With 2017 just around the corner, small business owners around the world are beginning to wonder what the new year will mean for their ventures. Here are some of the biggest marketing trends that are set to define how we sell our products and services in the year ahead.
The influencer gold rush
Right now, in the twilight of 2016, we’re in the midst of what many are calling an influencer marketing gold rush. True, influencers in various forms have always been a major staple of marketing. However, now we’re seeing them become one of the most effective ways to reach any kind of customer or client. This is especially true when it comes to social media. By leveraging influencer marketing, businesses can breathe life into a word-of-mouth buzz through the personalities who consumers already follow and respect. If you’re savvy enough to channel the influencers who are close with your target market, then a whole world of possibilities will open up to you! As soon as we get into January, you need to be making plans to leverage influencers and naturally seduce your market.
The rise of chatbots
Chatbots are one of the more futuristic game-changers in modern marketing, and are poised to spark a massive improvement for real-time, 24/7 customer engagement. Artificial intelligence and the programming behind it has now enabled chatbot IM interfaces to answer customer queries just as promptly as any human customer service agent, and are set to save a lot of business owners a lot of time and money. If you’ve ever tried having a conversation with a public AI interface before, then you may not have that much faith in the whole concept. However, the latest chatbots out there have had a great record for giving responses that make sense. The software is all rooted in how the human brain operates. These are sales associates who never sleep and don’t need a salary; they are going to be a major staple of website design in the next couple of years, so don’t be late to the party!
Personalization will become much more important
You know as well as I do that it’s tough to do anything on a web browser these days without being bombarded with all kinds of different information. This has made a lot of consumers overly cynical, and resentful of most forms of advertising. The modern consumer is great at picking out sales pitches and marketing openers, and this makes them very easy to chase away with anything that they might perceive as more sale-oriented clutter. You’re going to need to cut through this mess of different stimuli, and reach your target market with relevant and personalized content. Creating marketing materials that narrow down on exactly what your customer wants is now more important than ever, and it’s only going to get tougher to nail down as we move into 2017.
As a small business owner you probably don’t have the time or budget to completely revamp your marketing in the new year. However, you can consider trying out one or two trends that are likely to make the biggest impact. So research the trends above and others you’ll find on similar year-end prognostication lists across the web and pick what makes the most sense for your particular situation. Marketing is definitely one area where no one can afford to just keep doing the same old/same old year after year.