US Small Business Trends to Watch in 2017

Small businesses in the US are very optimistic about their prospects in 2017 and beyond. A recent survey reveals that they expect their revenues to increase compared to last year. There is no doubt that quality B2B software solutions can help small companies to improve their efficiency, productivity, and profits. You need to keep track of the latest trends and apply them effectively to enhance your prospects. We’ll help you out by detailing the biggest small business marketing trends to watch in 2017.

 

Mobile is King

 

Smartphones have overtaken desktops as the preferred device of the new generation to surf the internet. In fact, on 2016 Black Friday mobile revenue topped $1.2 billion, growing 33% from 2015. Plus, there were 57% more mobile opens compared to desktops on Black Friday.

 

It is therefore no surprise that businesses are going all out with marketing campaigns targeted at mobile users in 2017. They are optimizing their websites and email templates for mobile devices and making it simple for shoppers to buy products with just a few clicks.

 

A HubSpot survey on consumer behavior reveals that a high percentage of buyers utilize their smartphone as their main device to search and find information. Small store owners can engage these consumers by advertising special events, discounts, and deals via text messages to get them to visit their outlet and make a purchase.

 

Video Rules the Internet

Video is delivering soaring click-through and engagement rates, which is why your social media accounts and email inbox are getting flooded with streaming marketing videos. Cisco estimates that by 2019, videos will account for 80% of internet traffic. The HubSpot survey reveals that 55% of consumers are more interested in videos compared to other types of content.

 

However, the danger is over-saturation because everybody is climbing onto the bandwagon. Small businesses can avoid this trap by creating and distributing videos that build on their presence in local markets and personal engagements with their customers. For instance, you can prepare videos that show your customers what happens behind the scenes in your company as well as prominent places and people in the neighborhood to build closer relationships with them.

 

Small businesses should also take good advantage of the live streaming capabilities and benefits of Instagram Live and Facebook Live. You can live stream events and announcements to your online community through these channels. Facebook Live scores here as you can save the videos on your timeline so that they can be replayed by viewers any time. Instagram Live does not offer this capability.

 

Email Marketing Offers Better Return

Online users are increasingly using ad blockers to prevent being deluged by unwanted spam ads. In addition, social network reports indicate that the marketing return on investment from these channels is not all that is made out to be.

 

The best returns come from email marketing and can be as high as 122% reports the Direct Marketing Association. This is much higher than paid search, direct mail, and social media. For this reason, small businesses can be expected to target the inbox more keenly in 2017. Do not send generic emails to a list of subscribers. Rather focus on delivering personalized offers and relevant content to specific customer segments to kindle their interest in your products or services.

 

Millennials are a Juicy Market

Millennials have overtaken baby boomers to become the most populous generation in the US. They are a young and tech-savvy consumer segment that presents a huge business opportunity for small companies. Millennials prefer convenience and appreciate the chance to shop anywhere, anytime.

 

To cater to this sophisticated audience, small companies need to have a robust online as well as mobile presence. It is important to mobile-optimize your online store and go beyond and even offer a mobile app for comfortable shopping. Small businesses can make use of affordable eCommerce and shopping cart software solutions such as Shopify, Vend, and Magento to build an online store without much capital investment.

 

Make Good Use of Customer Data

Small retailers will be left behind if they don’t make the effort to collect and analyze customer data using customer relationship management (CRM) technology. A quality CRM software system can help them to track and understand individual consumer needs, buying behaviors, and purchase histories, and monitor product sales and company deals and promotions. Your marketing and sales teams can use this data to craft personalized selling strategies. Plus, you can easily identify which campaigns and strategies are proving to be effective and which need retooling. This can help you save money and time, and at the same time improve efficiency and productivity.

 

Conclusion

 

We hope the popular influences and trends outlined in this article give you ideas to create effective marketing strategies for your small business in 2017 and beyond. You can also consult a reliable source such as the FinancesOnline.com review website to get the lowdown on leading B2B software systems and learn how they can benefit your business. The key to success is to get the basics right. So, focus on building a database of interested subscribers and engage them personalized offers and content to boost your sales and profits.