What do you need to do to succeed as a small business owner in 2018? What tactics and strategies should you hop on this year? How can you get a leg up on your competition?
The good news is that 2018 brings an entirely new set of trends, tips, and techniques that can breathe new life into your small business..
As a small business owner, it’s important to take the time at the beginning of the year to evaluate your past strategies and techniques, make new checklists, and update the way you think and strategize for the coming year.
The small business world of marketing, finance, planning, and strategy is rapidly expanding, and it’s important that you and your business stay up to date on the latest methods to keep up with your competitors.
If you’re unsure what key ideas, trends, and predictions could be useful and lucrative for your business in 2018, you’re in luck. We’ve outlined our top three favorite trends and strategies that can help you and your business have the best year yet.
If you’re hoping to enter 2018 with a bang and reach the goals you’ve always wanted to, keep reading!
Trend # 1: Live Video Feeds and Engagement
It’s no longer enough to incorporate neat content on your social pages. Status updates and images are good, but if you’re not doing live streaming video, it’s time to embrace this trend.
The social sites you’re already using — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr — all have options for live streaming video that can be beneficial for your audience engagement, marketing, hard sales, ROI, and more. When your audience views your live video, they feel involved in what you’re doing in real time.
As Kalin Kassabov notes, there’s a certain excitement that’s generated from live videos that you can take advantage of for marketing purposes and it can act as a powerful branding tool that aids in engaging with your audience.
Additionally, Facebook is making it really difficult for brands to get traction on their platform. The one exception to this is live video, which they promote much more heavily than any other types of status updates.
How This Can Help:
Live videos are more than just a neat feature that social media sites have added to their repertoire. They’re direct routes to getting an increase in audience interaction, engagement, and following.
Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and other streaming tools like these, allow you to target your personal network and keep your audience in the know, excited, and involved.
In fact, Facebook shared recently that they noted Live videos will drive engagement with about 10 times more comments because of the real-time connection between users. Informal, transparent, and authentic live videos can help bring your business-customer relationship further into the future!
Trend #2: Upgrade Your Technology
It’s no secret that technology is constantly, and rapidly, changing. While constant innovation is a great resource for businesses, it’s important that you’re always staying up to date so that you don’t miss out on ways to make your business work best.
For 2018, it’s time to take a look at some of the technology you’re using and consider a few new resources.
Here are three tools you should be using:
Tool #1: Slack
Slack is a communication tool that can take your team’s communication to the next level. If your company is lacking a direct system for staying in touch at all times, then Slack is the perfect app for you. It creates shared space for all members of your team, enabling you to align your goals, communicate instantaneously, and keep everyone in the loop.
Tool #2: Buffer
Buffer is another great tool for social media marketing. It allows you to schedule posts and keep track of your content. This app takes all of your accounts and puts them in one place, making your tracking, scheduling, and managing a breeze.
Tool #3: Calendar
Calendar is a great resource for businesses who are struggling to manage their time and schedules well. With this app, you’ll receive smart suggestions, keep track of your appointments, and figure out what times and dates work best for making your meetings work.
How This Can Help:
Holding on to old technology and refusing to evaluate, assess, and embrace the new won’t just keep your business from advancing; it can actually make your company obsolete. Running a quick check on the technologies you were using over the past few years is the perfect start to determining areas that need improvement.
With new technologies, you can:
- Increase productivity
- Reduce operational costs
- Develop new systems that will attract new audiences
- Solve problems
- Continue your company’s growth
Trend #3: Personalize and Upgrade Your Marketing to Include Micro Environments
Marketing is getting far more detailed and is constantly changing — much like the technology we discussed above — so, it’s just as important consider your marketing tactics for the past year and consider new ways to target your audiences.
There are several new strategies coming into play this year that you should pay attention to.
- Micromarketing, for example, is essential for targeting your audience and identifying your customer needs, according to Forbes. Advertising and marketing toward your small, specific audiences, as well as your large audiences (macro), can help tweak your 2018 strategy.
- Location-based marketing is a new idea that small businesses are capitalizing on. This simply means that you’re targeting your customers based on GPS tracking, with their consent. This type of marketing is hyper-focused on mobile marketing and geolocation marketing strategies.
- Focus your marketing on building your brand, too. In this day and age, your customers are looking for an authentic, personalization and distinction when it comes to you brand. Create personal messages for your customers that outline your brand and what you’re all about.
How This Can Help:
Updating these marketing strategies will draw attention to your brand, increase your sales and ROI, and help you grow as a company. With updated approaches, like micromarketing and location-based marketing, you’re better able to send relevant messages to your cus
tomers, as well as get new customers at a lower cost.
For example, when you use location-based marketing, you can alert nearby customers to special sales or promotions when they’re near, in, or around your store. This unique ability to hyper-target customers and send specific messages will undoubtedly increase your sales.
When it comes to micro marketing, you’ll be better able to target your customers and determine their individuals needs, wants, and desires. Personalizing your marketing trends this way can appeal to your customers, continue their desire to work with you, and even increase the possibility of them sharing your brand with friends and family, your future customers.
Don’t Get Stuck In The Past
While it’s always important to look at your year in review business planning, it’s especially important to ensure you’re truthfully assessing the tools and strategies you’ve been using and then make room for new ones.
The latest social media approaches, technologies, and marketing plans can benefit your business far more than you know.
Don’t be afraid to embrace the old adage, “out with the old and in with the new.” As 2018 continues, it’s important to evaluate ways that your business can constantly improve, grow, provide a better work environment, and target your customers best. Get ready for the years to come.
If you’re a small business owner, it’s even more vital to stay-up-to-date and ahead of the competition because your market is so competitive. Take these 2018 tips, techniques, and trends and hop on them fast — these changes and adjustments are likely to impact the general business world, and specifically, your small business’ success.