The internet is always changing and if you need to stay nimble to keep up with the latest marketing opportunities. Here are 4 trends you should participate in this year:
1. Locally-focused internet marketing
The marketing used to be for businesses that wanted customers from across the country or around the globe. But local users are going online to find businesses right in their communities. Small businesses that once didn’t need to market online (because they couldn’t serve clients in Oregon or Oslo or Okinawa) now need to get online to attract clients who live right next door.
To get a strong start, identify the keywords your clients are searching for (for example, are they looking for “Orlando Pool Cleaners”) and start integrating them into your web marketing.
The social web started with blogs and has been owned by Twitter and Facebook for the past couple of years. But Google has made strong inroads into the social media scene, and Google+ is being touted by many people as THE social space to participate in during this coming year.
To get a strong start, sign up for a free Google account if you don’t already have one and set up a Google+ page for your business. Don’t feel like you have to be an expert overnight; just get a feel for the site and take it slow.
3. Mobile marketing
Increasingly, customers are using their mobile devices as a primary web interface and as an invaluable shopping tool. There are many ways that you can participate in mobile marketing and adopting all of these at once can be daunting:
- QR codes are scannable graphics that allow customers to access more information and coupons online.
- Foursquare (and other “check-in” sites) allow customers to share tips and advice with their friends when they stop at your store.
- Mobile-friendly websites can encourage users to shop your site no matter what type of interface they use.
To get a strong start, ask your customers how they use their mobile devices when shopping locally.
4. Become a news source
Consumers trust news sources to help them stay informed. You can be a trusted news source by creating a section on your website or blog that informs the public about news in your industry that is relevant to them. Publish often and don’t be afraid to publish content about your competitors – it will position you as a more trustworthy site. You’ll create content that is search-engine-optimized and you’ll develop instant credibility with your clients.
To get a strong start, set up a Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) to gather your industry-specific news for you.
Your business survival will increasingly depend on your internet marketing efforts. Use these four techniques to get more traffic and more clients in 2012.