iStock, a leading ecommerce platform providing premium visual content to SMBs, SMEs, creatives and students everywhere, unveiled tips to help businesses enhance their marketing strategies and campaigns beyond Small Business Saturday, creating lasting connections with customers year-round.
According to Visual GPS, an iStock research initiative, 92% of people say that small businesses are necessary for the health of the economy. Even with the convenience and ease of buying from big box or chain stores, almost half of people (46%) will go out of their way to support local and small businesses. In fact, almost 8 out of 10 people (79%) said they would rather buy from local and small businesses as a way of supporting their community.
“It’s evident that small businesses are essential to people’s everyday lives, especially as we head into the holiday season with consumer spending power at its highest during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday,” said Yara Ohashi, Head of Digital Marketing for the Americas, iStock. “Our Visual GPS research shows that people want to, and will, support local and small businesses. This is an opportunity for businesses to engage with these customers in an authentic, relatable way through the visuals they choose in their marketing and communications year-round.”
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Below, iStock reveals a few actionable tips to help businesses of all sizes connect with customers more effectively and authentically during Small Business Saturday and beyond:
Be Relatable: Authentic representation is key, including how people’s different cultures and lifestyles are depicted within your marketing. Having insight into the customers you’re trying to reach and using visuals which appeal specifically to that audience can make all the difference. People now expect more accurate representation of themselves and the world they see around them from the companies and businesses they interact with. This shift in consumer behavior is greatly impacting ROIs, with iStock research showing that 74% of men and 67% of women would prefer to buy from brands representing authentic people like themselves.
Use Video, Video and More Video!: As a way to further engage customers during this time, video has become key to integrating into businesses of all sizes’ marketing strategies. In fact, video is a strong influence for people shopping local, with almost a third saying it’s how they select small businesses to shop or do business with. To create professional-quality videos that are affordable and simple to make, iStock created has created a new free, quick and easy video maker that doesn’t require any previous design or editing experience. The iStock Video Editor can help any small business or entrepreneur bring their visual storytelling to life—whether that’s for announcing a sale, promoting an event, or adding stories to Facebook or Instagram.
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Demonstrate Sustainable Practices: According to iStock research, as a way to show support and commitment to protecting the planet and creating a sustainable environment, almost a quarter of people (21%) are shopping smaller, local companies and brands over global ones. Show how your business and services can support them in their mission by using visuals in your marketing which show the small steps they can take – whether that be showing reusable items, sustainable travel (bikes or e-scooters) or the repair and reuse of clothing and other items.
Embrace Technology and Connection: The use of technology in our everyday lives has only accelerated due to the pandemic, especially when it comes to online shopping. iStock’s Visual GPS research says that 60% of people feel empowered by all the technology available to them, with over half (63%) saying they use mobile phones more now as a way to transact and pay for things than ever before. This is an opportunity for local and small businesses take a hybrid approach to how they visualize shopping local now and into 2022. Using visual content—imagery, video and illustration—that tailors to a variety of customers, whether they want to shop in-store or online, is important in illustrating our current realities and appealing to a broader range of customers during this time.