It’s hard to believe a new decade is already here! 2019 saw quite a few changes to the marketing industry, including chatbots, new security regulations (like GDPR), and the rise of voice search. But as you’re looking ahead to your 2020 goals, you may be wondering what else has changed—and what tactics you need to adopt.
It’s pretty common for small business owners to feel overwhelmed at the start of a new year, so if you do, you’re not alone! You’ll probably hear about plenty of other marketing strategies that are necessary for your business. But we’ve narrowed it down to five tactics to implement for your 2020 marketing plan:
Businesses used to rely on the funnel to sell; the linear process would involve customers finding or receiving marketing collateral, talking to a salesperson, and purchasing a product or service. But the problem with this tactic is that it puts the product and buying process first, then the customer. Because the buyer is an afterthought, the sales funnel prioritizes revenue over relationships (whether that’s intentional or not).
But today, there’s a better way to market: the flywheel. A flywheel is simply an efficient wheel that stores and outputs energy based on how fast it spins and how much friction it meets. A wheel uses momentum to keep spinning, and your business should do the same! Think of your marketing strategy as the wheel; your momentum consists of customers spreading the word about your company by sharing your content or engaging with your brand. In other words, your buyers are helping your business succeed!
The flywheel helps customers become curious about, enlightened by, and ultimately committed to your brand. Because this concept is a continuous process, it accounts for repeat purchases, referrals, upsells, and buyers doing their research before the sales process even begins. Unlike the funnel, the flywheel puts your customers first and maintains relationships with them—letting you solve even more of their problems while growing your business.
Another modern innovation that’s geared toward solving problems: smart devices. Whether it’s an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Siri for iPhones, voice assistants are becoming a part of everyday life. Core DNA reports there were more than 1 billion monthly voice searches in January 2018—and that 50 percent of all Google searches will be voice queries this year (2020). What’s more, 71 percent of 18- to 29-year-old smartphone owners use voice assistants.
This shows us a couple of key points. First, people are asking longer, more conversational questions with voice queries. For example, a customer may type “Lafayette, Indiana weather” but ask their Google Home “What is the weather like in Lafayette, Indiana today?” You can optimize for this sort of query by using conversational headlines and specific longtail keywords. Just remember that it’s better for your customers (and your website’s rankings) if your content provides helpful answers in the right context, not just a perfect string of keywords.
Second, with so many customers asking voice assistants for help instead of typing out a question, it’s clear that people are busy and on-the-go. Make sure your website is responsive so you can meet each buyer’s need to access answers and information via mobile devices.
Marketers have typically created content based on what we think our target audience is looking for. This lets us cover a broad range of topics, but according to Animalz Content Marketing, depth is usually more helpful for readers than breadth. People search for content when they have a specific problem to solve—and when they need results quickly. They will notice if your blogs just cover surface-level topics and information (instead of in-depth problem-solving).
To bring depth to your blog and build topical authority, establish a pillar page with cluster content. HubSpot defines pillar pages as “a broad overview of a specific topic. You can think of it like a summary or road map.” Cluster content covers subtopics that dive deeper into the overarching pillar page topic and deliver the specific results your customers need.
For example, a pillar page on “What is marketing?” might have cluster blog posts on strategy, content, social media, and so on. These subtopics help small business owners (like you!) who are looking for results to attract their best customers, engage more with buyers, become an industry expert, and more.
Because people are exposed to around 5,000 ads and marketing messages every single day, customers want to see unique, diverse content. According to Demand Gen Report, 91 percent of online buyers are looking for more visual and interactive content, as opposed to standard blog posts. That’s because videos and quizzes are more entertaining than reading a blog, and they keep users on the page longer. Interactive content is also easy to share, and when visitors write a post or tweet with your video or quiz, they’re building brand awareness for you!
Types of videos and quizzes you can create include:
It’s important to note that videos and quizzes take more time and resources to create than blogs. For example, you’ll need to record a video with quality sound and visuals, and you’ll have to make sure a quiz functions correctly on your website. Take a look at what you can create in-house, and consider outsourcing other interactive content to a marketing agency.
Generic email blasts and advertising aren’t cutting it for businesses anymore. In an Adweek survey of 1,000 people, 80 percent said they’d be more likely to buy from a company that offered them personalization. Customers want, even expect, content and promotions that are geared toward their preferences—and they’re tired of mass marketing.
So how can you personalize your 2020 marketing plan? Start by tailoring your ads and emails to individuals based on shared characteristics. Soo Jin Oh of Forbes says, “Determining in-depth consumer characteristics around age, lifestyle, environment, profession, income, habits, preferences, and interest can create brand loyalty and increased revenue.” In other words, the more relevant a visitor finds an ad or an email, the more likely they’ll be to engage with your brand and purchase your product or service.
Social media platforms like Facebook have made it easier than ever to target viewers with ads based on specific demographics, buying behaviors, preferences, and the like. And email marketing services like Mailchimp allow you to segment audiences by qualities like engagement (rarely, sometimes, and often engaged). You’ll still have to do the work and analyze your customers’ behaviors to personalize your marketing in a way that speaks to them, but you’ll meet their wishes by treating them like people (not a sales goal).
The only constant in life (and marketing) is change, so staying on top of these trends will really benefit your business. By putting these tactics to the test, your 2020 marketing plan will help you stand out from the competition and attract great customers!
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Treefrog Marketing is an agency in Lafayette, Indiana focused on small business. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.