Top marketing goals all small business owners should have in 2019

By Lexie Lu

Creating robust and results-driven marketing campaigns in 2019 is more challenging than ever before. Small businesses compete against one another, and each has limited budgets. Making every dollar count allows you an edge over competitors.

Around 66 percent of small-business owners handle three or more areas of their businesses on their own, including marketing. Figuring out your top goals as a small business owner presents challenges, including lack of marketing savvy. Fortunately, some basic actions will drive your business to the top of your field.

– Focus on social media

Social media is still a powerful marketing tool and allows small businesses to get in the game for a minimal investment. Know where your target audience spends their time. Although many Americans are on Facebook and YouTube, 78 percent of those between 18 and 24 years old gravitate to Snapchat. Instagram is also popular with younger generations, although Gen X is starting to gravitate to the platform more and more.

Once you know the age group of your audience, the choice about which social media platforms deserve your focus becomes easy.

– Ramp up word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful and free tool that drives new traffic to your business while keeping current customers happy. If your focus is on your existing clientele, they’ll love your brand and tell others. However, you do have to give them incentives and ask current customers to share with their family and friends.

CrossFit uses customer testimonials to drive new signups for its Crossfit program. Sure, it could invest thousands of dollars into advertising online and off, but why would it when word-of-mouth advertising is so effective in driving new people into the workout program?

– Plan out-of-home advertising

Even if your business is online, out-of-home (OOH) advertising provides an opportunity to reach a new market. Outdoor advertising is one of the only print advertising areas to see growth in recent years and includes billboards, street furniture and vehicle wraps. If you own a physical location, then OOH provides an opportunity to reach people in your community.

– Build a community

People love feeling like they’re part of an overall community. If you can work a community-building element into your interactions with customers, they’ll more likely participate in any marketing efforts. People tend to trust reviews from their peers, which is what makes sites like Yelp so popular.

Yelp is one example of a brand that drives growth by establishing a sense of community. Users create a profile, giving a voice to their comments about businesses they’ve visited.

– Show your expertise

Establishing yourself as an authority in your field is compelling from a marketing standpoint. When someone has a question about a topic related to your business, they’ll turn to you for an answer. Being a go-to expert allows you to gain a lead and potential customers. There are many ways of establishing yourself as an expert, including conducting and publishing unique research studies, conducting webinars and giving presentations at industry meetings or at venues such as local or regional business associations.

– Add a referral program

Do you wish more of your customers would tell their friends about your establishment? Think about what type of referral programs tie into your business. How do you reward loyalty from your current customers, and do you reward them for referring others to you? A loyalty program drives new business.

Dropbox offers 2GB of free space for new users who need storage. A basic account gets 500MB more per referral up to 16GB, but if you have Plus or Professional, you’ll gain 1GB per referral up to 32GB. This generous referral program drives signups to the site.

– Add alternative search formats

Alternative searches increased in 2018 and will continue to do so into 2019. Some of the reasons for this is Alexa and Google Home driving voice-related searches. If your website doesn’t already offer voice search, now is the time to add it so you can take advantage of them.

From a marketing standpoint, think about the types of questions your target audience might use to find your product. For example, “Where can I find a new pair of shoes in Lexington, Kentucky?”

– Create more personalized options

In 2019, personalization will be the name of the game when it comes to marketing. Anything you can do to create a more targeted experience for users will contribute to a more successful campaign. Social media allows for highly targeted advertising, so you need to know your audience well so you can reach them on an emotional level.

Put your marketing goals in writing

Whatever marketing goals you focus on in 2019, take the time to write them out and make sure they work with the overall vision for your business. Online marketing is more popular than in the past, so figure out how much of your budget should go toward it and how much should go to OOH. With a plan in place, you’ll far surpass the goals you’ve set for 2019.



Lexie Lu is a web designer and CX enthusiast. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media and brandingFeel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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