April 05, 2017
It's nearly impossible to keep up with new marketing trends these days--much less have the resources and time to build them into your marketing plan and execute on a small business budget.
This year, instead of trying to do it all, choose just a few new things to try, even if they aren't new in the industry (hello, guest posting). A refresher may be just what your plan needs to boost engagement, impressions and overall marketing success.
Video marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of the industry, with 65 percent of marketers planning to increase their mobile ad budgets to account for video (Hubspot). This year is a great time to test your video marketing chops and see what excites your specific audience.
There are a variety of video options small businesses can try, regardless of the size of your budget. Here are two to consider:
If you're able or ready to spend a significant amount of money, also consider drone videography and testing YouTube ads.
Guest posting gets a bad rep thanks to "spammy" outreach and poor link building practices. However, I've now successfully run three guest posting programs and, as I explain in this article for Bitly, it's actually one of the best ways to get high-quality content for free. If you do it right, you'll get free blog posts, from experts in the field, on a regular basis.
Not to mention, it's a great way to get high-quality links back to your website if you choose to write a blog post for them as well. Still, guest posting is only valuable when you follow a few basic, but important, rules:
Create guidelines to ensure the work that's coming to you will need as minimal editing as possible. You'll slowly build a pool of authors who are good writers, passionate about the industry, and can contribute more regularly.
Email marketing is still one of the best methods for reaching customers and staying front-of-mind. In fact, a shocking 80 percent of marketers said email was their primary channel for lead generation, according to Mailigen.
To keep customers interested, it's important to send a mix of emails--not just sales-based. One too many sales emails will cause subscribers to lose interest; soon enough, they'll delete any email from you without reading because they don't want to hear another sales pitch.
Here are a few new types of emails to send:
Coupons, or online discounts, are a great way for small businesses to drive new and recurring customers. In fact, coupons have the potential to increase monthly revenue by up to 40 percent, according to a November 2016 survey by CouponBox. Surveyed retailers reported earning $29,435 in monthly coupon sales.
However, if you don't distribute your coupons and announcements about discounts well enough, they won't be effective. What good is a BOGO deal if no one knows about it?
While adding a banner to the top of your website is smart, there's more you can do to drive coupon-based sales. Here are a few ideas:
Companies like Hubspot make it easier than ever to set up drip email campaigns. These allow you to stay in touch with every potential and current customer, whether they've just signed up to receive announcement emails or purchased a product.
The set-up process is simple: You create a variety of tracks for each type of potential or current client, and set a timed email flow that automatically delivers the correct email based on parameters you've selected. For example, a free trial campaign may look like this:
Whether you're interested in video marketing or plan to expand your email marketing portfolio, 2017 is the year to do it. Ever year it gets increasingly harder to stand out among a crowded group of competitors, especially with small business budget and resource constraints, but being forward-thinking with marketing is the one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the rest.