Small Business Marketing Trends

As a small business owner, you wear many hats. CEO, accountant, HR manager, marketing director, and more. In your marketing function, knowledge of upcoming trends is important – especially when they will directly effect you!

There are lots of articles out there about marketing trends, and how small business owners can reach their customers, but wouldn’t it also be helpful to know how larger companies plan on marketing to you? We think it would, so today we’re going to discuss a recent study that looked into just that.

Bredin, a B2B marketing and research agency, surveyed 57 U.S. and Canadian enterprise companies that market to small businesses (SMBs). Here are 5 key insights that we took away from the research that you might find helpful in the coming year!

  1. Out of all the possible tactics for marketing to SMBs, the companies surveyed plan to prioritize email marketing and content marketing equally, dedicated about 15% of their budgets to each tactic.
  1. When asked the most effective strategy to market to SMBs, there were a wide variety of tactics employedpaid search, content marketing, social media, email, PR, blogging, and direct mail. This speaks to the diversity of SMBs out there and how big companies know they have to really branch out to reach them. Take a note from this, and make sure you are also exploring every angle to reach your own potential customers.
  1. Nearly 70% of SMB marketers plan to increase their resource allocation toward content marketing, making it the number one area where spending will go up. Content marketing is followed by social media and search marketing. So look for (or even demand!) more great free content from the companies that want your business.
  1. Of those companies that plan on increasing content marketing resources, the most popular format will be case studies and success stories. If you are looking for a great way to get some free and reliable exposure for your small business, capitalize on this trend! Take a look at the companies that already have your business, or those that you’re thinking about engaging, and ask about opportunities to get featured.
  1. Among social media marketing platforms, LinkedIn is actually set to grow the fastest with regard to these companies’ marketing budgets. Nearly 70% expecting to increase spending here, which either means they see a huge opportunity or they were not spending at all in the past. Next in line for spending are Twitter and Facebook. Take advantage of this knowledge by following companies you admire or plan to work with on LinkedIn – you might find opportunities to connect, get valuable industry content, or even receive special offers.

What trends have you already noticed when it comes to companies marketing themselves to your small business? Tell us in the comments section!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Content Marketing Manager at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social media tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog, Twitter, and Google+.

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