3 Small Business Marketing Trends To Watch (and Take Advantage of) in 2019

Jon Clark

The world is changing, markets are too. Just when you think you understand your audience, you discover there’s a new technology that gets them excited so you either adapt or the business dies.

Here are three marketing trends you should keep your eye on in 2019.

1. Businesses Are Investing In Targeted Content

When everyone hopped on the content marketing train, it was common to see creators with accounts on a hundred social apps sharing content in the same format on all these platforms.

But that’s changing, businesses are closing some of their social media accounts due to reduced engagement.

For some that could be a dormant Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest account. The key here is to concentrate your resources on platforms with a reasonable ROI.

If the best you’re getting on that scheduled Facebook post is five likes and no referral traffic, spending money on social media management apps and graphic designers for your post begins to look like a waste.

Here’s how to rejig your strategy for 2019 so you produce content that’s targeted:

Do A Proper Review

If you’ve already used content as a key part of your marketing strategy in previous years, you should assess what worked and what didn’t.

You can do this easily by looking at your content marketing plan. Look at those goals you achieved and why you did then do the same for the targets you didn’t meet.

And if you didn’t have a content marketing plan in the past, that’s a good reason to keep one.

Check Your Content Consumption Channels

What’s the most effective way to get visitors on your site? The answer to that represents your content consumption channels.

Search engines, social media, and paid advertising are some of those channels. It’s always wise to focus on one to get your site established before jumping on another.

You should also find out the devices used to access this content, the time at which there’s peak engagement on your site and the style of messaging that works for your site.

These things would come in handy as you revise your content marketing plan.

Focus On A Niche Audience And Expand With Time

If you sell software, a good strategy to use in marketing your software with the content on your site is speaking to a niche audience.

You can’t beat tech blogs like Mashable and Techcrunch with generic tech content. That’s because these sites have built authority in the industry over the years so you don’t stand a chance.

Owning a niche makes it easier and as you build authority in micro-niches you expand into new spaces in your industry giving you a seat at the table with the top dogs.

Say Something New Or Say Many Important Things In One Piece

Millions of blog posts are published daily but a greater percentage of that number don’t make it to the screens of anyone on the internet.

There are a lot of reasons why that happens but a very common one is that the post is something too common people don’t want to waste their time on another rehashed piece of content.

A good way to counter that is by saying something new in your posts. This post brings a fresh perspective because the tactics here won’t be important if you were writing in 2009.

That’s because spammy content did very well on the search results and on social media so very few people invested in quality content. But the penalty is severe if you’re still doing that in 2019.

A second technique to apply is saying many important things in one piece. Look at the title “25 Places To Visit in the Maldives,” someone interested in that location as a vacation spot may have already heard about five or ten of those places but 25 highlights the others he’s missed.

Give It Time But Don’t Resist Change

No, don’t check your analytics an hour after publishing a post or running an ad. You should allow for about a month to see how the search results react to your post and at least a day to gauge reactions to your ad.

You should put your audience first by tracking their behavior with things like time on page and bounce rate to see if there are changes you’d need to apply.

2. Chatbots Are Here To Stay

Customer service is an essential part of the winning strategy of any business. Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in the business world and it’s one of the most efficient ways of delivering excellent customer service.

Here are four ways you can use chatbots in your business:

Make An Order

This is one very common service most businesses use chatbots for. Domino’s employs chatbots to make it easier for customers to order and reorder pizza.

Product Suggestions

Can you create a buyer persona based on data a customer feeds into your system? If you’re not doing that, a chatbot can help you with that.

If you run a hosting company, you’d know people don’t want just any kind of hosting. They’d need something that works with their WordPress or Joomla site, maybe a managed solution with a monthly charge option.

Chatbots help create these product suggestions so you can develop different buyer personas and market to each of them differently.

Customer Support

If you’re an international business, you know catering to a 24/7 market is no mean feat. Offering round-the-clock customer support is a key part of these businesses.

Customers like you to respond to their complaints quickly. While some of these issues will be unique queries that require human support, most of them are repeat complaints that have been handled in the past.

You can use chatbots to provide answers to the common complaints and also to direct unique queries to trained human support.

Send Notifications

Are there updates in your business you’d want to send to customers? Chatbots can help you do that.

You can use this to provide news about your business and even suggest changes you’d like customers to make.

3. Security Is Very Important

If you run a business that requests financial or other forms of data from customers, it’s time to get serious about respecting their privacy.

With GDPR and other data protection laws being promulgated around the world, it’s better to be play safe especially when you serve an international audience.

Remember, with these laws, it doesn’t matter if customers pay attention to it, you still have to provide that security.

Here are some things you can do to enforce data protection in your company:

Do A Thorough Review

How compliant is your business with existing regulations? Are your servers secure enough to store current data? Can you explain how you obtained the information you currently hold?

These are some of the questions you should be asking during the review. It’d help you identify the potential risks and make the necessary upgrades.

Ask For Consent In Your Forms

And it’s better you apply a double opt-in so people don’t sign up mistakenly. Explain why you need the data customers are providing and you can link to a page that explains how you’d process and store that information.

It’s illegal to use or modify data in any way without consent.

Children’s Data Is Even More Important

Yep, there are products and services you can’t promote or sell to minors. Check the country of all your prospects as the age of minors differs across borders.

If it’s something that’s okay for a child to use, children still can’t grant consent so you’d need the consent of their legal guardians to collect data.

Delete Unnecessary Data

When you receive data from customers, you’d let them know how long you’d hold that data and delete it when it’s past that time.

If you get email addresses to promote your eBook, it’s illegal to pitch your bakery to them because that wasn’t part of the original deal.

Allow Participants To Opt Out

Compliance with data privacy laws means you should be making it easy for people to opt out at any time.

The bottom or top of your emails should contain, in clear language, steps that help anyone who is no longer interested to opt out.

It’s okay to request for a reason on your opt-out form so you can improve but there’s no legal reason to hold data when someone has clicked to opt out.

Notify Customers Of Changes In Policy

Since you’d keep updating your privacy policy and terms of service pages in line with current regulations, you should notify your customers of the same.

And by notification, sending a link to your new privacy policy page doesn’t cut it, you need to state clearly the changes you’ve made and how it’d affect how you use their data.

Again, Review

Now you’ve made those changes, what’s the feedback you’re getting from customers? Track the engagement you’re receiving from people who gave you access to their data.

You also should check if you’re losing money as a result of your strict compliance and if there’s something legal you can do about that.

Study the trends, move with them and you’d win in 2019 and beyond.