Oh how time flies! We are well into the year, so that means it is time to assess your 2013 marketing budget. Studies show that 89.1% of marketing executives planned on maintaining or increasing their marketing budget this year, so let’s make sure that money is being put to good use! The following are a few small business marketing trends you should invest in to make sure you are adapting to the ever-changing marketing world:
Invest in listening and responding
Social media is meaningless if you are not using it as a means of creating a two-way conversation. Audiences are looking for a way to interact with you, not just hear from you. In fact, a recent Oracle study found that people expect a personal response to a Twitter question within two hours and a Facebook question within 24 hours. The best way to address this is by having the person who makes your regular social media posts check each site hourly and respond as needed. A thoughtful, timely response means a lot to customers.
Invest in videos
I am sure that deep down you know that your company should be making better use of video, and now is the best time to start! Video is an old enough marketing trend that there are plenty of examples and resources available to help you get started, but it is a new enough trend that your company will look innovative and clever for effectively using video. The possibilities for video are unlimited, but if you are looking for a few simple ideas to begin with, check out our small business video marketing ideas.
Invest in responsive web design
Responsive web design (RWD) is a way of creating your website to “respond” to different screen sizes. If you change the size of your website browser, check the webpage on your phone, or pull it up on an iPad, the webpage will automatically adjust to fit the screen. (See an example designed by our client 4agoodcause). RWD is officially the must-have technology of the year because of all the benefits it offers – it is mobile and SEO friendly, helps build links, and it is cost-effective (you don’t need to spend money on multiple versions of your website–RWD does the work for you). RWD is a large investment, but marketing trends suggest that all companies will need a responsive site soon if they plan to keep up with the market.
Invest in blogging
Blogs are shaping up to be one of the best marketing tools available. Writing a blog proves to your audience that your company knows what it is doing and can be looked to as an expert in the field. It also helps with SEO – your blog will be full of terms relating to what your company does, thus optimizing it for a search engine. Finally, it drives people to your website regularly. Quality content is incredibly important to have, and once you have it, you can repurpose your best content and use it in newsletters, print media, and social media. You don’t want to pass up a tool that can get you all these benefits.
The most important thing to remember about your small business marketing budget is to leave some wiggle room. The nature of marketing is that it is always changing and there is continually new technology available. By saving some of your budget for the unexpected 2013 marketing trends, you will be giving yourself the opportunity to evolve and adapt with the industry instead of after it.