Reels, reels, reels.
It seems that all anyone is talking about in 2021 is how to use short-form video on Instagram and other social media platforms to reach a wider audience and bump up business.
Don’t get me wrong — we love reels and teach small business owners how to use them (and all of Instagram’s features) as part of their marketing strategy. But there are lots of other highly effective marketing trends that you shouldn’t ignore in your quest for the perfect reel.
Let’s take a look at some of the top trends in local business marketing, with an eye to what’s worth your time and what you should always keep in mind when choosing which marketing tactics to pursue.
Your online reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are some of your most powerful marketing assets. Why? Because ads simply aren’t enough anymore.
No matter how much time or money you invest into paid ads and other forms of traditional marketing, they just don’t have the power on their own to sway the purchasing decisions of millennials and other age demographics (check out this post for a deeper dive into attracting millennial buyers to your business).
So, what does convince them?
“Social proof” in the form of other people who have already bought your product or service saying good things about you. To put into perspective just how crucial online reviews are, consider that close to 90% of consumers across the world take the time to look at online reviews before making a purchase.
While you can’t pay for good reviews (it’s unethical and Google will banish you to the furthest reaches of the search results pages where no one will ever find you), there are ethical, 100% kosher ways to collect more positive reviews and reduce the impact of the less-than-stellar ones.
The simplest way is to just ask! If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can train your staff to let your customers know that, if they’re happy with their experience, a good online review would mean a lot to you as a small business. If you’re an online-only retailer, it’s as simple as sending a follow-up email after their order with a direct link that makes it super easy for them to share their opinions.
The pay-off of these little extra efforts on your part is solid social proof that will stay online as long as you’re in business, demonstrating to your prospects that you are well-loved and reputable.
If the past two years of navigating global change have taught us anything, it’s that human connection is priceless.
Even before the pandemic, a shift was underway with consumers favoring brands that are aligned with their own personal values and that treat them like people rather than just numbers on a bottom line.
So, now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to connect with your customers on a personal level, whether it’s including handwritten notes with their order, partnering with a local charity to give back to the community, or hosting a socially distanced offline event.
Making the effort to “get personal” will help you meet and build relationships with prospective customers who will, ideally, become your informal brand ambassadors and generate good word-of-mouth for your business.
You know what they say: teamwork makes the dream work. And one way to grow your reach and following as a small business is to team up with other brands whose products and services complement yours.
Do you sell organic dog treats? Seek out pet apparel brands to partner with. Are you a boutique graphic design agency? Look for copywriters and social media strategists with whom you share a similar target audience but fulfill different needs for.
Aligning with other companies is a cost-effective and efficient way to get more awareness for your offerings. Plus, you could even create reels together and post them on your respective feeds to supercharge your engagement and impact. ;)
When navigating through the top marketing trends of the moment, it’s essential to remember one thing: every decision you make about your marketing should be tied to your strategy.
In other words, before you waste time trying out every trend under the sun, get clear on who your ideal customers are, what unique value you offer to them, and how to create a brand presence, voice, and personality that resonates with them. From there, you’ll be in a much better position to choose the trends that fit your strategy and see more traction for your awesome business.
If you’d like to know more about how to build or refine your brand or marketing strategy, reach out to us! We specialize in helping small, local, and heart-led businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts so they can grow their brands and reach new levels of success.