Marketing Trends of 2017

The marketing world is constantly changing. Our society’s attention span is used to frequent changes, so when a song “gets old,” so might a marketing strategy. Keeping up with the new trends will only improve your business and make you more relevant to the times. These are some marketing trends that are booming so far in 2017:
 
Interactive Content
 

1. Interactive content

Most people will end up getting bored reading and scrolling through paragraphs of information just to get to what they want to know. Sometimes all of that information works, but throwing in some interactive content to mix it up a bit should pull more traffic to your site.For example, if you’re a realtor and you have your own website and social media page, create a quiz titled, “What Home You Should Live In?” Your visitors will be able to take part in this quiz and may find out what home would best fit them. If nothing else, at least they had some fun. That’s the keyword: fun. Adding surveys, quizzes, and polls are entertaining and will attract more customers, clients, and visitors to your page.
 
Livestreaming
 

2. Live streaming

There’s no way you could’ve missed a live broadcast on Facebook nowadays. This is a newer tactic that has been becoming more and more popular with businesses and personal users alike. Some people will go live at a concert to show their friends and followers the fun time they’re having, and some businesses will use it to start conversations, showcase new products, or provide demonstrations to increase awareness.For example, People Magazine might go live for an exclusive interview with Johnny Depp. This is a great marketing technique, especially if you add in at the end that the article from the interview will include a list of his favorite foods and drinks. Fans will head to the store when the issue comes out and buy that magazine just to see what the live video was talking about. Any business can get creative with live streaming, and today, it’s a good idea to start brainstorming those ideas.
 
Chat Balloons
 

3. Chatbots

Yes, Chatbots have been around for a while, but they’ve just gotten much better than those tacky 90’s pop-ups. Whether you have a business that allows representatives to work at all hours and actually talk to people, or you have a robot that is so good, you’d never know it wasn’t human.One of the most impressive Chatbot platform tools is Chattypeople. This is the best platform for creating a Chatbot linked to your business’ Facebook page. You can create a Facebook message both quickly and easily without any coding or stress. The cool part about this tool is that you can program simple customer service questions and answers or you can integrate it with Shopify to monetize your Facebook fan pages. There are so many ways to make Chatbots relevant and useful. By the end of the year, everyone will be using them.
 
Girl Blogging
 

4. Blogs

Blogs are a big deal. You’re reading a blog right now! This is a great marketing technique that every business should utilize. Blogs can be updated and published whenever and wherever you want. You can set a specific date each month so that your customers and clients know when the new one will be published. This will attract followers and those people will share your blog and that will create even more followers. It’s a great way to drive traffic and communicate with your customers or clients on a more personal level. Blogs will also help set your business’ tone and voice. It’s hard to allow people to get to know you just by the content on your website.
 
Video
 

5. Videos

Using videos to market has the same intention as live videos, but they’re shot and edited in advance of going public. Videos are a great way to break up the excessive information on your website. If there is a section that could easily be explained with visuals rather than sentences, make a video. This will entertain your visitors and add variety to your information.For example, let’s say you own a stained glass company. Instead of explaining step-by-step how the process works, why not shoot a video to show how it’s done? It’ll give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at what you actually do. If your viewers enjoyed it, they’ll share it with others, and that’ll give you more viewers and customers.
 
Business Woman
 

6. Short-lived content

What is one of the most popular social media platforms right now? Snapchat. Why? Yes, the filters are fun but it has a lot to do with the short-lived content. There’s a thrill in only being able to see something from 10-seconds to 24-hours. Not to mention, the newer generations today are all about new, new, new. They get bored fast. Snapchat is the new-age way to go for your business. If you have your own company that makes crazy designs on socks, post a Snapchat telling people to screenshot your last snap to get 10% off their first order.There are a lot of other fun things to do on Snapchat and any other social media platforms that are known for their short-lived action. Take advantage, the world is just getting younger.
 
Mobile Phone Pop Up Castle
 

7. Mobile-first strategy

Updating your website and social media pages frequently is important, but you have to make sure the platforms you use work on mobile devices as well. Most people look up information, places to eat, and websites on their phones. Make sure tackle your mobile tasks first to stay responsive. Many people that visit websites that are not yet formatted for a mobile device, will leave the site and find one that better fits their rectangular touch screen.  One of the major keys to marketing is making your business easily accessible to your clients, customers, and visitors. If you have an online platform that is easy to find and use, you’re golden.
 
These trends have either just started or are just getting the attention they deserve. Either way, keeping up with the marketing trends is just as important as keeping up with your website and social media platforms. You don’t want to date your company. You want to show the world that your business keeps up with the times and will always update to benefit your clients, customers, and visitors.

