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Key digital marketing trends for small businesses in 2019

Key digital marketing trends for small businesses in 2019

Posted 27th December, 2018 by Aidan

We’re coming close to New Year resolution time again and while the majority of the population will be vowing to get fit, stop smoking, and save more money, businesses owners and employees will be looking at ways they can innovate and improve in 2019.

Keeping on top of digital marketing trends will be vital to the success of small businesses in the coming year. Here are a few tips on how SMEs can strive to thrive in 2019.

Put AI on your radar

When we say put AI on your radar, we mean exactly that. At the close of 2018 the majority of AI technologies remain pretty out of reach for small business owners; with big businesses like Google and Amazon spending around £100,000 a year for every data scientist or AI marketing expert they employ.

Despite this, there are some things small business can do in terms of AI in 2019. For starters, there are a few useful off the peg AI tools that you can harness without breaking the bank.

You might not realise it but Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms use AI and machine learning, and small businesses can harness this AI when they run advertising campaigns that target customers on their existing in-house customer email databases.

If your business runs pay per click campaigns, meanwhile, you can invest in the AI tool Aquisio to help you optimise these campaigns and get more conversions for your budget. For small businesses, the cost of using Aquisio starts at just less than £200 a month.

MonkeyLearn is another AI based tool that can be used in marketing that can be affordable for small businesses. It allows you to use machine learning to do things like obtain actionable insights from outbound sales campaigns, understand how your brand message evolves over time, and research your competition and what people like and dislike about them.

If these tools aren’t suitable for your business, the best thing you can do is simply keep an eye on the AI market. TechEmergence runs a regular weekly podcast that features interviews with top AI executives and researchers that’s well worth tuning into.

Use topic clusters to inform blog and article content

First there were keywords, then there were longtail keywords, then there were topic clusters.

Although they sound complex, topic clusters are a pretty common-sense concept. The idea behind them is that they ensure that your own blog and article content doesn’t compete with itself in the search engine rankings.

HubSpot found that when they implemented topic clusters into their content strategy, they gained higher rankings in the search engines.

So how do you start using topic clusters?

It all begins with a brainstorming meeting – the same sort of meeting you’d have to discuss any new content to your editorial or blog calendar. Only this time, instead of sitting around and thinking about blog and article subjects as silos, you need to think about collections or suites of blog articles.

Start with a topic that is central to your business and means a lot to your customers. Imagine you are a fashion boutique, for example – your starting topic could be trends for the next season. For the sake of this piece, we’ll call it Trends for Spring 2020.

So, you begin with this overarching topic and then you brainstorm a list of much more detailed articles that link to this topic. In the case of the fashion boutique these could be:

  • Footwear trends for spring 2020
  • Accessory trends for 2020
  • Dress trends for spring 2020
  • Partywear trends for spring 2020

And so on.

Once your brainstorming is done, you schedule your overarching article to be published first and then post the related content in succession.

There are a few golden rules for making topic cluster content work, of course. Firstly, make sure there are plenty of backlinks between your overarching article and your related copy. Plus, make sure there’s no serious overlap or repetition of content in your cluster articles.

Get personal

There’s no shortage of articles on the internet about how important personalisation is and will continue to be in 2019 as far as business marketing is concerned.

These articles are stuffed with stats such as ’96 per cent of marketers believe that personalization advances customer relationships’ and ‘personalisation has the potential to deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10 per cent or more’.

However, information on the practicalities of implementing personalisation is thin on the ground. It’s all right if you’re a big business with million pounds’ worth of profit. You can simply invest in Adobe Experience Cloud for a licence of around £450,000.

But what do you do if you’re a small enterprise?

We’ll be writing a more detailed article on the tsoHost blog in coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

In the meantime, it’s helpful to understand that personalisation can be applied to multiple marketing channels...

  • You can personalise emails – and not just by adding in the customers’ names to the subject line.
  • You can create shopping cart abandonment prompts through email or SMS.
  • You can create tailored push notifications.
  • You can deliver product or service recommendations through your website.
  • You can tailor landing pages.

Software to look into includes MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and CleverReach for email personalisation, SharSpring for dynamic landing pages, and Maropost for in-app push messaging and SMS messaging.

Prepare for the voice search revolution

In 2019, it’s going to be more important than ever to ensure your business website content is ready for what digital marketing experts are calling ‘the voice search revolution’.

According to Search Engine Land more than a billion voice searches are already carried out every month. ComScore, meanwhile, is predicting that 50 per cent of all internet searches will be carried out by voice by 2020.

In November we posted a guide to preparing your business website for voice search on the tsoHost blog. The article covered:

  • What voice search is
  • How to prepare your business website for voice search
  • Tips for using longtail keywords
  • Tips for using natural language
  • Tips for harnessing on-the-go search habits
  • Tips for compiling FAQ pages

Get on board with video marketing

According to content marketing pros, DreamGrow 63 per cent of businesses have already started using video in their marketing efforts and that figure only looks set to grow in 2019.

In November we published a Beginners’ Guide to Video Marketing on the tsoHost blog. The article covered:

  • The benefits of video marketing – what the stats say
  • Advice on where businesses can start with video marketing
  • Tips for using video on social media sites
  • Tips for using video on your business website
  • The dos and don’ts of video marketing best practice
  • Solutions for practically producing video
  • Advice on editing processes and software

In summary…

Small businesses have their hands full and their plates spinning at the best of times, so adopting every single digital marketing trend going in 2019 is simply not possible.

Find time to try to implement the above five tricks and you should reap the benefits without going over budget and over resource.

Categories: Tips, Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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