2020 was one of the most challenging years businesses have seen in their lifespan, especially for SMBs. The dip in the demands and cutthroat competition thrashed several small businesses. With the limited budgets in hand, marketing becomes a tough job for SMBs. Because large organizations can cut down the competition by spending tons of money on paid advertisements, ruling out the SMBs.
To keep up with the competition, marketing leaders of SMBs need to adapt to the upcoming marketing trends quickly. COVID has already shrunk the resources available for marketing. Being tight on budget, SMBs are looking for marketing strategies that are highly effective and cost-efficient. Several new marketing trends and strategies have also evolved due to the COVID restrictions.
7 Marketing trends for SMBs post 2nd wave –
1. Virtual Events
When the whole world was shut down, technology-enabled marketers and businesses to stay connected. A disruption from one-to-one meetings to digital sessions took place. It enabled small companies to attend events worldwide without spending anything on travel.
Virtual sessions and live events enhance customer experience. It’s a great way to connect and engage with your existing customers. You can not only engage with your current customers, but it can also be used as a marketing tool to get new customers. SMBs can organize virtual events, and it is very cost-effective as there is no logistic cost involved.
The only secret to the success of virtual events is engagement and value. The more value you provide, the more customers you can acquire.
2. Voice-based SEO
We all are aware of the growing popularity of voice devices like Alexa and Siri. The success of these products has contributed to the surge in voice-based searches. But, let’s admit it; we have also started voice searching because it is easy, time-saving, and convenient.
The voice-based searches are going to replace traditional text-based searches. According to Search Engine Land, 48% of consumers already use voice for “general web searches.”
Marketers can leverage this growing trend for their business. Though voice-based searches are increasing, most companies are unaware of them. Rapidly adopting this trend can help your business to get a competitive advantage.
You can optimize your website, blogs, and listings as per voice search algorithms to rank higher. However, especially for local searches, voice search is dominating. According to Search Engine Watch, Mobile voice searches are 3x more than the text searches for local searches. Therefore you have to optimize your website for “Near Me” voice searches.
3. Customer Reviews
Let’s admit that we all judge the quality of a product, service, or even a company by reading its customer reviews. Be it on Google, Clutch, or Amazon, customer reviews are crucial, especially for local businesses.
Your customer is tech-savvy today; they indulge in research before buying anything. 72% of customers don’t make any buying decisions until they read online reviews. Therefore the trend of reading customer reviews is increasing and will continue to grow.
Even in the B2B industry, 92% of B2B buyers are more inclined to buy a product after reading a trusted review. However, several businesses don’t pay attention to customer reviews. You can leverage this opportunity to win customers’ trust and take competitive advantage of the growing trend.
4. Community-based Marketing
The pandemic has kept us apart from our friends, family, and colleagues, which resulted in loneliness. Customers are looking for like-minded people to have conversations and knowledge sharing. The drastic change in the habit of people roaming around the world to be locked inside the houses resulted in the instant need to become a part of the community.
Customers are looking for a sense of belonging. Therefore the community-based brands are thriving. Several brands are leveraging this basic human need for being a part of a community by building highly engaging communities. But, on the other hand, you can also leverage already existing online communities.
Building a community of your brand is an opportunity to come closer to your customers. You can leverage this community to foster brand loyalty, gain customer feedback, create brand advocates, and bring new customers. Though it is a long-term game and doesn’t give instant results, it is a super important marketing tactic to grow your business.
Marketing is turning more personal. Gone are the days when sending email or text messages to an extensive database gives you customers. Today, the customer expects brands to treat them like a person instead of just another lead. As per Marketo, 85% of the customers expect personalization in their online retail experience. Customers want a personalized experience.
Brands are also recognizing the importance of personalization, therefore, have started leveraging the growing trend. A report by Gartner reveals that the bands that invest in personalization can beat their competitors by more than 30%. Personalized experience not only helps brands to sell more but also helps to build a loyal customer base and provide a better customer experience
98% of marketers agree that personalization enabled them to make better customer relations. Brands even experienced reduced in customer acquisition costs and increase the efficiency of marketing. As per Mckinsey & Company, Personalizations reduced the acquisitions cost by 50%, increase revenue by 5-15%, and increased efficiency in marketing by 10-30%.
Many things have changed after the 2nd wave of pandemics. However, experts are also expecting a third wave. To make your business pandemic proof without spending hefty amounts, you need to be aware of the latest marketing trends and strategies to keep your business grow.