All hands on deck
As content becomes increasingly important, there will continue to be a greater need for assets. All team members (CEOs included!) will be expected to start contributing photos, blog ideas, quick videos and other content fodder to support the team.
Jennifer Barbee, JenniferBarbee.com
Small businesses will increasingly seek ways to connect with customers using an authentic voice that stays true to the company’s personality. Small businesses are ideally situated to capitalize on this movement because they are still perceived as being run by people, whereas corporations are viewed as machine-like. This gives small businesses significant advantage in today’s authenticity-seeking marketplace.
Virginia Ginsburg, Swell Strategies
We have already seen a huge shift towards responsive design in 2013 but there are plenty of small businesses that are still using non-responsive design. I think in 2014 we will start to see the emergence of sites that are designed for viewing on mobile phones and small-screen devices first, with laptop and desktop computer users being considered as a less important section of the overall audience.
We will see an increase of companies calling on their crowd of dedicated, social media experts to take part in their social media efforts – collaborating, innovating, and communicating with each other and the company’s customers. The best part about the crowd is that more often than not, these people are doing this work for the pleasure, intrinsic motivation. In other words, this cost effective strategy, to help organizations execute trail blazing products and services, will cost organizations very little, if anything, and allow allocation of internal resources to other projects. Crowdsourcing is becoming more prevalent across organizations, seeking culturally diverse collaboration and a fresh perspective on business strategies and projects. As competition continues to rise, so too will crowdsourcing because although two minds are better than one, millions of minds are better than two.
Carly Kaplan, Arise.com
Many companies are becoming more creative with their marketing campaign by demonstrating short brief video clips to showcase their product and services viral. Social media is a huge venue platform in reaching a large population “live” all at one time. Instagram is the new massive informatics of marketing and advertising. It’s essential to grasp the social influence medium of marketing and advertising in reaching consumers. Companies are conducting massive marketing research on consumer’s interests by applying new infomercial concepts that will attract and capture consumers by creative visualization to buy products and services. Instagram is just that platform to provide a quick “eye view” of what you are promoting.
Parisnicole Payton, The PNP Agency
Renewed Focus on Strategic Alliances
As small businesses seek to grow their audiences, drive new customers and optimize marketing expenditures, we will see an increase in alliances. Whether to put on events, offer promotions, or share in advertising expenses, small businesses will band together. I expect we’ll see both complementary businesses and those with little in common other than targeting the same geography or demographic collaborating.
Hillary Berman, Popcorn & Ice Cream
Mobile is also expected to overtake desktop Internet usage, according to Microsoft, so it’s more important than ever to go mobile. Basic requirements are realizing that your content looks good in a mobile stream, and in having a website that is mobile-friendly (which should have been done already in 2012 or 2013). If the mobile version of your website isn’t easy to use, then most users won’t even return.
Kris Roxas, Incredible Wind
Third Party advertising apps
As more Facebook ad distributors enter the market and develop more robust analytics programs, it will be easier for small businesses to distribute their content to Facebook users with a better ROI. We can expect to see companies like Adroll and Perfect Audience gaining large amounts of users in the coming year.
John Leo Weber, GeekPoweredStudios.com
Image courtesy NonProfit Marketing Guide