Here are the top developments and trends to employ to put your brand at the top of consumers’ lists.
Design to Match Your Clients’ Thinking
The design of your website, product packaging, print advertising, and mobile app should be consistent and created with the consumers’ preferences in mind.
- Since many readers never read past the headline, make sure yours is clear and concise — without sacrificing content. Format your posts and web text for skimmers, and cater to online users’ short attention spans.
- Present complex information simply with infographics and charts. Consumers tend to skim long pieces of text, so give them the same information in a graphic. Appealing images will stick in their minds, so choose carefully.
- Consumers expect apps to be interactive and fun. Think about the popularity and addictiveness of game apps. Use game principles to encourage frequent use of your app and leave users with a positive brand impression.
Focus Marketing Locally
Brick and mortar stores, and any business with a physical location, should make maximizing traffic a priority. Look to as many sources as possible to draw new and returning customers to your location.
- When consumers search for “____ service near me,” you want your business to appear at the top of that list. Make sure you are listed (and that the listing is accurate) on the big directories such as Yelp and Google. Then look for smaller-scale or local directories and put yourself on them.
- Get many local websites to link to your site. Call a local reviewer; check out the Chamber of Commerce or a business group, and contact community organizations.
- Use mobile apps to reward customers who visit your store. It is possible and easy to create location-based promotions and rewards with these top app makers. 2017 will be the year of mobile apps and rewards for small businesses. Build your presence in your local community with rewards for stopping by your store.
Find New Sources of Exposure
Put that careful design mentioned previously to use on readily available visual social media sites. Good headlines, infographics and dynamic images can reach ever-expanding audiences with little to no cost to you.
- Mobile apps are the dominant trend for 2017. If you don’t have one, find out how to build one. By the end of the year, it’s estimated that over half of all businesses will have, or be in the process of developing, an app available for consumers.
- Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are all image-based and reach specific demographics. Make your presence known, and connect with large audiences quickly.
- Who are the local leaders who shape opinions? Make sure those local influencers link to your site and share your posts; it will not only make your business visible but also shape perceptions of your brand.
- Find a complimentary service or store, and arrange to share your audience with one another. Both businesses can benefit from such a relationship.
Cater to Your Customers
Consumers expect services, products, and even rewards programs to be just what they want. Give them exactly that by knowing your ideal customers and catering to them. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, figure it out. Market research can provide the age, gender and web habits of your customers; use that information to your advantage.
- A/B testing tactics make it possible for you to change the way your technology appears to different customers based on their individual preferences. When you know your clients’ interests, you can create a targeted app to display that client’s favorite topic first.
- Some loyalty programs fail because they don’t offer rewards the customers want. Knowing your users’ preferences lets you personalize your loyalty rewards program, making it an asset.
- Keep up with your community’s needs and wants with a survey. What products or services would they like to have? What would improve the perception of your brand? How can the client experience be improved?
- Focus on convenience. Take advantage of mobile apps that allow your customers to browse products, place orders quickly and receive promotions. Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers.
Use New Technology Tools to Measure Marketing Effectiveness
All marketers should be using tools to test and track their marketing strategies. Businesses no longer need to wait until a campaign is finished to judge its success. In the fast-moving, competitive market, you should know your ROI as quickly as possible.
- A/B split tests are standard practice in web- and mobile-based marketing. Master the use of these tools.
- Survey your users. Use feedback to know the strengths and gaps in your web presence. Improve user experience based on this feedback.
- Many tools are available to let you track how users interact with your app. It is even possible to “playback” user sessions. Find trends and fix gaps based on this information.
Build your Brand with Personality and Cohesion
Bland, outdated advertising won’t cut it anymore. A static, information-only website won’t excite existing customers or attract new ones. Your web and mobile presence should show style and personality.
- Remember the thoughtful design of products and images? Make sure all your visual material reflects the design consistently and gives your brand identity.
- Pick a style or voice for your advertising and stick with it across all platforms. Don’t confuse users with forceful Twitter posts, Facebook sales pitches, super-casual emails and a formally written website. Consistency lets your customers easily identify your brand.
Main Take Aways
Put the biggest marketing trends to work for you in 2017. Consumers want personalization, convenience and style. Web tools and mobile app makers make the most sophisticated sounding marketing tactics easy for businesses of all sizes.
About Andrew Gazdecki
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are white label mobile app resellers — marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost-effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.