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Operating a small business can be tough, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to give free reign to your entrepreneurial talent. With the political and economic landscape shifting all around us, it’s more important than ever for smaller businesses to keep their collective finger on the pulse and respond flexibly to any trends that crop up.
For 2019, that means keeping tabs on everything from voice search to hyper-personalisation, as we explain below.
2019 small business trend #1 – voice search
Let’s start with voice search. Voice is the next big thing in terms of internet usage. The popularity of smart speakers has accelerated the pace at which companies need to incorporate voice into their plans. Content should no longer be written only with typed SEO best practices in mind, as voice searches now need to be taken into account.
Voice searches differ from typed searches in that the former tend to be in the form of questions. As such, it’s time to revisit your online content to see how well it fits with this shift in user interactions. Remember that smart speakers only tend to return the top search result in response to a query – so achieving that top spot is more important than ever.
With voice search becoming available in more and more countries, remember to apply this new thinking to your website translations too – not just to the site’s original language. 2019 will be an important year in terms of climbing the search engine rankings around the world.
2019 small business trend #2 – hyper-personalisation
We are unquestionably living in an age when big data rules supreme. However, you don’t have to be as big (and as nosey) as Facebook in order to provide your customers with a hyper-personalised experience.
Almost everyone likes personalised service, so use the resources at your disposal to deliver this to your customers in 2019. Start by looking at what you already know about them. If you know the area in which a customer lives, along with their age and gender, you’re already in a strong position to deliver personalised content to them.
The next step is to hyper-personalise that content. What is that customer buying from you and how often? With details like this to hand, you can send them personalised product reminders when the timings suggest they may be about to run out of something. The customer appreciates the timely reminder and you ensure their business comes to you, rather than losing them to a competitor. Everyone wins!
2019 small business trend #3 – content marketing
If you don’t use blog posts and videos to help boost interest in your brand yet, 2019 is the time to start. Content marketing isn’t a pushy, salesy approach – it’s about creating genuinely interesting content that will enhance the authority of your brand. If you don’t have in-house expertise to do it, the internet is awash with talented content marketers (and not-so-talented ones, so be sure to choose carefully!).
Remember too that content marketing shouldn’t be limited to just one language. If you operate in more than one country, then use video translation or blog translation services to ensure that you build the reputation of your business everywhere that you operate. It’s also essential to remember the value of localization services when building up your overseas content marketing activity, so that you can ensure your content doesn’t accidentally offend any potential customers.
2019 small business trend #4 – embracing technology
In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to use technology to run your small business more efficiently. The right tech can speed up your operational activity and reduce costs. It can also enhance the customer experience, building brand loyalty among those who use your goods or services.
The wrong tech, meanwhile, can do the opposite. Using machine translation, for example, can result in poorly worded messages that make indicate to your customers that your business has pretty sloppy standards. This is certainly not how most companies want to be viewed. As such, stick with qualified, professional human translators and instead embrace the kinds of tech that will help your company to run smoothly while keeping customers happy and maximising profits.
The Tomedes Text Summarizer Tool could well fit into this category. Completely free and available online, it allows you to summarize vast pages of content in seconds, saving you time and energy that can then be spent on other tasks.
2019 small business trend #5 – customer service
With the increasing use of social media, companies’ attitudes to their customers are in the spotlight like never before. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Customer service that exceeds expectations can generate big rewards, both in terms of social sharing potential and brand loyalty.
Consider what your small business could do differently in 2019 in order to win customers’ hearts and minds over even more than you’ve done already – and remember to do so in every country in which you operate. This can be done by outsourcing customer service or with the help of expert translation services if necessary!
Which of these trends will your small business be jumping on in 2019? And which other trends will be important over the course of the year? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.