It’s tough to keep up with digital marketing trends, isn’t it?
Every day there seems to be a new “must-have” app, new software programs, and new ideas about how to use digital tools to drive profits and win customers.
A lot of these trends come and go, while others become staples of any solid small business marketing strategy.
So how do you know what to pay attention to, and what to ignore? And how can you tell the difference between fly-by-night trends and new techniques that will really give your business a major boost over time?
The answer is simple: just read below to discover the top 5 digital marketing trends that are making a splash right now. We’ve cut through all the noise and have chosen trends that will win customers, boost profits, and build brand loyalty in 2016 and for years to come.
Trend #1: Make Organic Online Connections
In order to make digital marketing work for your small business, you need to get (and stay) visible to your audience. In order to do that, it’s crucial to make organic online connections by hanging out where your customers hang out online.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to be all places at once, do some research and see where the majority of your customers spend their time online. Focus your efforts on the social platforms, forums and communities that connects you to many ideal prospects. Avoid wasting time on platforms your target audience does not show up.
As you research where your customers spend their time online, always be looking for what’s next. When you catch wind of a shift from Facebook to Twitter, or learn of a new favorite forum of those in your target market, you can show up to support your audience where they hang out.
Trend #2: Keeping Content King
Content is still king and we don’t see this trend going away anytime soon.
Great content is crafted for a defined audience who has a clearly defined set of pain points. When you write a blog post or produce a video, you’re not simply doing it to sell a product or service. Instead, you’re creating content to solve your audience’s problems. You’re providing value, answering questions, educating, and connecting the dots between the customer’s needs and what you have to offer.
Delve into this trend by providing valuable content for free in order to build trust with your audience. After you have provided value and solved problems, you can invite prospects to take action and find out more about a product or service that will make their lives even better.
Trend #3: Personalizing Through Segmentation
Segmentation is a huge digital marketing trend that is helping small business owners close more sales, especially with email marketing.
When you segment your email lists based on customer demographics, it’s easier to send the right marketing message to the right person at the right time. Instead of sending the exact same message to everyone on your list, you demonstrate respect and earn trust by only sharing specific content and offers that are relevant to the recipient.
There are many ways that you can segment your audience. For example, you can put into one segment, new customers. In another segment, you can focus on customers who bought from you in a specific year.
Or, you can segment by the product or service that your customers have benefited from.
Think about your customer’s needs and how you best serve them. When a new prospect is introduced to your company, help them to take the next best step to solve their problem. Likely, it is for them to become a paying customer.
Another way to implement segmentation is through surveys. Simply ask your prospects and customers what challenges they have and what support they need. This will provide valuable feedback so that you can tailor your solutions to heal their pain.
Trend #4: Optimizing For Mobile
Do you view your marketing campaigns on your mobile device before sending them out? How does your content look when viewed on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop?
Optimizing for mobile has become even more important today, as more and more people spend more of their online time on mobile devices.
Take advantage of this trend by optimizing your campaigns for mobile. Also make it easy for readers to take action while they are using their mobile device. Users wishing to download content, make a purchase, sign up for a workshop, or say yes to an offer should be able to do so from any device. What’s more, the experience should be easy and elegant.
Trend #5: Decoding Your Data
Today, data and analytics are even more strategic and targeted for savvy small business owners.
Instead of tracking every single data point, figure out which numbers truly move the needle for your business.
- If you publish a digital magazine and your primary source of income is advertising, measuring web traffic will be a big indicator of success.
- If you make money by selling info products or course subscriptions, your email list may be more important to track closely.
- If you run a brick and mortar business, you may be more interested in tracking social media conversions and seeing how social campaigns convert to paying customers in your store.
Look at trends over time and choose 1-2 areas of your business you’d like to change or improve upon. Set aside time each week or month to review your results. Then adapt by implementing any needed changes.
As digital marketing becomes more integral to the success of every small business, we’re sure to see even more trends emerge. Stay focused on trends that will help you to solve problems for your target audience, build deep relationships and loyalty, and position your organization as a trusted authority in your industry.