The year is quickly coming to a close and that may prompt a little bit of house cleaning for 2013, as well as planning as small businesses look forward to 2014. One area in which companies might try to revamp their efforts to grow is through marketing, but owners may need to be aware of some likely trends that could emerge over the course of the next 12 months if they really want to make their companies flourish.
For one thing, it's going to become far more important for small businesses to make sure they're using all the resources available to them when it comes to reaching consumers, and are using these in concert with one another, according to a report from Business 2 Community. For instance, companies should look into and be prepared to utilize not only marketing via traditional means, but also those in emerging areas, such as email or social targeting, to make sure that the absolute right kind of people are seeing the kind of messaging they're supposed to. Branching out into search or mobile efforts, as well, could be a boon to many independent enterprises as time goes on, and getting in on what is more or less the ground floor will likely be important.
Currently, though, it seems many companies are gravitating toward content marketing as a way of reaching a potentially wider and more engaged audience, the report said. In general, studies have shown that this is very successful these days, as consumers tend to research things online before they buy them, and more than half say that the details found on blogs have an impact on their decisions. As such, companies hoping to turn people who click onto their sites into potentially loyal customers may want to invest more heavily in this type of marketing going forward.
For those turning attentions to mobile
Of course, content marketing has been around for some time now, and many companies are now engaged in those efforts already, the report said. As such, they may be looking to branch out further, and one way in which they might want to do that is by revamping the way they present themselves to mobile Internet users. These days, many consumers use their smartphones or tablets to browse all sorts of sites, including those for online shopping, and therefore making sure a company's website looks good on those devices can be critical. For instance, if a company's site doesn't look great on a mobile browser, that might prompt users to simply visit, and quickly go back to another competitor that has placed more of an emphasis on a clean and simple mobile design.
This should also be the case for when small businesses send marketing emails to consumers, the report said. If these look great on a PC but not so much on a smartphone, then it might be a good idea to revamp them so that they work well on both. It's very easy for a consumer to click delete when they get a garbled-looking message, no matter how much they might have liked the content contained within it.
In general, the simpler the marketing, the better off a company will be, the report said. That means vibrant photos and relatively few words will likely be the best way to grab a potential customer's attention, regardless of what device they're using to view the site or email.
Owners worried about their marketing budgets may want to consider the ways they can reduce their ongoing costs instead, and that might include small business insurance policies. More affordable coverage, such as plans for liability insurance, can save companies thousands of dollars per year.