The New Year is here. What’s going to be happening in the world of small business marketing? Google of course, as well as personalization, more automation, voice optimization, and video creation. Here are five trends to jump on board with in 2019. Your future succeeding business will thank you for it!
This one is a pretty safe prediction because Google My Business is already huge. An optimized business listing allows Google to serve up a snapshot of your business in search results, which empowers users to make decisions about engaging with you before they even visit your website. A Google My Business listing is a gift from Google to every business owner out there—you can add a description of your business, photographs, customer reviews, your contact information, your website URL—pretty much every piece of information you’d like to put in the hands of your customers. It doesn’t cost you a nickel and it gives you an immediate and powerful online presence. Any business looking to get found online and attract more customers in 2019 should have a Google My Business listing.
There was a time when bigger was always better but these days, the trend has slowed and maybe even reversed. Customers today want to engage with people, not companies. They want an approachable expert who knows what they’re talking about and cares about them personally. Businesses that succeed in 2019 will be those which represent themselves as characters or personalities. Small companies have the advantage with this one.
Everybody wants what they want when they want it— immediately if not sooner! Whether it’s two-day shipping from Amazon Prime, the express line at the airport and curbside pickup at your favorite restaurant, the expectation is that things will happen instantly. That’s not always going to happen, of course, but customers expect the absolute minimum of delay, particularly in their communications with you.
We accept that it will take a couple of days to get the builders out to the house to put on the new deck, but when we call the company to set up the appointment, we want that setup to happen NOW, not after 20 minutes on hold. Businesses need to honor that expectation by using live chat and automation to shorten wait times and reduce the barriers to communication.
It’s been five years Google shared their long-term strategy—to make voice search the primary method by which people get information. They aren’t quite there yet, but voice search continues to grow in popularity. In 2016, about 20% of searches on Android smartphones were voice searches…and experts expect that by 2020 it will be 50-50. This trend will continue, and optimizing your business listings and website for voice search will be an important job in 2019. This means pursuing SEO best practices, as well as pre-emptively answering the questions that your customers will ask with their voice—which may be different from what they would type in to get the same information.
A lot of business owners recognize that video is important but are reluctant to get into it because it seems difficult, or out of their comfort zone, or just isn’t something they know much about. Those concerns are legitimate, but there’s a secret to video marketing: it doesn’t matter if it starts out kind of crappy. You don’t have to be professional or perfect for video efforts to get traction for you with potential customers.
You do want to improve with time as you learn from what you’ve done, of course, but every YouTube star out there began with amateur-hour stuff. The important thing is to get started with something, anything, just to get your strategy going and you can iterate from there. You’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t, and as you build up a library you can use your results to figure out where and how you should scale up. Like voice, video is growing explosively and will only continue to grow, so get on board.
There you have it—five business marketing trends to align with in 2019. For help with the creative aspect of your 2019 marketing, download our marketing calendar below.