Oregon small business owners have had to deal with higher tax rates for the past few years, and the new tax plan that is being tabled shows no sign of relief for small businesses in the area. For this reason, many small business owners in Oregon are turning to alternative marketing methods in an effort to cut on costs. Here are some of the biggest small business marketing trends that we should see more of in 2017.
Outsourcing for Growth
Many small business owners in the region have been reluctant to use outsourcing because of the nature of their business, but this is a trend we should see more in the state for years to come. Outsourcing is now easier than ever and is not only a trend in Oregon, but in most neighboring states as well.
As much as the Trump administration is trying to crack down on companies using outsourcing by using protectionist measures, the advantages it offers small business owners are too many to count. Only heavy taxation could curb this trend, but this would have a disastrous effect on the local economy as it would increase costs for local businesses.
Also, more and more small business owners in the region are realizing the importance of having an expert on board who can understand new strategies. Many small business owners tend to be stuck in their old ways, but times are changing and many do not want to fall behind. In the past, lack of a proper marketing strategy could be offset by proximity to the community and lack of communication, but it also led to modest growth. For this reason, more small business owners are hiring consultants such as Silverback Strategies to build sound strategies and set clear objectives.
More Small Business Owners are Harnessing the Power of Mobile
The world has officially gone mobile. For the first time in history, mobile searches and mobile traffic are rivaling regular traffic, and we can expect small business in the region to bank on this trend. And we haven’t even started talking about voice search yet, which is another major game changer.
Most business owners have already started banking on the trend and you’d be hard pressed to find any small business website without at least a responsive layout nowadays. But we can expect business owners to go a step further this year. More are optimizing their sites for mobile search and are improving things such as form entry and user experience, for instance.
Another area where mobile is completely transforming the game is advertising. More and more businesses in the region are adopting mobile first marketing strategies to reach mobile users more effectively. Since over half of all queries are now done on mobile devices, small business owners will have to adapt quickly to this new reality. Users are looking at their mobile to reach businesses in their vicinity and business owners will need to make their local presence felt.
More Content Marketing
Content marketing is the word on everybody’s lips nowadays. While content marketing was still somewhat of a marginal method not too long ago, most small business owners are either at least aware of it, or are actively using it as part of their marketing plan. This is a trend that we can expect will grow well beyond 2017 and will be accepted as much as print is today. As a matter of fact, many small business owners are abandoning traditional channels completely in favor of new platforms.
We can also expect more small business owners to truly understand the importance of SEO, especially on the local level, and start tailoring their content for this purpose. More and more business owners are understanding the power of a strong and well maintained blog and more are investing in fresh content that fits their audience.
The Advent of Video Advertising
Video advertising should also hit the mainstream in 2017. The waters are still wide open in this area and many small business owners are simply not realizing how powerful and effective video marketing can be. However, more and more are embracing the trend and reaping the benefits.
We can expect social media to be even more media oriented in 2017, which should present a whole new host of opportunities to small business owners who want to make their presence felt and spread their brand. Facebook video ads are a literal game changer and allow small business owners to laser target their marketing efforts and show their message to those who matter. As a matter of fact, Facebook is slowly creeping up as the main rival to YouTube in terms of video content, so investing in Facebook video ads in 2017 would be a wise choice for any small business operating in the region.
It is a well known fact that video content on social media is much more engaging and users react much more to video content than any other type of content on social media. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that users engage with video content 7X times more than with any other type of social media content.
We can expect more business to start shooting behind the scenes footage to show the human side of their brand. We can also expect more companies to start hiring the service of professional video creation agencies and step up their video marketing
While guest blogging has been around for a few years, many small business owners have only recently started using the method and using it to their advantage. Guest blogging is one of the best ways for businesses to establish themselves as an authority in their sector. It is also highly beneficial from an SEO standpoint when done right.
One of the many reasons many small business owners have been reluctant to use the method is that they couldn’t see the utility behind it. Many just didn’t like the idea of writing free content and were simply skeptical, but as more are realizing the power of SEO, especially on the local level, more are slowly but surely jumping on board and warming up to the idea.
More Emphasis on Customer Retention
Customer retention will no longer be a principle reserved for big business in 2017. Most small business owners understand the principle and are employing it in their day to day operations. Loyalty programs are now much easier to implement thanks to new technologies, and you’d be hard pressed to find even the smallest bakery without a solid point reward system nowadays.
We can also expect small business owners to incorporate loyalty programs as part as their online marketing efforts by adding offers specific to their social media followers for instance. Loyalty programs are a great way to increase their social media following and vice versa.
And small business owners, especially in the retail space, understand that they now not only have to compete with big box stores, but online retailers like Amazon as well. One of the only ways they can level the playing field is by having a real and strong relationship with their loyal clients. Since competition is fiercer than ever, customer retention is key. This is also why a growing number of small businesses are banking on honest branding and authentic storytelling as part of their marketing strategies.
This trend is not only confined to small businesses only. For instance, more and more banks are using this approach as part of their marketing as well. More are using social media and video ads to show how they affect their community to create a sense of proximity, and this is a trend we should see across the board in 2017.
Small businesses are also trying to increase the number of one on one interactions they have with their clients. This creates further proximity and really puts a face on their business. Personalized service always wins points, especially in the service business, so we can expect more emphasis on personalized service in 2017.
It’s a brave new world out there and more and more businesses are embracing change and using new strategies in an effort to survive the increasing competitive landscape. We can expect small business owners to put more emphasis on creating a direct connection with their customers and focus more on authenticity and a direct line of communication. We can also expect more to implement their own loyalty program and integrate them with their social media programs.
2017 will also be the year of the mobile and we can expect more small businesses to ramp up their mobile marketing efforts and make sure that their websites are up to par. Guest blogging is making a comeback in a major way and more small businesses understand the importance of content marketing not only for branding and promotion, but to increase their visibility on the local level. All these innovations should significantly transform the marketing landscape for small businesses in the region for years to come.