Small businesses must pay close attention to the current needs and preferences of today’s customers.  Current trends point to the use of mobile devices, shopping online, environmental awareness, social media and the importance of customer reviews.

Small businesses should focus on answering the search intent of their prospects in order to drive traffic to their online web presence. Search intent or personal marketing is a key SEO (search engine optimization) strategy that can prove vital in building trust and brand awareness in a crowded online space. These five smart small business marketing practices are anchored in tried and tested SEO and Digital Marketing strategies that have produced results for many of Silvernail Web Design’s clients and have set them up as thought leaders within their respected professions.

Be green and socially responsible

Younger customers of the millennial and Gen Z generations are more likely to patronize businesses that follow sustainable, green and socially responsible practices.  All your customers will be following this trend. So, get going and demonstrate a commitment to these areas. Use local products. Minimize packaging. Use green cleaning products. Patronize green vendors and services.

Don’t be afraid to show of your conscious effort to build sustainable practices within your community. If you have any accolades or recognitions for being green and sustainable, show off those accomplishments on your website. If your business just follows green and sustainable suggestions tell people about it in your content. It just may help your small business get the recognition it deserves.

Earn positive online reviews

Online review sites such as Google My Business or Yelp have been around for a while. In 2020, however, customers are more likely to trust reviews over ads and reviews do a lot to increase the CTRs (click through rates) on search results. Do what you’ve always done. Provide great products and customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for reviews. Many will not think to review your business if they had a satisfying experience, but if you ask, you will find many of those clients will be happy to tell the world about their experience with your brand.

Pro Tip!

Make sure your respond to the reviews you do get. Your clients or customers are looking at your reviews. They will read through your responses. This is perfect opportunity for you to show them how much you appreciate your clients or customers, and if your get a bad review, how well you handle a bad situation and make it better for your client. As the old saying goes,

“The Customer Is Always Right”

Leverage e-commerce

Your competition is learning how to profit from the e-commerce revolution. Shouldn’t you? It is a way to expand your business without the need for more physical space. You can sell your own products, or you can sell your favorite products as an affiliate.

Silvernail Web Design provides E-Commerce WordPress solutions that are both SEO ready and have built in Digital Marketing tools to make your online sales experience easy. We can help write proper SEO based descriptions for your products and put together Social Media Campaigns that will help drive traffic to your online store and drives sales and growth. We use WooCommerce to build our online store fronts for our clients. It is fully customizable and extendable to accommodate a variety of product marketing needs.

Be creative with mobile marketing

Mobile marketing will grow in 2020 and beyond. If you are not yet accepting mobile payments, there are a multitude of options available. Customers prefer the convenience of platforms such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay and Visa Checkout. However, the systems that make these technologies work (Square, PayPal, Clover and many other) are a matter of preference and cost.  Geo-targeting, which is a form of advertising that targets customers who are close to your business can alert potential clients of new sales and products you may have available. I recently went into an Apple Store to purchase some accessories. Before I even walked in the door my phone greeted me with hello and courteous quip that I could find some great deals that day.

There are multiple ways for a small business to acquire an app that can send out promotions and the latest news just like many of the big companies. You can purchase that is white labeled so all you must do is brand it for your business.  Or, you can have an app developed and customized for your business and clients needs. Other marketing services allow small businesses to update customers on your company’s latest offers via SMS or text messages. You may find these offerings through your payment processor such as Square.

Utilize stories and live stream with social media management

Visibility and engagement are key. It is not enough to simply post on a news feed or share stories on social media. Customers enjoy the spontaneity that comes with live streaming. Have a new offer, sweeten up the deal for those who watch your live stream in real time. Live streaming is a great way to inform and engage existing clients and customers, it is also a great way to build brand awareness for those who may not know your brand or have had limited contact. Check in frequently with your community and touch base with them. You can archive your live stream and share them to your social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Getting seen by your audience is key in 2020. Implement the above practices to build brand awareness and loyalty. Most importantly, be authentic and stay true to yourself and your values.

Bonus Small Business Marketing Strategy:

We discussed search intent at the beginning of this article. What is search intent? The concept of search intent Is simple and understanding how it works can drive traffic to your website tenfold. Search Intent is the act of writing content to answer your client or customers query. For instance, many search engine users now search by asking google questions like “What are the top social media management companies in New Jersey?” It may seem foolish to discuss your competitors in a blog posts about social media management, however, the blog post is your content and you can set your self apart from the others. Provide information and educatee then sprinkle in some engagement and the users who are asking this question will be finding your site first, or in this example, my site! 😊 and it just may lead to some new customers. Its about trust and reaching out to personally answer your client's or your customer's question. Being helpful and courteous goes a long way!

Good Luck!

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