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Wyoming Business Tips for Jan. 22-28

January 13, 2017

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Mike Lambert, WSBDC Network Market Research Center manager

“What’s hot in marketing for small businesses for 2017?” Mathew, Alpine

There are some interesting articles out there, including thoughts from Jonathan Herrick, Andrew Gazdecki, Martin Jones and Dan Kenitz. My take on the top four marketing trends for Wyoming businesses:

-- Mobile is king: In the past, at the Market Research Center, we have been telling business owners to make sure their websites and businesses are mobile friendly as an important tip. For 2017, it looks like important isn’t strong enough.

Going forward, if you want to be successful, you need to be mobile. This means making sure your website works on all devices, looking into mobile payment (where customers can pay using their smartphones), engaging in mobile-only social media and having “buy” buttons on your social media pages. If you aren’t mobile, you may find yourself out in the cold.

-- Video -- seeing is believing: Video content on web pages and social media is exploding. Sixty percent of consumers prefer video over reading, and it is not surprising that video from live streaming to mobile apps like Snapchat is hot. Video keeps visitors engaged longer on your website and social media pages, and it is more memorable. Video doesn’t have to be expensive or be created by professionals to be effective. Good ideas include Q&A clips, “how-to” videos, testimonials and personalized storytelling.

-- Email marketing: Wait, isn’t that “old school?” Not according to many marketing professionals. Email still has one of the best returns on investment. The key is to provide valuable and relevant information to customers, not just continual sales pitches. Personalized emails that engage and offer true value strengthen relationships and lead to more conversations.

-- Hyper-local marketing: In a rural state like Wyoming, in order to compete with national online firms such as Amazon and retail giants like Walmart, you need to connect with your individual customers. It is not about just social media or mobile access. These are just ways that the people you are selling to can reach you.

You need to be easy to find online and focus on your individual customers by figuring out what they need and how you can help. Become the local authority for your industry or niche. Write blog posts, speak at business events, and be active in your community. Take charge of your reputation, and offer a great in-store experience.

There are many other trends in marketing in 2017, but starting here could have a positive impact on your business in a year that will have a number of challenges for Wyoming business owners.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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