Marketing trends small business owners cannot ignore in 2016

If you're not already using social media in your marketing, 2016 is the year you need to start.

If you’re not already using social media in your marketing, 2016 is the year you need to start.

Back in the 1980s when I started helping small businesses with their marketing, you could go from one year to the next without much really new coming along in terms of your marketing options. Printing advertising, TV/radio advertising, media relations, event sponsorship, trade shows, direct mail, company brochures, networking…the list of choices was pretty short. All that changed when the Internet came along and changed even more when everyone on the planet got a smart phone. Now, new marketing methods come along every year. Staying on top of these trends is important because you can quickly fall behind if you don’t know where/how to grab consumer attention these days.

Here are just a few trends that should be considered when you make marketing decisions for your small business this year:

-As reported in “Top marketing trends in 2016 and what they mean for your small business,” social media more important than ever as Facebook and Pinterest become more important as search venues. Also with the launch of the Moments section on Twitter, users can now see editor-curated collections of tweets. If you have not yet taken advantage of social media to market your small business, these developments should give you further impetus to get started.

-Another reason the time has definitely come to include social media in your marketing plan is that Pinterest and Facebook are now allowing marketers to place buy buttons in content to enable consumers to purchase directly from within a post. Instagram will soon do the same.

-Video continues to grow in importance in 2016. Check out my co-blogger Mark Auerbach’s most recent post with tips on how to effectively use video here.

-Lightbox pop-ups – those windows that appear when you’ve been on a website a certain time or when your mouse hovers over a specific portion of the site – are growing in use. Consider using these to make special offers on your website or to help build subscribers if you have a blog.

-Mobile, especially in the form of apps, gets hotter every minute, so staying on top of what’s happening in this field is critical. This Marshable article, “14 mobile marketing trends that will dominate in 2016,” will help you do just that. The author asked 14 start-up founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council what they think is going to be hot in terms of mobile marketing this year.

-Podcasts are once again growing in popularity. The tremendous buzz around journalism podcasts such as “Serial” is perhaps part of the reason. Watch this space for an upcoming post soon on how to create a podcast for your small business.

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