If you’re like many small businesses, you try to keep up with technology and follow the latest new “trends”, especially when it makes sense for your business to do so. But – how do you know which online “trends” are only fads, and which ones are actually useful for business? Although the answers may vary depending on whom you ask, here are a few stand-out online trends that we think are worth watching – or implementing – in 2011:
Mobile devices like smart phones, PDAs, Blackberrys, iPads, etc., are everywhere – it’s been reported that more than 90% of the U.S. population today has a mobile device! Businesses have already started to take advantage of this emerging trend by developing mobile websites, apps, advertising, and mobile marketing initiatives to help them stay in touch with their customers anytime, anywhere.
As the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter continues to grow, businesses will have even more reason to build a solid social presence for interacting with customers and potential customers. Businesses want to be where the customers already are, and right now, they are on the social networks. In addition, businesses get a tremendous SEO benefit from their social networking efforts, because search engines now index the social content found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
Online marketing includes a wide range of initiatives today; from specialized websites and landing pages, to email marketing campaigns, to marketing on the social networks and mobile marketing programs. There are many low-cost or no-cost online marketing initiatives, making it affordable for most businesses today regardless of their size. Online marketing results are also measurable, and can be tracked via any number of criteria (number of clicks, search terms used, number of opens, nu