Video — In All Forms
If you’re taking advantage of Facebook Live streaming to connect with your audience, you’re already onto this trend. Videos have been one of the most successful ways users connect with businesses and brands, especially for content that is easily sharable. Facebook Live videos, in fact, often receive longer viewing time than native videos (original content uploaded to the site). And, stats show that these ad generating videos are often specifically searched for. But, this isn’t the only way to go about connecting through imagery. Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter videos can be just as successful at marketing your business and interacting — especially when it comes to creating trending, shareable information tidbits about your brand, products or a particular topic.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality games, news stories and videos have emerged with use by larger technology and marketing companies, making them often feel out of reach for small businesses — cost being a primary factor. But now may be the best time to jump on the VR bandwagon as an early adopter. With room in the market to explore, create new uses and establish niche trends, small businesses can be first to market, using virtual and augmented reality as a tool to strengthen their brand.
Millennials often get a bad reputation as being self-centered, but take note of a large trend among this age group: the need for individuality. This demographic is leading the way in demanding that retailers and business treat them as individuals, small businesses can take advantage of an audience that is looking for personalized items and content. Collecting data from web or app users that can tailor their experience with your brand can be beneficial for small businesses, creating a specialty, niche feel for end-users. This can go as far as using push notifications, loyalty or rewards programs or geo-location notifications. Failing to offer an individualized experience is one trend that small businesses just can’t afford.
Each year, new trends emerge — some of them just as beneficial to small businesses as larger companies. How you choose to incorporate these into your marketing strategy or digital approach is based solely on your company’s individual needs and goals. But, knowing these trends are out there, and can offer some benefit, allows you to cherry pick what works best now while looking out for what’s to come in future.