The last few years have been crazy for small businesses. About 5 years ago, online marketing was pretty straightforward. Companies invest of their marketing budget in paid ads and SEO, and website traffic would roll in and the company earns new customers. However, things have changed and small business now face different challenges. Today, there are so many different aspects of online marketing, so it is hard to know what is important and what is best left alone. But there are a few key areas where you can feel safe investing your time and money.
Internet Marketing Trend #1: Content-Driven SEO
Google and other search engines continue to repeat the importance of producing content that people find interesting. This means blog posts, videos, slideshows and all kinds of content that will entertain, educate and enlighten. Search engines are getting better at determining the most relevant results for keywords. For small businesses, this means staring an ongoing content strategy to continue getting organic search traffic.
Internet Marketing Trend #2: Mobile Devices
Small business have the opportunity to access target customers throughout the sales process. If your customer has a question on their morning train ride to work, your blog post could be the first answer they find when in Google. That is content marketing. In the coming years, people will access the internet primarily from their phones. Optimizing your marketing strategy for that new reality positions you for marketing success.
Internet Marketing Trend #3: Higher Design and Usability Standards
Customers want fast experiences. Networks are improving, but websites and apps need to keep pace. Customers will not wait for a website to load. If it takes too long, there are many other places to find the same information and service. Design and usability is not anymore a complement to a marketing strategy; they are an essential part. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for with a fast loading site that is easy to navigate.
Internet Marketing Trend #4: Video Production
Over a billion unique users visit YouTube every month and they are watching more and demanding more. Also, search engines are also giving more real estate to videos in their search results. Product videos, demos, testimonials and more can all be part of your online marketing strategy. As others struggle to figure out video, you can take advantage now and start earning new customers before anyone realizes the importance of video in online marketing.
Internet Marketing Trend #5: Social Media Audiences
Every business relies on an audience. A small, local business depends on their local market for new customers. Today, social media presents a big opportunity for small business to grow an audience with no location barriers. Building an audience of followers on Twitter, subscribers on YouTube and connections on LinkedIn gives you access to an almost unlimited amount of potential customers. It is quickly becoming an essential way to grow your business.