It’s time!! Time to review, analyze and plan your marketing for 2016. Local marketing is one of the most powerful ways for small businesses to connect with new customers in your own backyard.

With the explosion of digital content marketing over the last few years, it’s more important now than ever that your company gets in front of your customers where they are buying products and services.

So here are 8 trends to take notice to:

1.  More Consumers are Using Mobile Devices

35% of web traffic in US is expected to come from mobile phones and tablets. We’ve seen this growing trend in our own client SEM monthly reports and only expect to increase. If you’re website is not Responsive design, you’ll be missing out as users are more impatience and likely to go onto the next search they have found.

2.  Mobile Ads are Becoming More Local

According to local media guru Gordon Borrell, mobile advertising will have “hockey-stick local growth”. He estimates 88% of all online advertising will be delivered by mobile devices, amounting to more than $24 billion. Basically, local mobile will go from $1 billion to $2 billion this year. Yep, you might want to consider this one.

3.  The Comfort Zone with Mobile Payments

Consumers are using more and a wider array of apps and tools to make payments from their phones, with a total amount of spending in 2015 at $250 billion. Businesses need to be able to accept mobile payments, period.

4.  eCommerce for Small Businesses

As consumers get comfortable making payments from their mobile devices, they will have increased expectations to be able to buy any product or service from a website. A plan to include online buying options on your website and social media channels without encountering any problems should be included on the to-do’s this year.

5.  The Influence of Social Media and Purchase Decisions

The numbers show that social media continues to support and influence the purchase of products and services, and it’s here to stay. Businesses should focus more on specific products and serves as well as highly “shareable” content to increase their conversion and reach on their social media platforms.

6.  Rise of Digital Personal Assistants

Siri and Google Now are starting to become the mobile users’ best friend when doing local searches on the run. Which means your business wants to be best friends with DPA’s too so you can be found. Getting on as many local search sites, being consistent with your content and getting reviews will all help you to be noticed with these digital assistants.

7.  Messaging to Smaller, More Personal Audience

The days of mass email marketing is over. Local marketing efforts are evolving to more highly personalized email messaging to specific segments of customers or even 1-to-1 messaging. The good news, people don’t mind getting more frequent messages if they feel you are speaking directly to them. Even multi-location businesses with specific messaging are seeing a higher conversion.

8.  Direct Mail is Not Passé

According to Marketing Profs, direct mail still makes up 43% of local retail advertising. But also noting that 76% of small business owners say that their marketing strategy combines digital and print communication so it’s recommended that this is part of your strategy and not all of it. Yes, direct mail can be overwhelming which is where personalization and creativity plays big. Using variable printing allows for personalized message customization and is more affordable than ever. Plus, taking the time to develop something that’s unique and creative to get attention is well worth the rate of return on investment.

MOVING FORWARD

For sure, this doesn’t cover the entire plethora of solutions available but it’s a start. Now it’s your turn to set a plan and take some action. Your small business can lay the groundwork for continued growth in 2016 by leveraging these trends to create consumer interest and loyalty to your brand, products and services.

So what do you see as the top marketing trends for small business in 2016? I would love to hear your ideas or what you plan on putting in place to make your business a success in the comments below!


Feeling like you may need some direction on where to start first? Ask about our Power Hour Strategy Session which will help get you jump started today. We’d love to help you succeed! 

Call (713) 240-8288