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The advent of the internet has allowed small businesses market to customers around the world.  What are some of the latest trends in e-marketing for small businesses?  Read on for some recent developments in online advertising.

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Just Google It!

Google, Bing, and Yahoo help companies to establish a foothold in a competitive market by purchasing ads.  How many times a day do you search online?  In 2012, Google fielded over one trillion searches per day.

Sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are improving their search functions.  Increasingly, content on these sites is “indexed” on search sites like Google, which means that it will show up when people search.  A woman who searches “personal touch wedding invites” might find a webpage for a local stationery company, or she might find photos from a happy customer on Instagram or Pinterest.

Savvy small businesses can make the most of this free publicity by setting up accounts on multiple platforms.  Instead of having only a Facebook page, they might add Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, and Instagram.

But Don’t Just Phone It In

Chances are, you check email multiple times a day – and chances are, you use your phone to go online.  For small businesses to stay competitive, they have to make sure their websites are mobile-responsive.  If it isn’t easy for customers to interface with their site, they’ll visit less often.  Fewer clicks translates into fewer sales.

It’s just as important for small businesses to make sure that marketing staples like email campaigns are cell-phone friendly.  Customers are viewing content on a smaller screen – and that they might be standing on a crowded commuter train or waiting for an order at the corner deli.  Simple, eye-catching content draws more attention.

Video Killed the Competition

Small businesses are hosting videos on their own sites or on Youtube channels.  As streaming technology improves, these videos will become a more and more popular way to grab attention and add a personal touch.  Youtube also hosts video tutorials, so that small business owners can learn how to script and direct fun, informative video content for customers to enjoy.

GIFs

Animated gifs are trendy on sites like Tumblr and Reddit, and more users are bringing them to blogs and personal pages.  Small businesses can use them create visual interest and even make content that users can easily repost elsewhere.

Sites like Giphy, Animal Gifs, and Gif Hub of the Universe offer thousands of gifs for every subject, from superheroes to baby sloths.  Several of these sites also offer tutorials for creating gifs for virtual marketing, so new users can get started right away.

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Marketing Automation

Small businesses have to think carefully about how to allocate work.  Time-saving technology can be a big help.  More small businesses are using programs that help with simple tasks like sorting emails, segmenting mailing lists, and coordinating social-media accounts.  Delegating to technology allows employees to focus on providing creative content.

Personalization

As more people complete routine tasks online, from paying bills to tracking fitness goals, websites have become personalized.  Customers feel appreciated, and the connection keeps them coming back.  Small businesses can take advantage programs that greet customers by name or suggest services based on past activity.

Content Creation

Content marketing is marketing that informs customers: blog posts, video tutorials, infographics, and customer reviews.  Small businesses can use content to attract customer interest and build trust.  Networking sites like UpWork, InDeed, and Freelancer mean that skilled content writers and graphic designers are just a click away.

Geo-Targeted Mobile Marketing

Most customers still need to shop locally.  At least for now, you can’t find a plumber on Amazon.  How do small businesses use the internet to increase walk-in traffic?  By making sure their business comes up in a localized search.

Last year, Google announced its Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map initiative, where small businesses can build an online profile linked to Google’s services.  Customers looking for the best tea shop in downtown Minneapolis or the coolest vintage sundresses in San Diego will be able to find detailed information on location and opening hours, and will even be able to preview photos of merchandise.

Think Globally and Locally

The power of the internet to connect users on an international scale can be awe-inspiring, but communities are using digital platforms to network on a local level too.  Small businesses know that a local customer base is a loyal customer base, and they have taken the lead in creating digital community marketplaces where local storeowners can come together.  Events like Small Business Saturday help generate interest close to home.

Dream Big

Digital platforms have opened up new horizons in marketing, and advertising is more customizable than ever.  Small businesses can make the most of these new opportunities to get the word out.

If you’re interested in using e-marketing to advertise your small business, we recommend a web marketing firm that offers clients unique personalized service.  Contact Square 1 Group today to see what their team of experienced professionals can do for you!