If you are a small or medium-sized business, you don’t have a lot of room for error when it comes to internet marketing. However, you also can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and allow the most exciting trends in the industry to pass you by. While there are a number of ‘hot’ trends that are little more than a mirage, we will look at 3 that seem likely to increase the website traffic and overall sales of medium and small businesses.
Late in 2011, Matt Cutts of Google told search engine marketers that there was a trio of things they needed to look out for: Social media, local search engine marketing and mobile marketing. With almost one billion people around the world having a social media account of some kind, it’s hardly a secret that focusing on Facebook, Twitter etc. is necessary in order to be a success. Also, most companies are aware of the importance of local rankings.
Yet it is mobile marketing that is most intriguing. There were 5 times more mobile searches in 2011 than in 2010 and this figure is already being obliterated in 2012. Almost 75% of mobile phone users are believed to use the internet to browse while out and about. Approximately 500 million Smartphones were sold in 2011 so it’s a certainty that mobile marketing will explode in the coming years.
Various studies have shown that approximately 65% of social media users consider customer reviews to be their number one source of information when it comes to making a purchase. In fact, an estimated one-third of social media users expect to find reviews and ratings information on a business. If your company doesn’t show up, consumers wonder why you’re not visible in search. Companies with no reviews send a negative message to consumers who believe that other consumers don’t trust your company or brand and begin to wonder why they should be the first. After spinning their wheels for a while, they’ll turn to your competitors instead looking for ratings information.
Expect cloud computing alternatives to become big news towards the end of 2012 as small and mid-sized businesses look to save money. Cloud computing refers to the use of remote servers
to manage and store data rather than hosting it on your own server. Cloud computing has a number of advantages. For a start, it is easy to gain access to your own files; all you need is an internet connection. Secondly, you can increase your storage as and when you company needs the extra space as most cloud computing providers have a variety of different packages. Thirdly, you only pay for what you use. With an established infrastructure that you don’t have to build yourself, businesses can run efficiently in a cost effective manner.
These are just some of the hot trends that you should be aware of in the next few months. They are all gathering steam so get on board before your rivals do and provide better options for prospective customers.
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David, Chief Project Manager www.BoutiqueLaFleur.com
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Tim Hart, CEO www.LeadingCEO.com
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