This following article can be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/12/idUS210444896420110112
As the global economy struggles to rectify a myriad of issues, and social media marketing becomes strategically necessary, small businesses have exciting opportunities to expand in new directions this year…and beyond.
The need for trust, value and brand transparency, among other trends from last year are just as important today. The shift to mobile marketing and online reputation management require that small businesses modify their plans to overcome the competition.
Here are 10 marketing trends that small businesses should incorporate now to be positioned for success from the start.
- Building reliable brand advocates. The idea that you need tens of thousands of Twitter followers, blog subscribers, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends to build your business via social media is dead. Quality connections with those who are loyal to the business and the brand are far more helpful to spread your message than large groups of connections who disappear after the first interaction.
- Excelling in one area rather than being all things to all people. This will be a year for small businesses to focus on their unique niches and position themselves as the definitive source for information, products and services related to the specific places in the markets where they operate.
- Creating quality content as a viable marketing tool. Social media marketing and content marketing go hand-in-hand, and this is the year businesses will create useful content that adds value to the online conversation and to people’s lives. The Web is a cluttered place. Amazing content is essential to break through the noise.
- Moving more marketing dollars to social media. Statistics show that large and small companies are shifting budget dollars to social media and other digital marketing initiatives and away from print and radio advertising. Consumers spend more time online than ever and to reach them and stay competitive, small businesses need to have a presence on the social Web.
- Tracking brand reputations on the social Web in greater detail. Social media has given consumers a large platform to voice their opinions, and small-business owners are realizing the importance of actively monitoring their reputation on the Web. With dashboards and social media providers like HootSuite and Spredfast, it’s easier than ever for small businesses to develop, grow and track positioning online.
- Increase in branded online experiences to meet diverse consumer needs. Simply having a Twitter account or Facebook page isn’t enough this year. Small businesses must surround consumers with branded online destinations such as a blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, Flikr profile and so on. Consumers can then pick and choose how they want to interact with your brand. Of course, quality trumps quantity, so extending a brand across the social Web must be done strategically to maximize opportunities without compromising content and communications.
- Pursuing mobile marketing. There is no doubt this is the year of mobile marketing. While still in its infancy, mobile marketing is critical for your future business growth. With mobile advertising, branded mobile apps and mobile marketing apps like Foursquare, consumers will expect businesses to have a mobile presence this year
- Geo-targeting and localized marketing will become a top priority. Local discount websites like Groupon and local review sites like Yelp make it easy for consumers to find deals and reviews about businesses in their neighborhoods and beyond. Creating targeted, local marketing campaigns using these popular tools will become the norm this year.
- Accepting that silo marketing is ineffective. Offline, online and mobile marketing initiatives create an opportunity to lead consumers from one message to another by integrating those strategies. You can drive a significantly higher return on investment by cross-promoting branded online destinations, discounts, contests and events.
- Co-marketing to boost returns and lower marketing costs. The economy is still struggling, which means small businesses can benefit from economies of scale by partnering with complementary businesses to develop co-marketing programs this year. Promotional partnerships not only lead to reduced costs but also can lead to increased exposure to new audiences.
This year, all businesses will be experimenting with a variety of online, localized and mobile marketing mandates. Remember, even if you’re not leveraging marketing trends and opportunities…your competitors are!
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[…] quick research the other day for marketing trends in 2012 and found this great article called “2011 and 2012 marketing trends – “Be On The Cutting-Edge, Not the Bleeding-Edge”. The article is fantastic as it highlights 10 marketing trends that small business owners […]
I couldn’t have done it without the article from http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/12/idUS210444896420110112…even though I tweaks it a little.
I know this is a late post but this is an interesting entry.
Great tips, we’ll be taking them into account as we start our business.
I agree with you in regards to the importance in developing strong and loyal connections with followers and bloggers. People have this idea that social media is an easy way of getting noticed when in fact it is completely the opposite. The amount of clutter found on social networking sites is astonishing, and cutting through it is difficult and timely.
We will be looking out for more of your posts as they come out!
Very interesting subject , regards for posting . “Education a debt due from present to future generations.” by George Peabody.