The year 2017 promises to be an exciting year for small businesses, and small business owners will need to prepare for changing marketing trends. This article discusses some marketing strategies that companies will use this year. Some of these may be perfect for your business.
Mobile Friendly Websites
In recent years, more people search and use websites on mobile devices than on desktops. Therefore, your websites should be mobile-centric, i.e. optimized for mobile use. Better yet, get a mobile app for your business. There are many available DIY app builders. Take a look at this list of the Best App Makers of 2017.With them, you can build an inexpensive mobile app. A Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans check their mobiles hourly and use apps 90% of the time.
Consumers are becoming comfortable making mobile payments using mobile pay services. You may want to advertise and offer this service.
New marketing channels that are available to small businesses are mobile-only, downloaded apps such as Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat. These apps are not available on desktops, but they are very popular and have a wide audience.
Email marketing is not a new trend. However, it continues to be one of the most effective techniques for getting and retaining customers. In a March 2016 survey of US SMB Retail Professionals, over 80% of respondents rated email over other marketing methods for acquisition and retention of customers. Furthermore, a 2014 Email Marketing Industry Census found that 68% of respondent companies rated email marketing over SEO (organic search), content marketing, paid search, offline direct marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, and online display advertising.
Consumers prefer to watch videos than to read text. Videos increase the reach and duration of marketing content, drive leads and sales and, as a result, contribute to the bottom line. In fact, predictions are that global mobile video traffic will increase exponentially from 3.6 million terabytes per month in 2016 to 23 million terabytes per month in 2019. Small business owners should consider increasing the video content on their web pages as well as adding videos to their social media.
Improvement of Blogs
SEO practices affect blog writing. However, if a blog is not useful or informative, readers are likely to leave the website. Therefore, this year is a good time to improve the content of your blogs. Use industry experts or professionals for writing and make sure the content is topical and on point. Your business will benefit from the changes.
International Call Forwarding Service
Global Call Forwarding (GCF) provides an international call forwarding service used by many successful global businesses, both big and small. We provide toll free numbers and local phone numbers to clients in over 150 countries and thousands of cities. We have an advanced network structure and provide customers with 24/7 technical support.
Using either local phone numbers or toll free numbers, your business will have a virtual office in your global marketplaces. The local phone numbers and toll free numbers portray a local presence to your customers. GCF forwards calls made to those numbers to specified destinations. It is a toll free call.
In addition to the many standard features that one expects, such as voice mail, customized greetings, and rollover minutes, GCF’s international call forwarding service provides service features that help small businesses manage call flows. These specialized features are Advanced Call Forwarding, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Auto-Attendant.
Advanced Call Forwarding
Incoming calls can be directed to standard landlines, mobile phones, or computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The destination can be anywhere in the world. Subscribers to the international call forwarding service can customize receiving phones based on time of day, day of the week, holiday schedules, etc. The combinations are unlimited. Calls from non-English speakers (such as Thai, Tagalog, Cantonese or Mandarin) can be routed to agents that speak those languages. Advanced call forwarding is a very useful tool for small businesses.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
The IVR is a computerized system that greets incoming callers and transfers their calls to the proper department or extension. You can program the IVR to meet your specific business needs. Customization includes greetings, announcements, prompts, extensions, and email destinations. A free PBX service is part of the IVR. This is what allows customers to establish a private telephone network, which connects incoming calls to the appropriate extension.
The auto-attendant answers incoming calls and gives a pre-recorded message. Users can program it based on their needs. Often, an auto-attendant gives the following options:
- If you know the extension, dial it.
- A list of departments and a number to dial to reach that department
- Dial “0” for operator.
- An option to repeat the above menu
Through the use international call forwarding services and by subscribing to local phone numbers or toll free numbers, even a small business can maintain a global posture. Consider the possibilities of being able to tap into markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand. If you own a business in those countries, provide local phone numbers or toll free number to your customers or prospects in North America, South America or Europe and then reap the benefits.
Perhaps 2017 will continue to be a year of growth for small businesses around the world. The Dow has already eclipsed 20,000 for the first time in history. Why not try some of the above marketing trends and supercharge your business.