The Ins and Outs of Marketing for Small Businesses in 2016

As a small business owner, you probably know all of the best ways to cut costs, including finding affordable internet services, good quality and reasonably priced email marketing …

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As a small business owner, you probably know all of the best ways to cut costs, including finding affordable internet services, good quality and reasonably priced email marketing software, and the best web hosting services for the best price – something like this offer for unlimited web space for less than $1, for example. Knowing where to cut costs and save money is incredibly important, however, knowing where to spend or invest your money and energy, especially when it comes to brand development and how to make your small business marketing count, can be just as important.

Relationship Marketing

Knowing what your customers want and giving it to them is pretty much the foundation to any successful business. This is why one of the most important marketing schemes that continues to dominate in 2016 is relationship marketing. Not many people respond to archaic salesman tactics anymore, because no one wants to be sold anything and talked at; instead, they want to be spoken with and find a solution to a problem.

Relationship marketing relies on exceptional customer service, CRM, CXM and is ultimately a long-game which engages clientele in a way that builds emotion and preferable experiences with them, therefore reinforcing brand loyalty. This is not going to be a quick ROI, but it is completely worth it because retaining loyal returning customers is cheaper and more profitable for maintaining sales goals than one time acquisitions.

Mobile Marketing

Part of knowing what your customers want and giving it to them requires you to know how they interact with your company, so that you know how best to engage them. According to a recent Google blog post, Inside AdWords, Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, made mention that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” This means that reaching this considerable population requires a mobile first approach and a new way of thinking when considering mobile marketing and consumer paths and habits.

So what does this have to do with your small business? Well, the way that browsers (consumers) interact with your company website is predominantly how they interact with your company in general. If your consumer base wants everything right now, at the tips of their fingers from the comfort of their smartphones, then you need to be willing to offer them a superior mobile experience. If not, you end up losing them all together. There are many advantages of mobile marketing, but ultimately what you need to know is that it is what your consumers want, and if you aren’t giving it to them, they will go elsewhere.

Content Marketing

Of course even if you are harnessing the power of mobile marketing, you still need to do so through engaging content. Having good content will never go out of style, because at the end of the day, people are still looking for information when they visit a website. Therefore, your site needs to give them the information that they are looking for. However, with the increasing importance being placed on relationship marketing and mobile marketing, content marketing is likewise changing to incorporate these two veins.

There are many really useful content marketing trends budding in 2016, but one area of content that is being particularly embraced is multi-media content: video content, infographics, and downloadable white papers. These options not only allow browsers to digest the content in several ways, but many of them are also interactive, requiring an active engagement from the viewer, as opposed to merely passive reading.

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