January is a time for simultaneous self-reflection and
resolutions forward thinking, and it’s no different for all you small and medium size business owners. This is a chance to do a retrospective account of the last year and prophesize on what can be done this year to grow your business and keep you ahead of the curve. The landscape for small businesses will appear similar to 2014, but increasingly affordable digital solutions will mean adopting new marketing and branding strategies in 2015. With this in mind, we take a look at ongoing small business trends that are going to affect your company and brand visibility in the upcoming year. Here are 4 Small Businesses Trends to Pay Attention to:
1 – Content will be King
Content Marketing is far from a new trend in 2015, but we can’t stress enough its ever-increasing importance for growth. Consumer demand for authentic, engaging and informative content will only increase this year and your ability as an SBO to have meaningful interactions with your customer base will be one of the factors that dictates the success of your brand.
Video marketing, in particular, will be on the rise for small businesses born in the YouTube era where the cost of video marketing has dropped dramatically, and the benefit of a personal and strikingly visual relationship with your customer that a video can provide is increasingly significant.
2 – A Mobile Site is Crucial
This is 2015, and if the majority of your customers don’t already have a smartphone, they will eventually. The prospect of having a customer desperately scrolling around your website on their phone screen is not only inefficient, it can result in the death of an otherwise healthy small business. As many as 30% of users will outright abandon a sale if the shopping cart is not optimized for mobile viewing. “Mobile-friendly” sites not only increase customer satisfaction but optimize your search engine visibility and allow for increased data collection and mobile analytics. A mobile site is as close to “must-have” as you can get for SBO’s in the upcoming year.
3 – Data-Driven Analysis
Hand-in-hand with our previous point on mobile optimization, is the increasing relevance of data-driven analytics for SBO’s. Affordable and easy-to-use analysis tools from Google, IBM, Microsoft and others will offer SBO’s the opportunity to do away with guesswork and become more strategic about where and when they are willing to allocate resources.
Read More: How Small Business Can Embrace Big-Data
4 – Targeted Marketing is the New Norm
Likely the most significant of small business trends going into the new year will be the prevalence of targeted, “customer-focused” messages vs. the “product-focused” messages of the past. As the points above illustrate, 2015 will be a year for SBO’s to work smarter, directing personalized content at an already identified customer following. This alternative to “blanket advertising” will allow small ventures and start-ups direct marketing and advertising resources where they are most advantageous in a way previous realized only by larger companies. Knowing your customer base and being able to capitalize on this knowledge is another key factors in determining your success going forward.
If all this seems a bit intimidating just remember that one last trend is that 2015 is shaping up to be stand out year for entrepeneurs, startups and small to medium sized ventures. Growing your livelihood has never been so accessible.