This year has shown us just how important our online marketing is!
Based on my watching trends, doing marketing myself and for my clients and watching what works, what doesn’t and what did and doesn’t anymore or vice versa, the following are areas I will say small businesses need to be all over right now!
- Google my Business
Yes, I’m mentioning this again.
Because it is such an important FREE tool you can use to help make your small business FINDABLE on Google searches!
If you haven’t already set up your “google my business” page – then do so TODAY peeps! And start treating it like social media – post to it – put your best content on it.
Why? Well what I’ve seen and experienced is that since the demise of Google + which shut down in about May 2019, Google has put a whole load of focus on Google My Business as it’s answer to a social media platform.
It’s an online directory for local business. Want to be found locally, then this is the place you need to be putting your time and energy into!
Some of the most compelling reasons why you need a Google My Business presence:
- It’s Free.
- Helps Customers Find Your Physical Location.
- Better Search Visibility.
- Displays Useful Information.
- Another Communication Channel.
- Encourages and Actively Respond to Reviews.
I recently had a new prospect reach out to me and said “I just had to ring, every time I google X you keep coming up. I can no longer escape you, so I’ve picked up the phone and called!”
So, priority number one (although, let’s be honest, I’ll probably say that about all 6 points) is Google my Business.
How do you start, just google, Google My Business! If you already have a Gmail account, you are halfway there!
- Voice Search
This has already taken off, but I can absolutely guarantee you, these devices will be hot on the Christmas list for households without one this year!
What am I talking about? Voice search devices like Google Home, Amazon Echo with Alexa and the one many of us have in our pockets Siri by Apple!
We have one, every morning my children ask,
“Hey Google, what’s the weather going to be like today”
“Hey Google, can you set a timer for 5 minutes please”
We are only going to see the rise and rise of voice search marketing.
What does this mean for small businesses? Well frankly a lot and probably worth me doing a whole blog post or podcast in itself.
But I predict voice searches like “Hey Google, what’s the best pizza in town X” are going to become more and more common.
So, and this is going to be harsh, if you don’t have a website already, if your website does not have great content on it that is in the language of your customer that solves their problems, then you are behind the eight ball.
If you don’t already have a website – get one. Building your brand, your business, ONLY on social platforms that you don’t own the real estate of, not a good idea.
All you might need is a fabulous one page website, with that great copy/text/content on it that is in the language of your customer that solves their problems. There are so many companies offering do-it-yourself drag and drop websites that you can easily set up your Web presence. You just need a few clear photos, and that “google grabbing” wording, and you are on your way!
PRO TIP: If you don’t already have your website set up, and you aren’t marketing outside Australia, look for an Australian Domain company that can provide you with your .com.au domain name – many overseas companies will only give you a .com domain.
Voice search is not going away and if you’re honest and look at your own or your family’s habits, you’ll see that you or they are even starting to trend that way.
- Conversational Marketing
I have been banging on about this for about 3 years now. So, it’s no surprise that it’s this style of marketing has only gotten bigger this year!
I will say it again, loud and proud, HUMAN TO HUMAN – H2H, this is what we need to be marketing to our prospects to show that we are human and that we know they are too!
Marketing is no longer about telling someone how good you are, how long you’ve been that good for and how they need you.
Marketing is about having a conversation with them, telling some stories, letting them get to know you – yes YOU! And leading them down a funnel path that results in them not being able to resist you and/or your services because they know you and you alone, can solve their problems or delight them.
My best tip for this style of marketing?
If you wouldn’t say it to another human, in those exact words, then don’t write it as a content piece in your marketing!
Get personal too. Do personal marketing. Maybe it’s a piece of direct marketing – direct marketing is where the marketing is 100% personalised to that person. A birthday card, a book sent to them you know they’d like, an personal invitation to attend an event that’s personal, a video sent when they join your world, a DM on Instagram saying, “thanks for the follow, have a great day”, a direct message on LinkedIn, saying “thanks for connecting” or “would you like to connect”. Maybe send Christmas cards or a Thank You card… it’s all PERSONAL MARKETING!
One of our best pieces of marketing in my retail days, was something we sent in a bright pink envelope with a handwritten note. I have no doubt we had a 100% open rate, who gets snail mail or pink snail mail these days, but we also had a 95% take up rate of the offer because it was SO personal.
