Marketing trends may not be as flighty as fashion, but they do evolve quite fast. The leading trend amongst them now is that marketing as a whole grows more complex and cohesive. Today a small business which wants to succeed mustn’t think in terms of social media, content, ads or other types of promotion separately. Instead, you need to develop a strategy that will include all these elements and organize it in a way which will enable them to boost each other.

5 Essential Elements of a Small Business Marketing Strategy

1.Diversify your content marketing

Content marketing has remained near to the top of SmartInsights list of most impactful marketing activities for years. Its relevance keeps growing, so developing top-quality content should be your priority in 2019. And your entire strategy should be focused upon promoting this content through multiple channels.

The people of today look for content that brings value, so self-promotional articles filled with keywords really are a thing of the past. Instead you should create how-to guides and other similar posts which will enable users to gain maximum value from your products/services. This year you should be incorporating the creation of webinars and even online courses into your content marketing strategy.

2.Use SEO, but don’t focus on it

Keyword optimization remains important, so you definitely need to research and implement the best SEO practices. However, the relevance of keywords as such is in decline. Today Google Search uses highly complex protocols which prioritize things such as mobile website optimization and loading speed.

Therefore, like content, your SEO must focus on delivering value first. This will entail optimizing your page to fit any kind of screen perfectly, making the design responsive, populating your website with visuals which look great but re-size to fit screens even better. Overall, in 2019 the emphasis in SEO moved from ‘search engine’ to ‘optimization’.

3.Put more effort into word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has been one of the most efficient methods of promotion for millennia. In fact it was the first marketing tool in history, and it remains as effective today as it was long before the Internet existed.

However, this extremely effective tool is often overlooked today and 2019 is the time to change this. You can use a variety of tricks to promote word-of-mouth marketing, from giveaways via social media to creating a loyalty program. Base your main routes on your audience’s preferences, although don’t forget to factor the dark social into your choices. Be sure to launch a survey to determine which private messaging apps your customers use. Then, find ways to encourage them to share news about your business through them.

4.Choose brand ambassadors over influencers

2019 is the year in which you’ll need to graduate from influencer marketing to brand ambassadors. Basically, ambassadors are influencers of the next level. Unlike short ‘gigs’ or one-time shout-outs to your brand, they will promote it all the time (or at least while you have them on a retainer).

Brand ambassadors need to be loyal to your business and have a good understanding of it. This deeper connection is exactly what makes their marketing more authentic and therefore more effective.

As a small business which is just starting up, you won’t be able to afford top-ranking influencers or ambassadors. However, you can foster relationships with the latter from the moment you launch. In fact, you should start by offering an opportunity to become ambassadors to your first loyal customers. Present this as a reward, and you’ll also gain many points on the word-of-mouth marketing scale.

5.Be authentic

In 2019 a small business not only needs to think of how and where to spread information about itself, but also to make sure that the right image is created with that information. Recent research indicates that brand authenticity matters greatly to modern consumers. 91% of them are willing to pay more, and otherwise reward brands which they genuinely trust.

Therefore it is essential to start building your reputation as an authentic, trustworthy brand even before you launch. Your brand-building campaign should begin a couple of months before your first release. Living up to all the promises you’ve made during this campaign and delivering a top-quality customer experience will gain you many points for authenticity from the start.

Bio: As a writer for Bid4Papers, Sarah Lewiston has a lot of experience in creating different types of content. Her fascination with marketing and how content integrates within its complex structure enables her to offer valuable advice to business owners who are learning to make themselves noticed.

5 Elements of a Successful Small Business Marketing Strategy in 2019