According to the article “6 Small Business Marketing Growth Strategies for 2017” by contributor Andrew Gazdecki on www.smallbiztrends.com, keeping an eye on future trends and marketing channels is a must for getting out your brand’s messages most effectively. That said, with the new year now upon us, Gazdecki recommends six marketing growth strategies that reflect the coming trends of 2017:

  • Mobile marketing. In recent years, more users have switched from using desktop computers to mobile devices for internet usage. As such, the trend for 2016 was to make sure your website was optimized for mobile browsing. But there’s more to be done. For 2017, Gazdecki recommends implementing three mobile-centric technologies:
    • Mobile apps. If you plan to optimize your business strategies in any way for mobile devices in 2017, make a mobile app. Many small businesses shy away from making an app because of the high developing costs, but there are several inexpensive but effective DIY app builders.
    • Mobile payment services. Mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet are rising in popularity, so make sure to not only offer this service, but also to advertise that customers can pay this way.
    • Mobile-only apps. Many of the most-downloaded apps of 2016 were apps that are only available for mobile devices, such as Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat. These apps provide interesting new ways for businesses to market themselves, and 2017 is bound to offer more such apps.

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  • Email marketing. This method has been around for a long time, but it’s still one of the most ROI-positive strategies available. Email marketing is meant to provide consumers with “relevant, valuable and helpful information,” according to Gazdecki, such as links to blog content or industry news, and not necessarily always just a sales pitch.
  • Data analyses. While Gazdecki does recommend having analytic tools, he cautions companies, large and small, from letting these data analysis programs make decisions for the company (though he does admit that many small businesses do not have the resources to make a truly-data-driven company possible). Instead, pair the data with you and your team members’ existing knowledge and opinions to reduce the risk of bad decision making and to get the best results.
  • Video. Approximately 60 percent of customers prefer to watch content in a video as opposed to reading it in an ad. As such, video-content marketing is bound to continue growing in 2017.
  • Blogging. Blogs have become a popular way for businesses to get better visibility on search engines, due to SEO practices. However, many companies often choose to concentrate more on SEO and less on the content of the blog. If your blog grows uninteresting or uninformative, customers will come to know the difference, and they won’t return to read it. You can better your digital brand in 2017 by upping the quality of your blogs, which could mean hiring an “industry expert” to write them.
  • Social Media. Again, here is a practice that most everyone already is engaging in, but 2017 is the year to better your social media strategies. “Even if you are creating high-quality content and regularly responding to comments, questions and complaints, you may be missing out on a lot of valuable information,” Gazdecki says. Because social media has all types of engagements, gathering data to make your business more effective is now easier than ever. Therefore, actively collect and respond to social media-based data.

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In conclusion, Gazdecki remarks, “There’s a reason that the biggest section is about becoming mobile-centric. That’s the premier trend for 2017; everything that comes after mobile is just icing on the small business marketing cake.” In addition, many of the above marketing growth strategies depend on mobile device usage trends as well, so Gazdecki’s primary tip for 2017 is to become as mobile-centric as possible.

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