 2015 alone 37 percent planned to increase their Internet marketing spend. Further, the image below depicts the channels that small businesses deems as most effective:
With all of this in mind, here are five small business digital marketing trends you should be aware of for 2016:
1) Mobile Payments Will Grow
With options such as Apple Pay, Square, Google Wallet, and even social commerce, you need to ensure your website is responsive and adaptable. Almost 60 percent of consumers say they use their smartphone to make payments if they know they’ll receive incentive of using it. Leverage this to your advantage by ‘being where your customers are’ when they’re looking for you.
2) Google is Investing More in Local Search
Ensuring you invest in SEO, especially local SEO will help your chances of being found when a customer is searching for you. Google Headquarters is putting a lot of attention on local searches. The company recently added local searches to its Search Quality Ratings Guidelines and says local knowledge graph results will soon be editable.
To take advantage make sure you’ve listed your business with Google, are encouraging positive reviews, your website is optimized to your specific location and you’re pushing out relevant content.
3) Email Automation and Marketing
Sending out monthly emails that are both informational and promotional are nothing new. However, not all small businesses have implemented this practice consistently. With tools like Drip, Sendloop, Gumroad, and Knowtify – utilizing email automation will only increase your chances of selling more, while also giving more to your raving fans.
4) The Look of Search Engines is Changing
Know that Facebook is already working on tests for its own search engine, Twitter is being indexed by Google, and Pinterest has expanded its algorithm by incorporating ‘guided searches.’ As a result, now is the time for small businesses to make sure they have a strong presence on social media with positive reviews from customers.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
5) Increased Advertising Investment
This year companies are predicted to spend $10 billion or more in all areas of digital marketing than compared to 2015. Small businesses, too, should be thinking about how much they need to budget toward paid avenues such as PPC, retargeting, video advertisements, etc. Doing so will help your chances of generating more awareness, which fosters sales.