We just wrapped up the first quarter of the business year, but there’s still time to make sure you get on top of the hottest marketing trends. Why? Because our industry is seasonal. Now is the time to move our businesses forward, get it while we can, and do our bests to eliminate the slow season, by using better business strategies.
We’ve been doing tons of research. We’re reading posts, articles and papers from Forbes, Entrepreneur, SproutSocial and more, to find out about the hottest marketing trends for your sanitation business.
2018 Marketing Trends
In our marketing trends research, we found a few common threads that we’re breaking down for you in this blog.
The top theme – website optimization and enhancement. Of course this covers a million miles of content, research and work. Because there’s so much involved, we’re sticking to SEO, Mobile, and Story Telling. The first big trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down is Mobile Optimization!
“Mobilefication” – You’ve heard about mobile websites, and you probably use them daily. However, for some reason, many small businesses just aren’t hopping on board. If you need proof of how effective a mobile site can be, look at people where ever you go. There’s a 99% chance that every other person you look at has their head buried in a cell phone. Mobile will continue to be a top priority for digital growth.
Here are a few tips to make sure you have a successful mobile website.
- Put a mobile strategy in place! Many of the people we work with have websites, but may not realize the importance of developing a mobile version. According to studies, more people use cell phones today than any other device.
- Know what you’re working with. Most “box store’ websites today (Squarespace, Wix, WordPress) have mobile functionality built into their programming. This means you may already be able to use a mobile version of your site. Check with your IT department, or website creator, to see what options are available to you.
- Make it fast. Mobile sites need to be fast and informative. Get down to the basics. Provide all of the information that’s necessary, but give the user fast load times. People using their phones for searches tend to be in a hurry – play into that. You need a description of your services and a “call to action” like – “Click here now to get your quote”, or “Email us for 24 hour service.” Quick info and easy contact are what matter most.
- Give texts a try. This is something we haven’t even done yet, but may benefit you and your customers. Do you think they might like to get live updates on your service times? Either way, this is a mobile trend to watch.
Be a Story Teller
More and more big businesses are relying on AI (artificial Intelligence) to do all of their communicating for them. The Pro: It’s difficult to respond to every customer, instantly, and with all of the information requested. AI can really help with that. The Con: People HATE being treated like machines. When was the last time you tried to call a help line or write a trouble ticket for an issue you’re having? Actually, don’t think about it. If you’re like us, you’ll get so mad you won’t want to remember. The point is, ‘bad’ AI can remove the personal feeling of your business. Personal relationships really matter in our industry.
Now, we don’t want to say that AI won’t help you. We’re just saying that before you start investing in brand new technology, you have to do a good job at telling your story first. Bad branding coupled with a lack of the human element could be a deterrent for potential customers.
Need help writing your story? Just remember these tips from Forbes:
- Always tie your stories back to your values and mission
- Engage your communities
- Build relationships with influencers
- Be transparent
These are just a few ideas from a great article we read on storytelling for your brand. Click Here to read the full editorial.
You’ve all heard of SEO (search engine optimization), but who and what are you optimizing for? We all want to be number one on the major search engine pages. There are key words, meta tags, photos, links and other items to consider when your reaching for higher SEO scores. However, like we said in the paragraph above, a personal touch is key. You have to optimize your site and mobile site for people. In fact, you want to optimize for the the broadest group of people possible! Cast a ‘wide net’. This is what marketers call the ‘top of the funnel’.
Are you familiar with the funnel? Check out this hypothetical example from SproutSocial.
Depending on where potential buyer is in the buying process, you need to speak to them differently.
- Top of the funnel: Jane is just getting into running. She notices her heels are constantly in pain after running but she’s not sure why. She assumes it’s just because she’s new to running.
- Your marketing message: At this stage, you’d need to educate Jane on why runners get pain in their heels when they run. You’re not selling anything, just providing information through a video or blog post perhaps.
- Mid-funnel: John has been running for over a month, and he keeps getting shin splints. So he’s actively searching for things like “how to stop shin splints.” He’s looking for a solution to his problem.
- Your marketing message: Since John acknowledges his pain point, your job is to show him that there are viable solutions to fix his shin splints. An article, downloadable guide or video with tips on how to avoid shin splints could work.
- Bottom of the funnel: Mary is a runner that currently uses insoles, but want to test another product. She’s actively looking for a solution.
- Your marketing message: This is when you should directly talk about your product and direct people to your product page rather than educating them.
A majority of the people browsing social media are more at the top of the funnel (Jane). Yet marketers advertise to them like they’re at the bottom (Mary).”
What this means is, be little more general. Not everyone ‘needs’ a portable restroom, but everyone needs to be clean, everyone is concerned with their health and the success of their personal life and business. So, when you’re marketing your company, focus on your story, then education, and finally on sales. Established a connection first, then make a sale.
We all want to be treated fairly, we all want to work with an honest company, and we all want to get the products we need – easily. By reading up on these marketing trends, you can develop strategies to give those experiences to your customers. This approach will lead to much stronger relationships and a higher lifetime value.