Original Source: forbes.com
Small business owners are consumed with a host of end-of-quarter tasks, from crunching numbers to getting inventory in order. As the new year approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your marketing strategy for the upcoming year. As you plan your budget and allocate resources, consider adding these seven marketing trends to get ahead of your competition in 2023.
You can’t have a business without a brand—unfortunately, when consumers check out your products or services, their next step in the decision-making process is to research your company and its founder. When the client or customer heads to your social media channels, what will they find?
Do your social media profiles tell them what you do, who you serve and why? Is your personal brand in alignment with your business goals?
Your answers to these questions must be a resounding “yes” if you want to stay ahead of the competition. You want people to recognize you and your brand when they see it. To do this, you must be present in the digital and physical world, consistent with your messaging on and offline and active in the places your audience frequents.
Marketing Gone Meta
Tech entrepreneurs are always talking about “disruption.” The next big disruption in marketing will be through the metaverse. The question is, will your small business be ready? Watch this video by Satya Nadella on how the metaverse could transform the way we see and participate in the world to understand how you can utilize this emerging technology before your competition does.
The metaverse is a virtual world where people can explore and interact. It is like a cross between the “real” world and the internet. In the metaverse, businesses can create their own virtual reality experience for their customers. This is a great way to give them an immersive experience.
Here are three ways your small business can embrace the metaverse:
1. Use AR and VR to create an immersive experience for your customers.
2. Use 3-D printing to create physical products your customers can use in the metaverse.
3. Use blockchain to create a secure and decentralized way to store data and transactions.
Build A Community For Your Audience
How can your small business connect its members to one another under a shared vision? I recently watched the WeWork documentary on Hulu. If you aren’t familiar with the story, WeWork is a company that provides shared office spaces for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The company started out with a lofty goal—changing the way we work.
The idea behind WeWork is simple but powerful: People are more productive when they feel like they are part of a community.
I’m not here to discuss the mistakes of its founder but rather the power behind the idea of community. Your customer is craving community; give it to them.
According to Hubspot research, 54% of most audiences prefer videos to written content.
Is your audience included in that percentage? When was the last time you studied the data? As an evidence-based coach, data is a major player in my business decisions.
We know that content is king, but small business owners can’t rely on guesswork when deciding what type and medium of content to produce. To maximize your marketing budget, power your decisions with data. It helps you understand who your customers are, what they want and how best to reach them.
Add Speaker And Author To Your Byline
Speaking at a professional conference and writing a book based on your subject-matter expertise will remain key marketing strategies for small business owners, especially those who provide professional services.
Both allow you to reach new audiences who may not be familiar with your work and heighten your visibility and expertise.
You are six degrees from a potential business partner or contact who can change the trajectory of your business. The problem is that you don’t know the other five people between you and them. This is where networking with your peers comes in handy. A long-term but effective strategy for small business marketing in 2023 will likely be alliances between non-competing businesses to help get the word out about each other.
The Steady Rise Of Influencer Marketing
You may not be able to get an A-list celebrity to endorse your product or service, but you can get an influencer. Audiences rely on influencers for recommendations, and small business owners need to connect with engaged audiences that want their products or services.
But don’t be fooled. Not all influencers have the same audience connection. When evaluating an influencer for your business, consider their:
• Reach. How many people will they be able to reach with their message?
• Engagement. Do their fans interact with their posts?
• Relevance. Is their audience relevant to your business?
• Authenticity. Is the influencer authentic?
What does your product or service mean to them? Are they promoting something similar? These are all questions to ask before signing an influencer to an endorsement deal.
For some small business owners, niche influencers with small but highly engaged audiences are the better option for your marketing dollars.
Small businesses need to start thinking about marketing to stay ahead of the competition in 2023. When you couple the power of personal branding with the reach of new technology and tried and true offline marketing tactics, you get a marketing mix that can help your business succeed in 2023 and beyond.