Top Trends in Small Business Marketing Tools



marketing trendsLow cost marketing tools and resources that innovative small businesses should seek to leverage as part of an integrated marketing strategy

While the basic principles of marketing never seem to change, the marketing tools that businesses can utilize to attract and retain customers continues to evolve.

The good news for small businesses is that many of the top trends in marketing tools are based on new technology that makes marketing initiatives easier, more efficient and less costly to implement.

Keeping up with marketing tool trends demonstrates that your business is progressive, innovative and an industry leader. Small business marketing teams should embrace and leverage new trends in marketing to position them ahead of the pack and reap the benefits of greater exposure at a lower cost.

Marketing Tool Trends for Small Businesses

Here are some of the top marketing tools that are becoming a must-have trend for small business marketers.

Social Media
From social sharing plug-ins for websites to free communication platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, social media continues to top the list of marketing tool trends for small businesses. Social media puts small businesses on an equal playing field as larger businesses, enabling small businesses to expand their reach with customer and prospect communications.

But small businesses should not be fooled by the free price-tag on social media resources – an effective plan and strategy requires investment in time as well as resources for graphics, supporting content and strategy consultants. Resources like Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day help businesses put together a plan of action that makes managing a social media strategy on a daily basis easier.

Smart Phone QR Code Scan Tags
Scan tags are appearing on nearly everything these days – from print ads to product packaging to storefront decals. As more and more people get on-board with smart phones and QR (quick release) code scan applications, small businesses should embrace the technology for local or national marketing efforts.

At a minimum, small businesses should leverage QR codes on printed marketing materials to help bring offline marketing efforts online for more actionable results.

Local Coupon and Online Deals
The growth of online coupon and deal websites like Groupon and Living Social is one of the hottest trends in marketing. Best of all, these highly local coupon and deal sites are ideal for small businesses looking to drive sales and business in their local markets.

The highly popular Living Social site is quickly becoming a must-have local marketing tool for driving local business through limited time deals – working as a cost-effective online coupon that eliminates the need for more costly direct mail coupon programs.

To test out how Living Social works you can Subscribe to Living Social to receive local deals.

Targeted Online Advertising
Small businesses on a budget can avoid expensive banner ads (more geared for big business branding) and opt for targeted online opportunities that are delivered to consumers in a shopping mode to produce measurable results and direct revenue.

Targeted online advertising continues to become an even more targeted and effective marketing tool for small businesses with the introduction of new programs like Amazon Product Ads. Amazon Product ads is a pay-per-click ad program that put your products directly on the high traffic Amazon marketplace when customers are searching for similar products.

Video Marketing
Videos are an engaging way to communicate company messages, product overviews, customer testimonials and more. A corporate video marketing channel on YouTube can be a very effective marketing tool for small businesses to communicate to more customers and prospects, expand their PR marketing reach and assist their SEO strategy with increased exposure in search engines.

Just as social media outlets are free to utilize, a video marketing channel on YouTube is a free marketing tool for small businesses to leverage. However, as the trend to utilize video marketing grows, businesses will need to invest more in their video production capabilities and integration with other marketing initiatives. Tools like muvee Reveal Video editing software can help you make professional videos using video or photos and can even integrate with Facebook and YouTube for easy uploading.

Public Relations
Although the art of public relations may seem like an old school marketing tool, the availability of public relations distribution services has reinvigorated public relations as a top marketing tool trend for small businesses.

Press release distribution services are becoming essential marketing tools for small businesses by improving online visibility. Most online PR distribution services like 24-7PressRelease.com and eReleases offer very low cost options for getting out news releases and maximizing online exposure. They distribute news releases to media organizations, online news sites, social media sites and search engines – giving business websites a nice jolt in traffic as news is released.

The trend of public relations integrating with social media, combined with new low cost distribution options, has made press releases and PR activity a more valuable component to a small business’ overall marketing strategies and plans. Other PR marketing tools like MyPRGenie help businesses optimize and manage their release activity with SEO guidance and direct distribution to social media outlets.

Print-on-Demand
In a highly digital world, many businesses are shifting dollars from printed marketing materials to web-based properties. However, completely eliminating printed marketing materials is not necessarily a good move for small businesses. There will almost always be a need for business cards, product sales or spec sheets and simple brochures – not to mention the occasional direct mail piece.

Digital printing services like PsPrint, 48HourPrint.com and Vistaprint offer a lower quantity print-on-demand option that also requires a low-cost per piece investment. Print-on-demand technology will continue to be an important and effective marketing tool for small businesses as new marketing trends such as customer-driven personalization options and smart phone QR scan tag integration also grow as small business marketing strategies.



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With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of SBMarketingTools.com and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: MyBoatLife.com and BoaterKids.com.

One Comment

  1. Awesome modern techniques shared for marketing in a business, really Social Media and Targeted Online Advertising affects allot whether to attract your customers or to establish new business relations.

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