The businesses who get this, will win more!
Oh, and, yes, you really do have to keep showing your face and your team’s faces if you have one.
If you’re afraid of the camera, I’ll tell you these two things that can help you: 1. Filters and 2. It’s not about you, it’s about your customers and how you can serve them.
So, my advice is basically, those who are marketing conversationally, will win more business because humans interact with other humans.
Sorry not sorry!
Video is king and it has been for many years, and it is NOT STOPPING NOW!
Video intensifies your ability to build authority as the go-to person in your industry and it also quickens the “know, like, love, trust” factors that people need to feel before they’ll do business with you or become a loyal customer or client and one of your best piece of marketing – the referrer!
I’ve spoken about video many times on my blog and podcast before. And I pretty sure I’ve shared this story, but I’ll do it again!
About 18 months ago, I was at my mastermind complaining to my business bestie that I hate video. I hate myself on video, I hate the way I look, the way I sound, blah blah blah.
His advice, swift and to the point (and a dagger to the heart), Jenn you look and sound the same to me on video as you do standing here complaining right now. It’s only you who thinks you look different or sound different.
#truthbomb – boy did that one hurt. But it’s so so true and one of the best/worst pieces of advice I’ve ever had.
So, if you are interacting with people face to face, whether it be 1 or 200, the way they see you, the way they hear you is the same if you put yourself on a video.
I’ll pause for affect – let that sink in.
I hope that little pep talk will get you doing more video from today onwards – don’t wait any longer!
And as a little nudge, here is a simple challenge to help you get more comfortable with the video aspect:
Set yourself a goal – do a video every day from today for 30 days. Post them. If practice makes perfect, then you’ll smash out videos like bunnies soon enough.
- Insights Driven Marketing
Businesses owners who use their analytics and insights to drive their marketing will win bigger and better and quicker going forward.
If you have google analytics, or you are on a social media platform you have access to insights and data that can really help you up level your marketing and build strategies you know will work.
Therefore, making marketing easier, simpler, more strategic and, what we all want, have a better return on investment.
If you look at your insights and see that you audience is more engaged on Friday nights, then heck post great content on Friday nights.
If you can see from your Google Analytics that you have a big bounce rate on a particular page of your website, investigate why that is – Is it load speed? Is it because it’s not what they are expecting?
If you see from your email marketing analytics that you have a bigger open rate when you use emojis in the subject line or when you send something out on a Sunday, then what are you doing sending an email out on Tuesday?
Use all the tools at your exposure to marketing strategically. Those who are DOING THIS NOW are the ones you are admiring their growth in business and wondering how they did it!
- Influencer Marketing
Having someone else tell your audience just how amazing you are, or how amazing your product is, is worth it’s weight in gold if done right.
Having someone else help build that know, like, (or love) and trust factors is almost priceless.
I know Influencer Marketing as a bit of a bad rap, but we honestly need to stop thinking about it as ONLY paying a celeb or high profile social media “star” to show your product.
Instead, Influencer Marketing in the small business space can actually be:
Your customer who tagged you on Instagram when they took a photo of your product.
The amazing staff member you have who always shares your stuff on their socials or to their friends.
That customer who is always referring you new business!
92 percent of people trust other consumer recommendations over business advertising – so this small scale “influencer” trend is something people really connect with (which harks back to the conversational H2H marketing I wrote about in point 3!)
Big companies paying for Influencers is a trend that will grow. However, it won’t necessarily be looking for celebs, they will be looking for people with seriously engaged, perhaps smallish, audience.
But, as small business we can still apply this same logic. Instead of paying the large following social media darling, small business owners need to look at influencer marketing on an even more micro level, by looking at who we have in our world doing it already or how we can encourage it. Ask yourself – how can you encourage your customers to tag and share what do you or what you sell more on their social platforms?
Definitely a strategy to give weight to!
So that’s it – 6 of key marketing trends you need to be tapping into right now!
- Google my business page
- Voice activated marketing
- Conversational, human to human marketing
- Insights driven marketing
- Influencer marketing
Got questions, comments, thoughts, ideas – well I’d love to hear them all. Drop a comment below, or if you are keen to get chatting with some other Small Business owners, head into the Facebook Book, Like Minded Business Owners and tell or ask away!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast