By Alex Membrillo
The digital marketing landscape continues to evolve and to present many opportunities for small businesses to see growth. Since many new opportunities have sprung up in the past several months, there are some great chances to be early adopters of tomorrow’s most popular digital marketing tactics. To make the most of your opportunities, get on top of these top trends.
1. Mobile continues to dominate.
At this point, more searches are performed on mobile than on desktop. To keep up, every site you own has to be optimized for mobile friendliness. This means responsive design, small image file sizes and text content that is broken up in to discrete, easily digestible bites that can be read without trouble on smart phones’ smaller screens.
2. More video content.
People spend as much time watching videos online as they do watching TV. They also spend more time with video than they do on social media. If you can create branded content that draws them in, you can gain a great deal of visibility. Additionally, with Bing and Facebook now offering video ads, you have more opportunities for paid video advertising than ever before. Pick one or more video platforms and start offering videos that your customers will want to see and share.
3. Apps claim a bigger share of the pie.
Google now includes app content in their search results. A recent study from Searchmetrics shows that only 30% of Android apps use app indexing to make sure their content shows up high in results. And, if you deploy app indexing, you can easily shoot past the people who aren’t. Apps make it easier to reach out to customers about specials and make it easy for them to shop your brand when they are on the go. Plus, it can help you learn more about the people who shop your brand and to tailor your offerings to give them what they want.
4. Optimizing for virtual assistants.
More and more people are relying on Google Now, Alexa, Siri and Cortana to bring them answers. By optimizing content for these assistants, you can get a bigger share of customers who use those utilities. Experts recommend highly mobile-friendly sites, a strong presence on local directories like Yelp and a strong social media presence to improve your virtual assistant optimization. This is good news for companies that are already working hard in those areas, since you’ll be rewarded more for doing the things that are already on your list.
5. The emergence of VR.
Virtual reality is making a lot of headway, with devices like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTV Vive making a splash with consumers. There are even less expensive options like Google Cardboard, which makes VR accessible to anyone who has a smart phone. Since this is still an emerging area, businesses that jump in now with VR content can gain a serious foothold before their competitors are even starting to consider adding VR to their digital marketing. If you sell physical items online, think how impressive customers will find 3D video experiences that allow them to virtually examine your wares from all angles. Experience-based brands like travel companies and fitness brands can create VR videos that put your prospects right in the moment.
6. Wearable technology’s growth.
With the Apple Watch and a number of Android competitors present on the market, experts expect wearable’s market share to take off. Wearable is forecasted to grow by 35% each year from now until 2019. By creating content that works on those small screens, you will be able to reach more people in this tech-forward market.
The most successful small brands will be the ones that use their business’s agility to recognize and jump into new digital marketing opportunities before the competition does. Being vigilant about the latest best practices, keeping a strong presence on the most relevant platforms and taking chances with new areas will pay off for small brands in a big way.
About the Author
Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, an award winning digital strategy agency based in Atlanta, GA. Named Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)’s 2015 Digital Marketer of the Year, his innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. Cardinal has been three-time consecutively named on Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies. Visit www.CardinalWebSolutions.com to find out more about Cardinal Web Solutions. Membrillo tweets @Alex_Membrillo