The 5 Marketing and Branding Predictions to Guide your Small Business in 2016

It’s that time of the year again. Marketers and business owners, alike, are clamoring about, trying to compile and analyze the data that will map out the trends we should all be following for the new year.

And though there is an onslaught of trend prediction blog posts and articles, finding the trends that are applicable to your business specifically will be far from an easy task.

This is mainly because there are so many facets of marketing to talk about. There’s inbound marketing, design, social media marketing, enterprise marketing, technical marketing, and small business marketing – just to name a few.

How are you going to cut through the noise and clutter to find some actionable tactics that will help you start the year off with a solid marketing plan?

We’ve decided to pull our resources and research to give you a simple list of some actionable trends to look out for this year:

1) Having conversations. The days of one-sided monologues are over. In order to gain credibility with potential customers, you need to be able to have a conversation with them. This means being active on social media, paying attention and responding to comments, and engaging with your audience regularly and genuinely. The reason why having conversations is projected to still be important in 2016 is because there’s so much value in adding it to your marketing strategy. Consider employing social listening and nontraditional social media tactics.

2) Content marketing. This has almost become a buzzword in 2015 and 2016 will be no different – except now people will have measurable results from its success. If you do not have a content marketing strategy in 2016, you will most assuredly lose out on potential customers. Why? Because marketing in 2016 will be all about lead nurturing and relationship building. These tactics can best be put into place by a solid content marketing strategy.

3) Human imagery. What do we mean by human imagery? Well, the trends are moving away from the overly staged, stock imagery visuals. People want to connect with real images. So the next time you’re looking for images to use in your branding, consider some authentic images of your company and operations or make use of infographics and video.

4) Mobile optimization. If you haven’t optimized your online presence for mobile use, you’re falling far behind. 2016 will likely be the year that mobile usage surpasses traditional desktop usage in all aspects including information search, social media access, and email access. In order to ensure that you’re abiding by this trend, update your website with a responsive design and make sure it’s easy to click-through to your content via mobile.

5) Engaging, genuine and consistent branding. Again, potential customers want to connect with something real so the times of smoke and mirrors in business are over. Full visibility in business is going to be a requirement in the years to come. In order to make a strategy of full visibility work well, you must have consistent branding and a consistent message. This means having the same message on your website that you have on your branding stationery, your sales pitches, your social media marketing and all other aspects of your online and offline presence. Offline branding also comes into play with this trend. The way you present yourself is going to be huge for small businesses and you’ll need to create an experience that’s memorable. Consider creating an engaging and genuine logo that you can use to connect all aspects of your business.

We hope you were able to use this post to identify some actionable tactics that will help you devise a solid plan for 2016.

It’s imperative to have a solid marketing strategy for 2016 and for small businesses, it begins with engaging and consistent branding.

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