If you’re a small business owner, you’re in luck. Not only is your business about to get a fresh start with the new year right around the corner, but right now is probably the best time for you to be a small business owner.

With the rise in online marketing tactics such as SEO, social and video, there’s never been more avenues to promote your business. And marketing tech tools like advanced customer analytics tracking and marketing automation software, previously only available to large, wealthy corporations, are now easily accessible and extremely affordable for pretty much anyone willing to take advantage of them.

To help you stay ahead of the curve and max out the opportunities available to you, here are the top marketing trends in 2017 to keep an eye on.

Trend #1: More, Relevant Content

With its most recent updates, Google has made it very clear that unique, quality content is the only thing that matters when it comes to SEO. Over the past year more and more small businesses embraced this.

In fact, 62% of B2B marketers and 63% of B2C marketers were more successful with their content marketing efforts than the year before, according to a study by CMI and MarketingProfs. Relevancy is key to getting your content read and shared. Same goes for ads. Over 25% of desktop users now use ad blocking tools to block unwanted, irrelevant ads.

The exciting part is that content marketing works. A study by CMI shows that while content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.

Clearly, content marketing is here to stay…in 2017 and beyond.

Trend #2: Going Mobile

If your website hasn’t been mobile-optimized, you’re already falling behind. Make sure that your site and offerings are easily available to online customers. Once you’ve accomplished that, a mobile app might be a valuable addition to your small business presence.

2017 marketing trends
With 4.8 billion people using mobile phone, mobile payments are expected to reach transaction volumes of $503 billion by 2020. (Image: London Underground)

Take mobile payments for example. More and more consumers are feeling comfortable with paying for products and services via their mobile device and even demand the service.

The same goes for apps. According to a recent poll by Gallup, 75% of Americans check their mobile devices at least once per hour and 90% of that time is spent using apps.

With all of this in mind, it’s just about the right time for small businesses to shift their marketing strategy from mobile-friendly to mobile-centric.

Trend #3: Influencer Marketing

Word-of-mouth generates double the amount of sales than paid advertising, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. Small businesses can boost referrals by using influencer marketing strategies.

With the rise in popularity of influencer Instagram and Snapchat accounts, small businesses can more easily connect with popular social media personalities within their niche without stretching their bank accounts thin.

This may be something as simple as getting a popular blogger to feature your brand in a styled photo shoot or inviting a fitness personality to lead a workout in your gym or promote a service your company offers.

Trend #4: Live Video and Video Marketing

We’ve seen huge growth in video content over the last few years, but in 2017 it’s likely to explode. From live video streaming to the rising popularity of apps like Snapchat among marketers, the landscape is changing dramatically.

The great thing about it? It’s easily accessible to anyone — from small business to big corporations —  and marketing platforms like Facebook realize that.

2017 marketing trends
Source: Statista

According to Mark Zuckerberg, live videos on Facebook have seen a 4x increase in use since May 2016. For that reason, he’s determined to put live video first.

Likewise, there are some big changes taking place on Facebook-owned Instagram. First there was an introduction of ‘Stories,’ a Snapchat-like feature, and just a month ago, there’s been an addition of a live video feature, which represents the huge shift toward not just video but live video.

Let’s not forget that Snapchat has now reached over 100 million daily active users and Periscope over 200 million broadcasts in total.

Trend #5: Email Marketing

I know what you’re thinking, email marketing has been around for awhile, is it really a hot trend for 2017? Of course it is. Not only does it remain the best performing marketing channel in terms of ROI, the results it delivers are actually on the rise.

The reason?

Small businesses have become more personalized with their email strategy. Traditional batch and blast tactics will continue to be replaced for more personalized, finely targeted communications that drive higher open, engagement and conversion rates. Which means tools like stand alone newsletter systems will be traded in for marketing automation tools that send the right message at exactly the right time.

At the same time, solid marketing tactics such as building an email marketing list, becomes increasingly important. Today, the market realities change faster than ever before. As Derek Halpern of Social Triggers points out:  

“If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot. I know that’s harsh, but when companies can destroy your entire business in one fell swoop, you should rely on things you can control.”

-Derek Halpern, CEO of Social Triggers

It is an exciting time to own a small business with all of the changes in the marketing landscape. Solid, tried and true marketing strategies are becoming more personalized and relevant. Influencer marketing is now within reach for every small business and video is poised to propel your brand to a new level, making 2017 your best year yet.