Following Business Trends To Grow Your Business

Following business trends (both general trends and trends in your particular industry) is important to the health and long-term success of your business. Staying aware of trends does not mean that you need to be on the “cutting edge” of every trend. But, you need to watch those trends so that your business does not become obsolete as your competitors leverage those trends to their advantage.

There are many examples of businesses that failed, at least in part, because they did not recognize trends in their own industry. Blockbuster Video is one example. There are many stories and theories regarding the reasons for the downfall of Blockbuster. But, most business analysts agree that the company waited too long to revise its business model of renting DVDs from retail stores. By the time the company began offering DVDs by mail, the strongest competitor offering that service (Netflix) already had a big lead. Netflix has gone on to offer instant downloads as well – following the trend of growing Internet access and increased download capacities.

There are many factors that cause a particular company to experience problems, but it appears that Blockbuster’s failure to take action on industry trends was a significant part of its current problems.

When was the last time you looked at trends in your own industry? What about general trends, such as increased mobile phone usage, mobile advertising and point-of-sale purchases using mobile phones?

You do not need to be on the very leading edge of these trends, but you cannot ignore trends that affect your business. Social media is a good example. Certain groups of people rely heavily on social media as their primary means of communication. If your customers are in these groups, you need to have a social media presence if you want to reach these customers.

Keep an eye on others in your industry to see how they are adjusting to certain trends. Don’t just copy what they are doing. Be innovative and develop your own procedures or systems that leverage those trends to strengthen your business.

Many trends move quickly – spend some time this week studying current trends and looking for ways to leverage those trends to grow your business.

Is Your Small Business Marketing Keeping Up With the Times?

When it comes to marketing your business, are you staying open to the latest trends? Are you adjusting your strategy to incorporate them? Not every trend will be right for every business, but there are new developments that can take your business from humdrum to hot.

Notice these social and technological trends that are happening and decide how you will incorporate them to enhance your solo practice:

Social Trends
According the latest data, the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment of the US. This population represents approximately 25% of new births so expect them to have an impact on your future business. Businesses will accommodate this fast-growing market with more localized websites and localized online marketing.

Video
According to Comscore.com, over 78% of the US internet audience views online videos and you’ve probably noticed more video blogs. You’ll also see both online and mobile-based video especially with new improved phones.

Mobile and Text
With nearly 50 million people in the U.S. accessing the web on a mobile device now, some researchers predict that by 2014 over 20 billion mobile applications will be downloaded yearly.

While there’s been a lot of hype about mobile use for years, the mobile web market is here. Start planning now on how this technology will change the way you communicate and work with your customers and employees. Leveraging this technology now will yield results later.

Targeted Marketing
With massive online traffic overwhelming the inbox, there will still be a market for regular mail but it is expected to be used to develop relationships with prospects you’ve already met and as part of a follow up to business you’ve already secured.

Just a little over two years ago, marketing became more social and 2009 saw the social elements of marketing accelerate. Social media went from being on the cutting edge, to approaching the mainstream with word-of-mouth relationships.

Businesses realize they need a social online media marketing strategy and will want to make sure they target the right social media platforms for their specific target market.

Authentic Marketing
People want to know the people they are doing business with. Your company logo will continue to play a much less central role than it did years back especially for the small business owner. Customers want to see a face so they know who they are dealing with before engaging in their services.

Business people are connecting one-to-one through social media sites and this activity will continue.

Consider these ideas to take advantage of these trends:

• Using video to record testimonials from your satisfied clients is only one way to add value to your prospect’s experience. Invite your customers to videotape themselves using your products. Have a jewelry store? Show the latest wedding proposal on your Facebook site. Have a restaurant? Show a short video on your YouTube page of customers enjoying their special occasions at your place.

• Use your real name on sites like Twitter.com. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust.

• Conduct market research with your customers to find out what’s really important to them. Use free tools like Google docs or SurveyMonkey to collect your data. For larger companies, you may want to use more robust analytics, like Infotool-online.com to get to the root cause of your customer (and employee) wants and satisfaction.

• Membership sites help businesses work with their customers collectively and are in line with the trend of creating an online community. While consultants, coaches and financial service providers use membership sites to educate their clients and provide special online events, a growing trend is among restaurants and jewelry stores who use memberships to successfully even out cash flow and consistently entice customers with special member benefits.

Savvy entrepreneurs who continuously grow their businesses keep track of these trends and engage their creative thinking to see how the trends can be applied in their own unique businesses.

Top 3 Marketing Trends For Small Businesses

Small business marketing has become almost overwhelming with the constant updated and revisions in new media and technologies. We are far from the days where an email marketing strategy and a few radio and print advertisements would suffice as an effective way to attract clients to your business. Search engine optimization and social media have severely alternated the effectiveness of the old media marketing strategies and will soon replace them entirely. Mobile optimization that is very user-friendly and contains excellent content that is short and to the point is perhaps the most prominent trend in business marketing. Most present day online marketing campaigns follow this trend.

The 3 Online Marketing Trends Small Business Owners Must Be Aware Of

Enhancing your Web presence can be accomplished using these 2013 marketing trends and helps your small business to attract new clients. These trends include mobile marketing, search engine optimization, and social media advertising.

The Mobile Market

More mobile phones and devices exist than there are people on the planet. Because of this constantly growing number of mobile users, small businesses must look to offer mobile versions of their webpages. Creating a marketing campaign that can be accessed by mobile users is essential. It has been documented that there is a consistent decreasing trend in the amount of traditional desktop searches because of the transition consumers are making towards mobile searches. Mobile marketing, or marketing through mobile sites, mobile applications, and mobile commerce is vital because most consumers will access the Internet using their mobile phone or device this year. Making your mobile website from your traditional website can be done at a reasonably inexpensive cost through a vendor. In 2013, small businesses have the ability to create mobile marketing campaigns and are able to accept mobile payments at very little to no costs.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a High-ranking Placement in Search Engines

The search engine algorithm update that was introduced by Google in 2012 has done away with the old tactics of paying a few hundred dollars to place your website at the top of the search list and shifted the focus of small businesses to content and promotion. Search engine optimization is a very important investment for small businesses looking to maintain relevance in the online and mobile market. For example, thanks to Google’s newly updated algorithm, if someone was thinking of starting a small business in Texas, they would need to be able to produce high-quality website content and attract attention using various online and offline channels to be placed high on the Google search engine. Your website’s content is the most important feature here.

Social Advertising is the Hottest #Trending Topic

While there still is no perfect blueprint for a social media marketing campaign, the trend is still perhaps the most important one to follow for small businesses looking to attract potential prospects. The Facebook and Twitter users are a conglomerate of new consumers and clients due to the ever increasing amount of time consumers spend on these social medial channels each day of the year. Careful consideration of the target audience and effective use of keywords will help to create an excellent social media campaign and reach a large amount of new consumers at very little cost.

New media has nearly made the use of old media advertising obsolete. Devices and mediums such as the mobile market, search engine optimization, and social media advertising are the most effective means of establishing an effective marketing campaign and online presence and will expose your small business to an emerging audience of new clients and consumers.