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Small businesses in 2024 embrace AI marketing, AR/VR, and content creation trends. Soft skills, cybersecurity, and authenticity remain essential for success.

Small Business Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2024

Small Business Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2024

Small Business Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2024

Heading into 2024 with your small business means keeping up with the latest developments. Some "trends" may be lasting pillars for businesses. Some are temporary circumstances, and others are driven by constantly changing technology. Trends communicate customer desires and opinions, making them a valuable source of information. This year’s trends include incorporating innovative technology into your business operations.

Let’s dive into some of 2024’s most notable trends:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) guided businesses through some of the pandemic’s marketing challenges. These apps proved to be lasting marketing options during uncertain times. AI apps helped reduce business risk during the pandemic, but only 25% of small businesses use them. This year’s trends include AI-powered marketing tools.

AI Marketing Automation: Utilizing AI marketing solutions like chatbots and messaging apps is not only personalizing customer experiences, but these features allow businesses to expand data collection.

While automated marketing does the work, it’s a mistake not to monitor the experience and analyze the additional data. Data collected through customer journeys can help your small business optimize your marketing strategy and campaigns. Automation options offer a way to deliver immediate, cost-friendly customer service.

Hyper-Personalization: Using a customer’s browsing and purchase history, AI makes personalized item recommendations for customers. The collected customer information works through all areas of customer interaction. This includes coupons, emails, offers, and online suggestions.

Augmented and Virtual Reality:

Augmented Reality (AR) takes actual data and computer-generated information to create real-world settings that users can control. An example of AR includes customers being able to take an online item image and place it in a virtual creation of their home with a smartphone. This approach creates a connection between the consumer and the item, as they can visualize it becoming a part of their home.

For example, interior designers can use AR to help customers visualize how their new design will look in the space. Landscapers can show what the landscaping or hardscaping will look like.

With Virtual Reality (VR), users can interact with an environment controlled by the system. This differs from AR, where the consumer controls where they place objects. With VR, users must wear helmets or headsets for the full experience.

In marketing, VR can be used to offer customers an experience. Whether demonstrating a product, transporting consumers to a virtual event, or pulling them into an advertisement, VR has a place in marketing.

Content Creation

Social media continues to be a helpful marketing tool for small businesses, and content creation determines the level of social media success for a business. This year’s trends echo last year’s and expand on collaboration as a marketing tool.

Social Media SEO: Ensure that your content stands out from AI-generated content. In 2024, establishing expertise, authority, and trust will be more critical than ever—with experience added into the mix. Rolled out in 2023, Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) uses AI to enhance users’ search queries. Delivering customer-focused, creative, quality content that creates a better customer experience has never been more critical.

User Generated Content (UGC): Most people think of photos and videos when you mention user-generated content. While these are common areas of UGC, so are user reviews, social media interactions, and testimonials.

In a world of stock photos, 80% of consumers prefer customer photos, spend 90% more time on sites with UGC, and purchase 24% more. This year, encourage customers to share pictures, videos, and reviews. They can share them on the internet, on their social media, and on your channels. Seek out customer photos and videos that catch the viewer’s eye.

Influencer Marketing: With 70% of consumers purchasing items seen on social media and 95% of them reading reviews before buying something, influencer marketing makes sense. Experts anticipate that influencer marketing will grow as much as 16% in 2024. Businesses will increase their spending on influencers this year and strive to create lasting partnerships.

There are different levels of influencers, and micro-influencers are a cost-effective trend. Micro-influencers typically have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers within a niche area. Their average per-post price tag of $500 is far more cost-friendly than the up to $75,000 charged by big-name influencers. Nano and Micro-Influencers provide global, niche exposure at more affordable rates. Long-standing partnerships can grow your small business exposure as your influencers grow their followings.

Some Things Never Change:

Though technology and trends constantly change, soft skills are still as important as ever— perhaps more than ever. In 2024, AI, coding, and automation will increase the need for the human touch. This is especially true for business-to-business interactions.

Be sure your small business ensures cybersecurity and privacy for your customers. Focus on improving your customer experience and standing out from your competition. People still want and expect authenticity, trust, and a human connection.

Resources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/augmented-reality.asp#:~:text=Augmented%20reality%20(AR)%20is%20an,and%20business%20applications%20in%20particular.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/vr-marketing-examples

https://moz.com/blog/2024-seo-content-predictions#:~:text=In%202024%2C%20SEO%20focus%20will,become%20crucial%20for%20SEO%20success.

https://www.loyoly.io/blog/what-is-user-generated-content-ugc

https://adage.com/article/year-review/5-influencer-marketing-trends-watch-2024/2534731#:~:text=Also%20read:%20Stanley%20hires%20GSD&M,billboards%20or%20subway%20station%20screens.

https://www.edie.net/partner-content/in-2024-b2b-content-marketing-needs-a-human-touch/#:~:text=This%20is%20partly%20what%20happened,really%20resonates%20with%20their%20audience.

 

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