Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the rapidly growing number of digital marketing trends? Constant Contact's Chief Marketing Officer John Orlando cuts through the clutter, sharing three marketing strategies to focus on in 2020.
With so many marketing trends for businesses to track and try, it can be tough for small business owners to figure out which ones are worth focusing on with limited time and resources. Emerging trends bring new marketing opportunities, which can sometimes feel like too much of a good thing: interactive content, chatbots, messaging apps, AI and more. According to an Endurance International Group study, 64% of the market feels overwhelmed when managing marketing. So it’s no surprise that many small business owners I talk to feel overwhelmed by all the options and, ultimately, end up doing nothing at all.
This is a huge missed opportunity for small businesses because they can reap big rewards from digital marketing. So, to help small business owners cut through the clutter, I’m sharing three marketing trends that I believe are worth of their time and energy.
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Shoppable landing pages.
76% of US consumers, myself included, shop online. A lot. Yet, with as many as 46% of US small businesses still without a website*, the leap online, let alone into e-commerce, can seem downright impossible. This is a huge missed opportunity.
That’s where shoppable landing pages come in. It’s an easy win, with many platforms now offering simple ways to create a landing page even if you don’t have a website. Shoppable landing pages can be a great starting point for store owners looking to try e-commerce before committing to a full online store.
Unlike a website, a landing page is not something visitors will find through a search engine or stumble upon when browsing the internet, so when people come to your landing page, they’ve likely clicked on a specific link in an email you sent them or an ad you placed online. By clicking your link, the visitor has already expressed some interest in buying whatever it is your ad was focused on. So, if you have a specific deal you want to offer, or a series of products you want to promote, you can add these offers or product listings within minutes, publish the page, and then promote it through email and social channels. You can even track page visits and sales.
Shoppable landing pages work as well for Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads as they do for a promotional email, so experiment and find out which platform works best for your business. Just make sure that the landing page has messaging and a look that correlates with the ad or email. You want your visitors to know that their click brought them to the right place.
The good news for those looking to create engaging video content is that it’s easier than ever to make it happen. All you need is a smartphone and a sense of what your customers/viewers will want to watch.
Since social video is often consumed in short chunks by people scrolling through their news feeds, think about what’s going to make them stop in their tracks to watch your video. To maximize your brand exposure, even to those that don’t see the entire video, include your brand, logo or core message in the first three seconds.
Also, think about the viewer’s experience. Vertical videos (like on Instagram stories, TikTok and elsewhere) are a popular way for people to consume video on their mobile devices. It’s a good idea to watch a video from someone else on every platform. You'll notice there are slight variations in how the video is displayed on different platforms - sometimes with a timestamp or button over parts of the player. Also, know that if you put your logo or text in, say, the bottom right-hand corner of the video, it might get blocked from being seen. Also, on many channels, the common user experience is to watch videos with the sound off. So make sure your videos still work if you didn't listen to it.
As far as what to post, a 2017 study of YouTube users found that 65% of respondents said they turn to YouTube to 'help me fix something,' 56% said to 'learn something new' and 57% said 'to be entertained.' So, when creating social video content, make sure that it ultimately leaves your viewers educated or entertained.
Personalization and Hyper-personalization.
Small businesses are getting increasingly savvy, segmenting their email lists to send personalized welcome emails and promotional emails, which is great when you consider that, according to the DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all email revenue for email marketers using those features.
Triggered emails like abandoned shopping carts and resend to non-openers are also making customer engagement and successful calls to action easier to achieve. You know the drill: you see something you want from an online retailer, only to click out of the site before completing the purchase. Perhaps you were pulled away or just simply forgot. The reminder email you receive about the items remaining in your shopping carts is often the impetus you need to complete the purchase. Using email automation makes the process so easy for small business owners, and the impact cannot be overstated. Salesforce data shows that 60% of cart abandoners went back and purchased the products after receiving an abandoned shopping cart email.
As for the people on your email list who didn’t open your last email offer (not an uncommon occurrence in this age of digital distraction) there are now platforms that allow you to set up automatic “resend to non-openers,” giving them another opportunity to check out your email. This boosts open rates considerably. In fact, Constant Contact data shows that automatically resending an email campaign to contacts who didn’t open it can increase open rates by 35%.
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There’s also been a lot of talk about hyper-personalization, which relies on data collection related to things like their online purchase history and other online behaviors. For small businesses, this will take longer to achieve, as it requires e in-depth customer data and behavior analysis, but as online marketing platforms move in that direction it will make its way to small businesses, giving them the ultimate ability to provide the best possible marketing messaging at the most opportune times.
If you’re looking to boost customer engagement, raise your brand’s visibility and encourage more online sales but feel confused about where to begin, then shoppable landing pages, video and email personalization are easy-to-achieve starting points that can make a big impact on your business.