11 hot ideas to boost your sales in the coming year
This stuff isn’t going to sell itself. Good business starts with good marketing, and while you may be selling as best you know how, there are things coming down the pike you make not know about. Here are 11 hot marketing trends you need to be aware of for 2014.
1. Revving up reviewsOnline reviews matter, but buying them is unethical. So people will be finding new ways to generate legitimate positive reviews. One example: Grade.us builds a “review funnel,” channeling customers from their experience with you directly to review sites via URLs and QR codes. You must make it easy for fans to play up your business’ name.
RELATED: Tips for Getting Positive Reviews Online
2. Visual appealIncreasingly, marketing will help people think in pictures. “Infographics will dominate not only for social media marketing, but support graphics for editorial articles and press releases,” says Melih Oztalay, CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing. “These visual representations of knowledge present complex information to be easily consumed by the reader.”
RELATED: Your Business Needs More Online Pictures. Here’s How.
3. Social scale-back“After falling in love with all things social media, small business owners are cutting back, limiting their involvement to two or three tools, rethinking networking and introducing measures for their marketing efforts. Many have wasted precious time and money [on social media] in 2013 and now are looking to be more strategic and pragmatic about what’s working and what’s not for 2014,” says Donna Marie Thompson of Peak Profit Potential.
RELATED: How Much Social Media Time is Too Much for a Small Business?
4. Local leverageMicro-shopping will continue to build momentum in the coming year. “Small and local business will be hot: Shopping local and locally grown will become more popular. People are recognizing that when they shop locally, this keeps dollars local,” says Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations. Business owners should be looking for ways to build up their home-grown credentials in all their marketing.
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5. Return to rootsIt will be the year for keeping it real. “Do what best fits your brand. I would never do video. I just don't feel comfortable doing that, but I love print and radio interviews,” offers Dave Wakeman, principal of Wakeman Consulting Group. “Your marketing needs to reflect who you are and not what some ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’ is telling you that you have to do.”
6. Embrace the basicsThe tried-and-true will still hold sway. “Some ‘old’ techniques like traditional direct mail are seeing a resurgence as online mailboxes become more and more full and traditional ‘snail mail boxes’ remain relatively empty,” says Linda Pophal of Strategic Communications LLC.
RELATED: 4 Old School Marketing Methods That Still Work
7. Reward the repeatersRegulars are the life-blood of any business and as such should be rewarded for their year-in, year-out devotion. As small businesses look to hold their ground in a still-uncertain economy, the smart ones will be giving their regular customers discounts, special sales and invitation-only events to help keep them incentivized,” suggests David Rusenko, founder and CEO of Weebly.
RELATED: How to Find –And Keep – Your Ideal Customer
8. Newsjacking“Brands are taking advantage of current news topics in the moment things happen and attaching news to their brand in some way to capitalize on the newsworthiness,” according to Melissa DiGianfilippo and Alexis Krisay, owners of Serendipit Consulting. “This can be done through relevant blog posts, social media sharable graphics or media opportunities.” Approach with caution: Not every event can be leveraged for PR purposes.
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