As a small business owner striving to find new ways to grow and succeed, you are all too aware of the constant flux in business trends. Here are just a few making buzz as we approach 2019.
Technology, technology, technology!
You would have to be living under a rock for at least the last several decades to not be aware of the impact that technology continues to make not just in the business sector but also in our culture as a whole. So it should be of no surprise that staying on the cusp of technological trends within your particular industry is key to your continued success.
According to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc., spending on information technology (IT) products and services in Australia is forecast to reach almost $93 billion in 2019, an increase of 3.5% from 2018, slightly higher than the global average growth rate of 3.2%.
Because of that, it’s understandable that experts in the field are predicting that, more than ever before, 2019 is likely to see the failure of businesses that don’t embrace technology and utilise it to the fullest extent.
Businesses are remaining competitive in their fields by leveraging technologies like the cloud, utilising communication apps like Slack to allow for remote working, and digging into data science tools to achieve much stronger results than businesses that work in a more local capacity and aren’t gathering detailed performance metrics.
To put it simply, businesses that have an aversion to technology will need to have a particularly strong point of difference to remain competitive and relevant.
Marketing and advertising strategy
Similar to technology, marketing and advertising are continually changing to meet the needs and expectations of the consumer. As a business owner, you work hard to keep your hand on the pulse of your target customer and discover fresh new ways to keep them engaged and delighted with your product or service.
In the ever-changing, competitive economic market, it can be difficult to scale, differentiate yourself, and maintain trust with your customers. This is why we see more money going to content marketing, influencer marketing, referral partnerships, and other methods that are designed to deliver actual value to your audience.
One very important detail to remember as you plan your marketing strategy, however, is to keep it personal. Generic calls-to-action and blanket campaigns will no longer convince customers. Smart content, personalisation tools, and high-value content are a must to be successful. This type of relationship building trend is a safe bet because speaking directly to your customers generally delivers the most positive results.
You must be social!
Paid social ads on Facebook have been a staple in the advertising strategy of large corporations for several years now, with small businesses tending to shy away from spending their dollars there. As 2019 gains momentum, however, there is the expectation of more small businesses dipping their toes in the social ad wading pool across all of the social platforms.
As the number of advertisers increases, we can also expect the cost of social advertising to rise. So, in order to stay ahead of other advertisers, you need to up your social media game:
- Develop an understanding of your target audience. Many people use a variety of networks for different purposes, making it crucial to develop a multichannel approach in reaching your customers.
- Decide if influencer marketing is right for your business. Advertisers are increasingly embracing influencer marketing as customers become overexposed to paid ads and are using social media to guide purchases, often with the influence of their favourite personalities.
- Don’t rely on organic content alone to increase your reach. Invest in paid elements, such as lookalike audiences to amplify your reach. Lookalike audiences rely on the algorithms developed by social networks to help you connect with users who are similar to your ideal customer profile.
These are just a sampling of social marketing features available for you to implement. Take some time to find the ones that best fit your needs and goals!
As you gear up for all that 2019 has in store, take some time to celebrate the success you’ve experienced with your business over the past year. This is a great opportunity to assess both the failures and achievements of the past, applying everything you’ve learned to your future business strategy. And remember, in the midst of all the rising and falling trends, embrace and implement the ones that will work best for you.