Not feeling good enough with where your small business is heading these days?
It happens to even the savviest, forward-thinking small business owners. You feel like you're not going anywhere. Or about to lose your mind keeping up with marketing thought leaders. With their opposing opinions on what's the best marketing campaign for small businesses in the year ahead, being overwhelmed is the new normal.
Marketing is also evolving at lightning speed. With technology enabling the introduction of more powerful tools, a dizzying array of superior analytics is often introduced. New job roles are created. (Strategic Jedi, anyone?) A social media platform's longevity is frequently questioned. Everyone's talking about going omnichannel.
In previous years, the call to push for more value-driven content through social, emails, and websites was clearer than ever. According to a 2015 survey by Lead Pages on small business owners, nearly half were struggling to measure and determine if all those efforts were worth the ROI. The same report revealed that 41 percent use only one or two software applications in their marketing, and another 26 percent use three or four.
While giant brands are poised to invest heavily in analytics and automation, 47 percent of small businesses in the country still rely on manual methods, such as pen and paper, spreadsheets and one-off emails. Not to mention that a huge chunk of marketers are still clueless about automation.
You don't have to search far and wide to figure out how you can turn yourself into a smarter data-driven marketer this year.
At Lean Labs, we understand that it's nearly impossible to keep track of the goings-on in marketing. So we've tracked down the most promising campaigns and methods for small businesses like yours in 2016 below.
Word of Warning: You don't have to try everything at once. Experimentation is the key.
Choose Growth-Driven Design
In the Lead Pages report mentioned earlier, half of the small business respondents surveyed mentioned that they're planning to spend more money improving their websites in 2016. Wise decision. After all, your website doubles as a sales tool.
Opting for growth-driven design rather than the traditional website redesign is a wiser decision.
First, it's more cost effective. Second, the redesign is anchored on analytics and testing rather than gut feelings or your color scheme preferences. Lastly, you get to launch a new website in 4 to 8 weeks; a far cry from the usual website revamps which could take six to twelve months.
Learn more about the game-changing benefits of growth-driven design.
Take Vertical Videos
73 percent of B2B marketers are currently in love with video marketing because it's gaining them an advantage over their competition. It's high time for small businesses to follow suit. Three years from now, experts predict that 80 percent of Internet traffic will be dominated by video. All of these figures are proof that small business owners can leverage the play button as a call-to-action.
With Snapchat's tremendous growth last year, online users are becoming more receptive to vertical videos. And it looks like vertical videos are not going anywhere soon. According to Snapchat's Head of Content Nick Bell, they've seen nine times higher engagement rate with vertical videos in contrast to its horizontal counterparts.
Read on these ideas for your next video marketing campaign.
Ramp Up Your Email Collection Methods
No question about it. Email marketing remains the top digital channel with the highest ROI because it's more targeted than social media.
Although email marketing is nothing new to small businesses, aim for a longer email list this year. You can accomplish this through the following methods:
- Create 10x content that will nudge audiences to seek more 10x content from you by giving out their email addresses.
- Give out value through giveaways and free course downloads.
- Build a community and give out exclusive content.
- Create multiple opt-ins on your website.
- Spruce up your landing page. Nothing beats an ad-specific landing page in capturing those golden leads.
Find out how to write better marketing emails for your lovely subscribers in this post.
Jazz It Up With Offline Campaigns
Who says you can't add some spice to your digital campaigns with offline methods? Volunteer to speak at events in your niche, or do it guerilla-style. Go left when everyone's going right!
Use a CRM (Finally!) Tool for Marketing Automation
A more sophisticated marketing automation tool is not limited to large brands anymore. Small businesses can also take advantage of CRM to track leads in the sales funnel and monitor campaigns without using multiple tools. It also allows for easier segmentation based on online behavior, giving you the power to reach audiences with messages that truly resonate with them.
Learn how to create and use marketing automation to reduce man hours here.
Future-Proof Your Business in 2016
Whatever you're trying to accomplish in 2016 for your small business, never stop learning! There are loads of resources out there to help you brush up on what's new in small business marketing.
What's more important is for you to take action rather than putting it off later because you're not sure yet if it works or not. Testing is the new black in marketing for 2016.
Which campaign or method are you most excited to try this year?