Top trends in digital marketing for small businesses
By ATB Financial 8 May 2019 4 min read
A core piece of building and growing your business is a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy. As a small business, digital marketing is especially important because it allows you to target the niche market your business would like to reach. With the help of our digital marketing panel at the ATB Entrepreneurial summit, we’ve assembled seven top digital marketing trends for this upcoming year. Take a look! Who knows, they may just become key components of your new and improved marketing strategy.
Social media is used best as a vehicle to drive conversations rather than to deliver a one-way pitch. Try leveraging social media to engage with your audience and determine their wants and needs. By doing so, you’ll be able to ask and answer consumer questions and create engaging subject matter as a result. Neil Smith, ATB’s senior manager of digital conversions suggests actively “finding ways to listen to your customers.” You’ll reap the benefits of listening as increased consumer loyalty and trust in your brand.
Try something new
With many businesses active in multiple digital channels, it’s harder than ever for your content to rank highly. A number of platforms have begun to recognize their own larger user base and increase what they are charging for paid ads. While this may not sound promising, it provides a unique opportunity for your business to rank on a platform where there a fewer players. Karl Yeh from Brookfield Residential suggests that YouTube, Reddit and Taboola are currently being underutilized and can be relatively easy to rank on. It’s important to research where your target audience is online. Your potential customers may be active on all of these sites or none of them. If your customers don’t regularly access a site or app, you’ll probably want to focus your marketing efforts elsewhere.
Videos have remarkable reach; they’re shared 12 times more than both links and text combined. Not only can videos be used to develop strong emotional connections with viewers, they also offer you the opportunity to employ storytelling as a part of your digital marketing strategy. But no matter how effective they are, you’re usually still paying to post a video ad. It’s important to make sure you’re distributing your video content efficiently, in a way that will engage your target audience without costing you a fortune.
Let’s compare YouTube and Facebook as an example. An audience that consists of active Youtube viewers provides an opportunity to leverage paid YouTube ads, which are known to be relatively inexpensive. On Youtube, your business is only charged if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of your ad. In contrast, Facebook charges you if the viewer watches only three seconds of your ad. Consider the costs associated with video advertisements on different platforms before making a decision about where to market your business.
Tell a story
Even more than on selling your product, your business should focus on answering the question: what story do I tell to make people happy? Tyler Butler, a senior manager of external communications at ATB, suggests that great storytelling is key to promoting your business. You may want to re-think the way you tell your stories. Remember, stories can be told through almost any medium as long as you follow the best practices for each different format and platform. Continuing to share your stories allows potential customers to connect with your business on a personal level, and as a result, develop a strong sense of loyalty to your brand.
Email marketing should be used to build good relationships, and the best way to do this is with relevant, high-quality content. None of us enjoy seeing our inbox crowded with spam-y emails. In Neil Smith’s words: “if you deliver good content to people, they will continue to open your emails.” Email automation is a great tool for delivering timely information to a large audience, helping you scale what you are already doing well, and gathering information to differentiate between the emails your customers are opening and the emails that are going straight into the trash.
Optimize for voice search
According to Andrea Gibson from the marketing agency Vovia, an increasing reliance on GoogleHome, Alexa and Siri means that voice search is a huge trend on the horizon. It’s predicted that 50 per cent of all searches globally will be done through voice search by 2020. In order to optimize your existing content for Siri, focus on answering questions your audience is likely asking. By creating a series of FAQs, your business can begin ranking based on voice search. While your audience’s questions might be lengthy and detailed, your answers should be specific and to the point. Your business’s website will also perform better on voice search if your site is quick to load and the URL starts with ‘https’. Once you implement these tips, Siri and Alexa will be promoting your business in no time!
Although there are many marketing opportunities on the rise, these ones discussed by our digital marketing panel at EMERGE are some great places to start. Entrepreneurs, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!