Some Leading Marketing Trends to Help with Small Businesses

Although the 2016 business year is in full swing, it is never too late to think about how best to market your business. Learning about the latest trends in small business marketing will prepare you modifying your marketing strategies and tactics this year, or get you ready for 2017. Not surprisingly, the hottest trends mostly involve various innovations in information and communications technology over the web or through the Internet cloud.

Mobile Technology
Mobile technology usage, as everyone knows, has skyrocketed exponentially over the last few years thanks to innovations in mobile technology. Everyone is using mobile phones! To get a sense of the massive volume, here are a few recent statistics from a 2014 report:
• In 2014, 2.1 billion consumers owned smart phones worldwide, according to the Internet Trends 2015 report.
• Mobile use now accounts for more than half of the total time people spend on digital devices, the report states.
• Eighty percent of Internet searches are conducted on smart phones, according to data from the Global Web Index.
• Sixty-six percent of all email in the U.S. is now read on smart phones
• In 2015, mobile Internet traffic will have surpassed desktop traffic, according to Google.
What this means for small business owners is clear: you need to first establish a website if you are one of the few without one, then you need to make sure that your website is mobile responsive. Everyone uses their mobile phones for everything, and so if you want to be seen when people are searching for your services, then you need to get with the hottest trend which is mobile phone usage and developing a presence on mobile devices. Learn now to make your email marketing campaigns mobile-friendly also for exactly the same reasons. Since mobile phone screens are smaller, you need to write your emails in a simple, concise, and easy to read.

Video Presence
Another huge recent trend is the millions and millions of people consuming online videos, thanks mostly to YouTube and other technologies. Massive video consumption is also occurring on mobile devices. Watching a video of your trucks and/or equipment in action, for example, speaks a thousand words as they say. Potential clients can actually see your processes in action. They get a first hand view of how your services and products look and perform. That is just one example of how small businesses can use video as a key advertising and marketing tool. Plus, it could greatly increase your customer communication and customer service because clients and potential clients could posts questions in response to your videos.
One of the hottest rapidly developing trends in 2016 is that search engines like Google will begin including video ads into search results. Now your videos will be available to be potentially seen by scores of potential new clients. This new technology is more now a matter of when it will be introduced rather than if. When it does come to fruition, small businesses that have been leveraging video will be ahead of competitors who are still stuck in text land.

APPS
Numerous studies show that apps will soon overtake mobile-responsive websites for the method of interaction of choice between mobile users and brands and company websites. So, having an app for your business cashes out to more opportunities for you. One reason apps can be a boon to small businesses is that they incorporate all the functionality of mobile-friendly websites, but they streamline user access and the reason why is that app users don’t have to type a search into a browser to begin interacting with a brand. Lesson: get an app for your company if you can afford it part of your marketing and advertising budget. Plus, since Google already indexes apps in their search engines, having an app also potentially increases the number of mobile users who actually download and use your app.

Automating Advertising and Marketing Strategies
If you are able to automate your email marketing campaigns, it will provide for much more efficiency. Think about how much time, energy, and work effort that goes into conducting an email campaign. On the other hand, when you can automate your marketing campaigns, this will free up a lot of time so that your workers could be put to much more effective work tasks and projects, instead of spending all the time creating and distributing email marketing strategies and implementations. This provides more time for creating more creative and quality content in the emails themselves. In other words, marketing automation extends that benefit to your whole marketing program. Marketing and email automation makes it easier to create and schedule emails, segment mailing lists, automate social media posting, track open and response rates, and even calculate conversions. For small businesses whose marketing departments are often just one or two people, automation can allow them to achieve more without increasing budgets.

Story by Mark Joseph Manion

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