10 Tips for Small Business Marketing

Free t-shirts go a long way

So you have a small business and aren’t sure how to market it? Thankfully these tips will guide you to find the best places for your business to start. Having a small business is a bit different than owning, let’s say, Apple. Apple has the resources and the workers to hire an in-house marketing team at their company to market it in any way they wish. You, on the other hand, have a smaller business. But you still need to get your name out there. There are plenty of simple, low-cost ways to market your small business and once you’ve made a big name for yourself, you could eventually have the resources that Apple has.

 
Post a Blog
 

1. Publish content

Content is key. Publishing content on your website or on your social media profiles is an easy way to attract potential customers and clients. If you don’t have the money to permanently hire someone to write the content for you, either find a business like us or write it yourself! It can be a bit much if you decide to blog and write content for your site and Facebook all by yourself, but there are ways. A simple Facebook status talking about any kind of news your company has is useful. Use your social media platforms to announce any kind of events your company will be at, and even post some pictures of your employees working. Don’t stop publishing content. It shows that your business isn’t giving up and that you’re well aware of your customers and clients.
 

Video Camera
 

2. Create videos

Creating videos is easy and so cheap it can be free. If you have a decent camera, set it up and create the video that you wish for your clients to see. The camera on phones have come a long way and there are plenty of creators who get away with creating videos with their footage. If don’t have a good camera that will display a clear picture, find a company that does. Do your research and find a place that will do it within your budget. These videos can be anything from instructional to a little behind-the-scenes action or just an introduction about yourself and your company. Videos are a nice way to break up the boatloads of information that are found within written content.

 
Sale Tags
 

3. Get Ad Promo Credits

Advertising here on the Internet can be expensive. Fortunately, ad promo credits exist. There are always discounts and coupons floating around for paid Facebook ads or Google ads. Some websites offer advertising discount codes as part of their membership offerings as well. There are cheap ways to get your name out there digitally.
 
Social Network Tree
 

4. Be a social networker

Post a status, send a tweet, and re-gram a photo. Becoming a great social networker goes hand in hand with being a small business owner. It’s almost as if it’s free advertising and marketing. Did your company just hit a new milestone? Tweet about it. Was there a big promotion? Type up a status and add a picture or two. These social media tactics will be seen by all of your followers and more. Social media marketing is a cycle of networking, marketing, and communication every day.
 

Graphics
 

5. DIY infographics

You see infographics everywhere. They’re digital eye-candy. People love to share them and look at them. Hire a designer to make you your own infographics that match your website and relate to your business. If you own a bathing suit store, use suns, flowers, shells, and warm, summer colors. This will brighten your page up and allow your visitors to have a little more fun browsing your website.
 

LinkedIn
 

6. Hang out on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great hangout spot for small businesses. You can connect with people that relate to your business, other businesses, and even loyal clients. There are plenty of articles you can read to grab some advice and you can upload some of your own content to show the LinkedIn users what you and your business is all about. LinkedIn can be thought of as a virtual Starbucks without the coffee unless you have your own already. Log on, chat, learn, and stay a while.
 

Excited Children
 

7. Online contests

Everyone loves winning. Everyone loves a free t-shirt. Those are just facts. Host a contest on social media. Instruct your followers to retweet a tweet you sent out and you’ll pick people to win a free t-shirt with your brand’s name on it. These usually work well, especially because it’s a free product. It can’t hurt and it will get your brand’s name out there with the retweets alone. It’s considered free advertising, especially when the winners wear the t-shirt to the gym. And who doesn’t love a little free PR?
 
Connecting Puzzle Pieces
 

8. Industry partnership

Partner up! Partnering up for an event or even just for a small period of time will help boost your traffic. Team up with a business related to your industry (but not a competitor). Teaming up with another business just doubles your views, traffic, and potential customers. You might even be introduced to a new target audience you hadn’t even thought of. If you want to jump-start your success, find a company to team up with.
 
Blank Business Card
 

9. Print ads

Yes, most advertisements are online now, but that doesn’t mean print is dead. Get some business cards made and maybe even some brochures. There is a plethora of companies and buildings that allow business cards to be put on display. Bring a stack to a bunch of businesses and let the beauty of the shiny cards do their jobs. They will attract a good amount of people per day. Brochures are always nice too, seeing as they’re bigger versions of the business card. Include some eye-catching pictures, just enough information to inspire the reader to visit your website or social media profiles, and some of those unique infographics. You’ll have to re-stock in a couple of weeks.
 
Winner Medal
 

10. Freebies at events

Again, freebies go a long way. Keep your eye open for conventions that your business would fit into, or even street fairs near you. Attend these events with a little booth filled with business cards, brochures, free pens, pins, and frisbees. Everyone loves a frisbee. It would be fun to have a box of those t-shirts and a wheel to let visitors spin to see if they can score one of your sweet t-shirts. Attend as many events as you can and give items away. This will keep your name out there, especially if you see someone wearing the shirt later on that day.
 
These tips should get your small business rolling. There are other ways you can get your name out, but these are a good start. It’s all about being involved and in tune with what is happening and trending.