As an online local marketing agency, our team at Local Fresh understands firsthand how the best online marketing practices continue to constantly change. Fortunately, small businesses that have the ability to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends have a variety of new and exciting ways to attract their target audience and convert clicks, likes, and shares into sales.
While providing quality content, focusing on email marketing, and developing a robust social media profile and presence will continue to provide results, new trends shouldn’t be ignored. With the first quarter of 2017 already halfway over, here are a few new trends that every local business should to consider trying this year.
Appeal to Micro-Influencers
For those unfamiliar with the concept, the term “influencer” refers to anyone that has a dedicated following that trusts and is willing to act on their recommendation. Celebrity endorsement has long served in this role for major brands looking to convert fans of a particular actor, reality star, or athlete into a revenue stream. But while not every brand can afford to have George Clooney drink their coffee on camera or pay a Kardashian enough to Tweet about their products, micro-influencers can still deliver a high rate of return for local businesses willing to seek them out.
A micro-influencer can be anyone that has the reputation and reach to sway the opinion of their audience. Whether the head of the local PTA, someone with a large and interactive number of followers on Twitter or Instagram, or a blogger with a sizeable readership, micro-influencers that have a dedicated following that align with your brand can provide amazing results. Not only are these type of influencers more affordable than those used by larger brands, their level of engagement with your brand is often seen as more genuine.
It’s not hard to imagine dollar signs in the eyes of a celebrity when Matthew McConaughey appears in a commercial driving a Lincoln or when LeBron James talks about eating at McDonalds. But when an influencer in your community talks up your dress shop or recommends your bagels, people take notice and more business follows.
Live Video Streams
Live video streaming has already made an impact in everything from the growth of eSports to how we “attend” a live concert. While many businesses were a little reluctant to believe that live video streaming would amount to more than a temporary trend, 2017 is setting up to be the year where everyone starts to get onboard. Platforms like Instagram Live Video and Facebook Live allow businesses to reach their customer base in a way that’s offers an honest glimpse behind the curtain.
With no editing, no special effects, and very little polish, live video streams offer your target audience a unique view of what you and your brand stand for as a business. Local businesses can use live streams in a variety of ways to generate buzz. Broadcasting special in-store events, sales, conducting a Q&A, etc. Your opportunity for creating a personal branding moment is nearly endless, limited only by your imagination and willingness to take chances.
While it might take some trial and error to discover what live stream approach best resonates with your audience, take the time to start testing now before your competition masters live video and leaves you trailing behind.
Paid Social Media Posts
Back when social media was a novel trend and before the average user started spending 4 hours a week browsing between their five social media accounts, businesses could excel organically building their brands on Instagram and Facebook. Those days, however, are long gone, as social networks now make a considerable portion of their revenue through advertisements in the form of paid posts.
This so-called “pay to play” financial model has influenced everything from where a business ranks in an organic Google search result to whether a story or post starts trending. While the good old days of gathering “likes” and followers may have seemed favorable to the current pay model used by Facebook, Twitter and the rest, these companies are in the business of making money so the time has come to start embracing the new normal.
You can still waste marketing dollars even if they go towards a proven advertising platform if you don’t know what you’re doing. Start small and learn the basics before you start dumping the majority of your marketing budget into paid social media promotion. Facebook ads, for example, offer the potential for remarkable reach at a fairly low cost, if you have properly optimized your campaign.
It can take time to master the advertising platforms offered by any of the major social media giants or Google Adwords, for that matter. Fortunately, our team at Local Fresh has the tools and understanding when it comes to social marketing for business, and can help your brand breakout from the competition.