After you read the article take a look behind the scenes at my authentic video to see how I used AI to help me create it!
A few years ago, most businesses in Clare, the area I live in, would find their customers through word of mouth. While this remains a very important way of developing any local business , it would be short sited for any business to ignore the impact of the digital age.
Today, if you are not set up online with a website and or social media to connect with your community, then it is likely that your competitors will be especially if they are from a younger generation.
Small business owners are realising the power of digital media in shaping the success of their ventures. As we step into 2024, let's explore the key digital media trends that can elevate your small business and keep you ahead of the curve.
1.Developing your Business using Social Commerce:
Picture this: Jenny, a fitness enthusiast, stumbles upon an Instagram post showcasing a local gym's personalized workout plans. With a few taps, she not only enrolls in a virtual class but also purchases fitness gear directly through the app. Social commerce is booming, with platforms like Instagram and Facebook becoming virtual marketplaces. In fact, studies show that businesses leveraging social commerce have experienced a 30% increase in sales.
2. Video Content Dominance:
Meet Mike, the owner of a cosy bookstore. Instead of traditional advertising, he starts creating short, engaging videos about his favorite books and literary events. Video content is the reigning king in the digital realm, with 85% of small businesses reporting higher user engagement through videos. Don't shy away from showcasing your story through this dynamic medium to connect with your audience on a personal level.
3. Hyper-Local Targeting:
James, who runs a neighbourhood coffee shop, noticed an increase in foot traffic after implementing geotargeted ads. Digital marketing has evolved to prioritize hyper-local targeting, ensuring that your message reaches the right people in your vicinity. Statistics reveal a 25% increase in customer engagement for businesses employing location-based marketing strategies.
If you don’t use ads, the same principle applies, concentrate on developing your marketing strategy locally first and establish a solid base before you attempt to attract a wider geographic audience.
4. Authenticity Over Perfection:
Consider Emma, a handmade jewelry artisan who gains a loyal following by sharing the craftsmanship behind each piece. Consumers are increasingly drawn to authenticity over polished perfection. Showcase the unique personality of your business – share behind-the-scenes glimpses, stories of challenges overcome, and celebrate your successes. A genuine connection with your audience fosters trust and loyalty.
Mary loves to talk about her B+B business, but she is very shy in front of a camera and clams up! So a great solution for anyone who likes to chat is to set up their own podcast. Think of it as a new way to blog, once you are set up its easier to chat than write. There are over I Billions blogs and only 4.2 Million podcasts just now so if you love to talk now is a great time to give it a try.
6. AI ( Artificial Intelligence) is here to stay!
This is the biggest trend of all for 2024.
In the same way we all became reliant on google to help us obtain information, the introduction of AI will soon become the first tool being used online to access information. Think of it as google on steroids!
As with all new tech, you will have to invest time learning how to use it, by attending webinars, reading articles, and just diving in and having a go. Network with other small business owners using AI and see how they are using it too.
As a small business owner navigating the digital landscape, these trends can be game-changers. Social commerce, video content, hyper-local targeting, authenticity, podcasts and the introduction of AI, are the pillars that can elevate your business in 2024. Embrace the opportunities that digital media presents, and remember, it's not about outspending your competition but outsmarting them.
In this ever-evolving digital era, the question isn't whether to embrace these trends, but rather, how can you tailor them to make your business stand out? As you embark on this journey, ask yourself: How can the power of digital media transform your small business into a thriving community hub?
If you want help with your digital strategy for 2024, contact me