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8 Small Business Marketing Tips for 2016

For those of you interested in taking on the challenge, here are eight simple yet powerful marketing strategies from OutboundEngine that every small business owner should execute in 2016.


 

1. Embrace Content Marketing
When planning your business’s key messages, you likely spend a good amount of time thinking about how to promote your products, services and specials. Informing your potential customers about all you offer might sound like a good plan, but it’s self-serving and should only account for a small portion of the information you share. Content marketing is a valuable strategy that keeps your brand top of mind with your customers without overselling your business. Your audience can only handle so many posts, emails and other pieces of content that highlight the work you do. When companies continuously beat their own drum, the messages begin to feel like spam and customers are more likely to tune them out or unfollow the business altogether.

 

2. Think Mobile
If you’re not thinking about how customers see you on mobile devices, you need to start now. The numbers speak for themselves!

Internet users spend 51 percent of their time browsing on mobile versus 42 percent on a desktop or laptop.
Nearly 75 percent of Americans own at least one smartphone, and for many, it’s their main entry point to the Internet.
Facebook, the world’s most heavily trafficked social media site, reports that a whopping 38 percent of its users are mobile only.
Not long ago, the idea of wearing a watch to communicate with others and stay informed was a concept only seen in TV and movies. Over the last few years, however, mobile usage has skyrocketed, and with the continuous development of mobile tech (we see you reading this, Apple Watch wearer) businesses need to make their mobile strategy a priority.

 

3. Get Creative with Email
Don’t let having a routine stop you from getting creative with your marketing strategy. You might send emails to specific customers on specific days using specific language, and that’s all well and good, but why not branch out and try something new?

Testing out unconventional email subject lines is a great strategy to apply in the new year because it’s easy to execute, allows for simple analysis (how was your open rate on this email versus that one?) and costs absolutely nothing.

 

4. Clean Your Database
Look at all the contacts in your email list. You’ve done such a great job of building your contacts, so your work is done, right? Wrong.

Maintaining your database is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to make sure your email results are accurate. Imagine this: You try a new email campaign design and the results show an extremely low open rate. Clearly your test shows the campaign didn’t work. But does it really? If a large portion of your contacts are invalid, those results might be completely wrong.

5. Be Social
There’s no denying the importance of a strong social presence in today’s marketing world. Your brand absolutely needs to be present on major networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook alone has 1.49 billion monthly active users. That’s right, billion! B2C interactions have evolved from “you need this” (where the business drives the market) into “but we want this” (where consumers are king). Many purchasing decisions are made before customers ever step foot inside a store.

6. Pay to Play
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a number of other social media sites now offer enhanced advertising options to people who are willing to put their money where their ads are.

It seems simple enough: Pay the social network a few dollars and your company’s page, post, tweet or whatever you want to boost will get an increased reach. But what many business owners don’t realize is that paid ads on social are one of the fastest growing marketing channels available to them, and they ought to jump on board.

 

7. Share More Video
Believe it or not, about 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s 18,000 minutes of video in a single day!

Video content has quickly become one of the most readily consumed forms of media on the Internet, with social networks like Facebook and Twitter both adding native video and autoplay to their platforms. It’s no wonder, then, that advertisers are quickly jumping on board and pushing video as the dominant medium for grabbing consumers’ attention.

What does this mean for you? Get on the video wagon!

8. Monitor Online Reviews
With sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Google Review, consumers have a lot of power when it comes to making or breaking a company’s reputation. But as scary as that might sound, it’s actually a great opportunity to gain new referral business. A whopping 90 percent of consumers say their buying decisions are impacted by positive online reviews, so acquiring these reviews needs to be on the top of your small business marketing to-do list.

For the full article, visit: OutboundEngine.com

Ryan Forrester

Ryan Forrester is a 15+ year marketing veteran and marketing contributor to several websites and blogs. He is currently the Senior Business Development Manager for a vacation marketing company based in Orlando, Florida USA Ryan's professional experience is primarily in Growth Hacking, SEM/SEO, Social Media Marketing, Conversion Optimization, Affiliate Marketing. A Tennis, Soccer and Drone enthusiast he is married to Devie and has two beautiful daughters. ENTJ.