What’s Hot — and What’s Not — in 2017 Small Business Marketing

There are so many cool things happening in marketing right now. If you’re a small business owner, you’ll see one common denominator among the trending strategies for 2017: “Creativity”.

Here’s a great article which touches on a number of marketing trends which rely on some pretty Star Trekky technology. Some are sure shots; others, hmmm, we’ll have to see if they take off or flop. My takes on the article’s points are in black; my additions are in blue).

Sure Bets

Search Engine Optimization: Small businesses will begin to realize that having some fancy SEO codes in their websites just isn’t enough. They’ll need to [1] create truly original, compelling content which engenders trust in the business and [2] place more emphasis on consumer reviews, which means they’ll need to develop and maintain stellar customer experiences.

Mobile Marketing: Even now, Google is positioning search engine ranks to be based more on mobile than desktop performance.

More Video Content: I agree that the future of website engagement lies in video. Video can make it so website visitors spend a minute, and not 10 seconds, on your website. Go for it.

Live Video Streaming / Real-Time vs Right-Time Marketing: This is one which I personally want to get more on top of. People don’t want to just be informed; they want to interact as well. Those who can inform and involve, in real time, via video, are going to love the results.

Traditional Advertising Continues to Plummet: Television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising profits will continue to decline as online giants like Google, Facebook and YouTube further perfect their targeting algorithms.

Emerging

Wearable IoT: Combine mobile with the Internet of Things, and you’ll be able to turn on the house lights and turn up the thermostat while you’re driving and 10 minutes from home.

Voice Search SEO: Potentially huge. Cortana and Google Assistant make it easy for us to listen to what we want, call whoever we want and get information whenever we want without needing our fingers to do the typing. As states enact more stringent cell-while-driving laws, hands-free capabilities take a more front-and-center role.

Hmmm, We’ll See

Cross-Device Marketing: Effective strategies will involve identifying consumers via laptop, tablet and smartphone. That’s because people are now using multiple devices as part of their decision-making process.

Intelligent Personal Assistant in the Home: A cool concept. Definitely a plus for people who may be all alone in their homes. Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s Siri have blazed a new path for interaction with the digital devices in the home. We’ll see how this industry progresses.

Don’t Count On It

Email Marketing: Email marketing has typically displayed fantastic ROIs, and its results are easily measureable. But I think in 2017, we’ll see people start shying away from using it in their marketing. Why? Giants like MailChimp and Constant Contact can’t guarantee all 2,000 emails you just sent out were seen by all recipients.

Banner Advertising: Ad blockers are here to stay, which means you have the ability to block ads on your digital device.  Don’t be surprised if you hear about new browser extensions which DO allow ads to come through, but resize them to 1×1 pixels. LOL I love innovation.

Brand Storytelling: Stories are nice, but in my experience (again), consumers just want to get in and get out with their purchases.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. I’m not as sold on the future role of AR as I am video. It’s been my experience that consumers want what they want now, and don’t want to put on a headset to see their desired purchase. I fully admit I may be off on this, so we’ll see…