Marketing Your Small Business in 2017


2016 was a big year seeing major changes to Facebook, and Instagram’s algorithms.  Linked In just got bought by Microsoft. Twitter will either become irrelevant or innovate and Snapchat is competing to become more of a major force. Google’s advertising revenue continue to decline as users become better at blocking ads and users move to mobile.

So what were the biggest learning lessons in 2016 and what can you expect in 2017? Here’s our list of recommendations for your small business marketing strategy in the months ahead.

1.  Mobile is going to be the center of marketing.

Mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic this summer. From smart phones, tablets, and wearable gadgets, consumers are now viewing the internet on mobile devices. According to Marketing Land’s report (April 2016), mobile now accounts for 65% of traffic and desktop has become a secondary touch point. And this year:

– Google saw a decline in advertising revenue since less clicks happen on mobile.

– 91% of Facebook usage is on mobile.

– 80% of Facebook advertising revenue is on mobile.

– 90% of mobile time is spent on apps.

2017 Recommendations

1.  Make sure you have a mobile ready strategy (adaptive web design and mobile messaging).

2.  Make sure you have a mobile centric search strategy. Most mobile searches include the words “near me”. Ensuring you have a solid Google Local presence will be critical to your visibility.

2.  Call to action buttons.

These buttons exist on many social platforms. Currently they are rarely used. However that may change this year as the social apps push more users to do everything within their networks.

2017 Recommendations

1.  Make sure you have call to actions on all of your social networks. They may be “Shop now” or “Call now” or “Make an appointment”

3.  Reviews.

Here are some important statistics about online reviews:

–  88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.(Source: BrightLocal)

– 70% of consumers say business service reviews (recruiting services, agencies) are as or more important than reviews of personal services (home contractors, babysitters). (Source: Capterra)

– Customers spend 31% more with a business that has “excellent” reviews. (Source: Invesp)

– Buyers consult reviews early in the search, with 68% reading reviews as they build their shortlist. (Source: Software Advice)

2017 Recommendations

1.  Assign someone on your team the responsibility in collecting online reviews from your customers.

2.  Focus on the top 2 or 3 platforms relevant for your industry (Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Zillow etc.)

3.  Set goals as to how many reviews to obtain a month and incentive your team for hitting those coals.

4.  Social Media

Networking through this social media has seen an astronomical rise in the past decade.  Gary Vaynerchuck calls Social Media the new TV and TV the new Radio.  Social media is where the attention is.   This year we saw big changes with Facebook openly going after Snapchat by adding stories to Instagram and Live Streaming to Facebook.

2017 Recommendations

1.  Focusing on one or two platforms depending on where your customers are.

2.  Using the platform to nurture your current offline relationships.  Connect with your customers socially and engage with them online.  Personalize your interactions to what is going on in their lives.

3.  Consider yourself a publisher first.  Generate content that will be relevant to your customers daily lives.

4.  Create content that is contextual to the platform.  A big mistake we see is when companies repurpose the same piece of content on all of the social platforms.

5.  Write for your audience.  Not for yourself.

6.  Videos are the most engaged pieces of content.  Consider how you can make 15 sec to 3 minute videos to share with your audience.

5.  Pay per click

There is no faster way to drive traffic to your site than pay per click.  It’s still an effective way to get new leads.

2017 Recommendations

1.  Before you turn on a pay per click campaign, make sure your website is mobile ready and has the right quality content to attract your target customer.

2.  Sign up for a Google AdWords account to run your first campaigns.

3.  Measure your results with Google Analytics.

4.  Have a method in turning your paid traffic into owned traffic by making sure you collect their email, and have a system in place or methodology to continue the conversation.

So in conclusion

As a small business, you have to have laser-like focus on where to spend your money and your time. Sit down prior to launching your campaigns to develop a plan that will yield the biggest returns for your company by targeting your customers where they are.

Contact the author...

Hannah Zulueta - Online Marketer

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