As the economy continues in recovery mode from the recent downturn, Constant Contact suggests small business owners start “recognizing the value of cultivating loyalty” and begin using social and mobile marketing tools to “bolster their bottom line.”
According to the marketing tools and solutions company, the integration of social media, local merchants using location-aware technology and mobile device usage – also known as SoLoMo – is increasing the ability of merchants to tailor marketing efforts and in turn, creating opportunity for engagement among customers.
“We live in a world that’s more social, more ‘all-the-time’ and interactive than ever before. That’s both good and bad. On the plus side, the new tools we have at our fingertips, coupled with the predisposition of our audience to engage, presents a fantastic opportunity for small businesses,” said Gail Goodman, chief executive officer of Constant Contact.
However, Goodman also noted that on the flip side, “standing out from the crowd and respecting the relationship with your audience is more important than ever.” As we progress into 2013, Goodman says the new year will bring “innovation that integrates marketing channels and helps small businesses market like big guys. “ As a result, it will be easier for businesses to engage with their audience and create “real, measureable” results than ever before.
Goodman adds, “Consumer mobile adoption will require even the smallest small business to mobile-optimize and enrich their online presence to get easily discovered, consumers will demand personalization like never before, and new measurement tools will help small businesses see the value of engaging marketing.”
Following are five small business marketing predictions for 2013:
Successful email marketing will prove to be beneficial in 2013, according to Constant Contact. While many believed email would soon die off, Constant Contact says that more people are actually expected to have an email address in 2013 than in prior years. Since consumers have more control over email and the message they receive through it, this method of communication will remain a preferred marketing technique. In addition, videos in emails will continue to grow in 2013, as will integration with social channels like Twitter.
Customers are using their mobile devices more, and will continue to do in 2013, when shopping online or searching for business information. According to a recent study from Constant Contact, for the first time, mobile storefront views surpassed Web views. Constant Contact says small businesses have “no choice but to embrace mobile search, distributing their information across the most popular apps, and featuring mobile-optimized websites so potential customers can view their information easily.”
“In-person and online events will play a more prominent role in driving customer engagement, with their full impact no longer limited to what happens on-site,” as stated by Constant Contact.
4. Merchant Deals
In 2012, many small businesses were taken advantage of by deals that were not designed for their success. However, in 2013 social sharing and third party endorsements will make loyal customers best advocates for deals.
5. Social Media
Small businesses are beginning to embrace social media and will continue to do so in 2013. In 2013, small businesses transition from passive to active when it comes to business-critical daily activity on their social media page. By the end of 2013, Constant Contact says small businesses will be using social media marketing to drive business results.