2017 marketing trends to keep SMES ahead of the pack

Marketing is an ever-changing practice, where adaptation and development can either make or break a business. Understanding and implementing current marketing trends is crucial to success. Here are top 2017 marketing trends that SME owners and leaders need to know to thrive this year:

1. Native and live videos

Video-based advertising campaigns are now the new frontier of product promotion. With videos flooding social media feeds worldwide, marketers need to adapt to this trend. Video is now on track to be the answer to many business goals this year, whether you’re looking to increase customer reach, leads or sales. Short videos, particularly those that are part of a series have become popular among audiences as they are easy to digest. Livestreaming and 360-degree videos are successful as the immersive experiences enable customer engagement. It’s crucial to integrate videos in marketing campaigns as they connect with online customers immediately and the message is a lot more memorable than static words in a newsfeed.

2. Make personalisation a priority

It’s no secret that consumers want to be interacted with on a personal level and the quality of their experience is dependent on this aspect. Personalisation means segmenting content to reach different audiences based on their preferences, habits and demographics. It also means customising your content accordingly, not only in the form of what offers you promote but also in terms of content designed to benefit your audience. If you share posts or videos that cover the benefits and features of certain products, is the selection of products random or according to what is popular with your customers? One-to-one marketing is also becoming accessible to small businesses, with mobile apps being a good platform on which to begin testing it.

3. Embrace the Internet of Things

The development of the internet has established a level of interconnectivity that is unprecedented to any other previous technological advancements. The Internet of Things is the integration of physical devices and a computer-based system. It elaborates on the concept of limitless connectivity between internet devices. The Internet of Things is expected to leverage the power of billions of connected devices. Sensors, TVs, beacons and more are all producing useful data, which means this trend is opening doors for marketers to integrate with consumers daily. The marketing implications of this concept are endless, with interaction not only limited to person to person but now also between things and people and vice versa.

4. Lead generation engine

Lead generation involves stimulating and obtaining consumer interest in a product or service and ultimately gaining inquiries as a result. A lead generation engine collects these inquiries to produce an efficient way of enhancing the way firms interpret customers. Generating quality leads is the biggest challenge for marketers, so it is imperative to be a business that excels in it. The more leads that are generated, the more prospective customers a business will have, meaning ongoing marketing efforts will have a greater reach and this will help improve ROI.

5. Influencer marketing

With the exponential upsurge of social media usage, the capabilities of Facebook and Instagram have grown dramatically. Social media juggernauts also known as “influencers” have revolutionised the way marketing and product placement is conducted on social media. Before using any influencers, define your brand’s goals, intended audience and compile guidelines which specify what you would like influencers to focus on and mention. When influencers are used effectively, they establish brand credibility and create natural ways to reach niche target markets.s

Matt Daunt, CEO, The Certainty Principle