"Top 10 Online Marketing Trends For Small Businesses"
Top 10 Online Marketing Trends For Small Businesses Internet has changed the very fabric of marketing, and as new ways of communication and associations are blossoming between individuals, communities, societies and countries, business builders need to embrace the traits and trends of marketing for this new-age online platform. Here we present the top 10 online marketing trends for the year ahead. Email marketing With so many sales emails bombarded every single day and add to it the spam mail menace, the key is to get the recipient open your email. So the trend shall switch from sales mail to informative sales mail. This calls for friendlier and credible email ids, subjects, useful content, better targeting and personalization. Secondly, your email contents, including images and HTML design, must be ready for all kinds of desktop and mobile browsers. According to Adology's survey, the top place where small businesses will put their marketing dollars in 2011 is e-mail marketing (72.7% in 2011 vs. 56.6% in 2010). Social media marketing You are getting closer and closer to your prospects with social media networks. It's so crowded and informative that you have to devise more effective and actionable plans to get your ideas working. In a survey conducted: the number-one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%). The key here is to put aside conventional marketing techniques and try to get along with your prospects, and understanding their very specific like and dislikes. Smart online advertising Blindly consuming all online ad space is foolishness. The trend is to be seen where you ought to be seen and not to be seen everywhere. This requires you to study your prospects online browsing habits and then follow him wherever he frequents. This kind of intelligent ad space hunting should be the new thing to look for. Globalization of ads and campaigns Through the internet you are talking to a global audience, so do you think that one ad fits all needs? The crux here is to design ads based on local tastes and culture so that you improve the effectiveness of these ads. Studying the local search trends and optimizing your marketing for those keywords is important. Informative marketing Sales ads are passé the need of the hour is to deliver quality and relevant information to your prospects and draw them to you. You can opt for articles, blogs, forums, videos and so on. The key is to get identified, as someone who provides quality information rather than projecting a salesman kind of image. According to Adology's survey 45% of businesses plan to use online video in their marketing in 2011 vs. 28.4% in 2010. Web and mobile analytics This will always be a trend that keeps on renewing. All the marketing, campaigns, optimizations will become semi-productive if new innovative ways aren't adopted for analyzing visitors. And with smart phones engaging customers most times of a day, mobile analysis is getting the much needed importance. Marketers would need to invest in digital analytics to great optimization of their marketing initiatives. Mobile marketing Among the 300,000 odd mobile phones sold in the first quarter of 2010, 50,000 were smart phones, and its sales alone are set to overtake PC sales by 2012 or maybe earlier (Gartner report). This clearly hints at the impact smart phones can have on marketing. According to Adology's survey 35.9% of small businesses surveyed plan to use mobile advertising in 2011, vs. 21.3% in 2010. Free online services With information becoming easily available over the internet, most web users are happy to get stuff they want, free of cost. This is can work either ways for an online business, they could lose customers if someone else is offering similar services free of cost or they could gain by first offering basic services free of cost and make the customers stick to them for later up-selling. Local search engines Businesses are of course focused more on popular search engines but it's time to shift the focus equally on local search engines. Local search engines can get you faster and some real good business, which most businesses seldom anticipate, as they are more worried about the global online markets. Instant support and sale Competition is all around; you are now a global producer vying for global consumers. Customers are showered with choices, and the trend will be to make the best of it when the customer visits us. So the focus will be on instant support, information and sale, in a single conversation. MyBusinessAssistant: A full service virtual assistant company offers a unique Right Shore Virtual Business Center solution to help small businesses increase focus on their core business while reducing overhead expenses. By Gourab Nanda