In today's digital age, effective online marketing techniques constantly shift and evolve. What worked well just a year or two ago can be rendered completely ineffective in the blink of an eye. While large corporations can afford to easily stay on top of the latest online marketing trends, it's not so easy for small businesses. Don't let that discourage you, though. In many ways, Internet marketing has leveled the playing field. Those businesses that are willing to expend a little extra time and effort on online marketing tend to enjoy impressive returns. The first step to accomplishing this is being aware of what's working these days and what isn't. By keeping the following five Internet marketing trends for 2015 in mind, your business will have a major leg up on the competition.
Yes, Online Marketing Works for Small Businesses
Before highlighting the five most important Internet marketing trends for 2015, let's consider why you should devote time and effort to online marketing in the first place. Small businesses that pay attention to effective trends tend to fare quite well. For instance, Ozone Coffee draws in new customers and retains existing ones by running a wildly popular blog that revolves around social responsibility and ethical coffee practices. Good Greens saw the popularity of its nutrition bars soar after reaching out to prominent bloggers and social media gurus. After placing a priority on producing quality content, Plow & Hearth saw online visits soar by a whopping 50 percent. These small businesses kept their fingers on the pulse of the most effective online marketing techniques. By doing so yourself, your small business is sure to benefit enormously too.
The Five Best Internet Marketing Trends of 2015
Without further ado, we present to you the most crucial and effective online marketing techniques for 2015. Put them all into rotation to see your brand's visibility skyrocket in the new year!
- Mobile is Mandatory - If you haven't already shifted some of your efforts to creating a strong mobile presence, this is something you need to do in 2015. For a while there, companies could afford to put this on the back burner, but that's simply no longer true. According to Forbes, by 2017, 87 percent of connected device sales will be smartphones and tablets. Businesses that aren't readily accessible via mobile will be invisible to a vast audience, so the time to act is now.
- Content Marketing is Bigger than Ever - As tired as you may be of the mantra, content is still king. If anything, it's bigger than ever in 2015. Unlike in the past, though, it needs to be more diversified. Your entire content marketing strategy can't consist of an occasional blog post. Branch out to market your business via e-books, videos and case studies. Throw a little mobile-friendly, short-form content into the mix for good measure too.
- One-to-One Marketing - You can expect to hear this term bandied about frequently in 2015. It's hardly new; it mostly refers to personalizing customers' experiences to increase loyalty and drive sales. However, it's going to enjoy a major surge in the year ahead, as online retailers try to replicate the old-fashioned concept of getting to know your regular customers and interacting with them on a more personal level. These days, the best way to deliver a more personalized experience to customers online is by using the right CRM platform, so look into investing in one in the near future.
- Ad Retargeting - Chances are you've shied away from online ads because they just don't give you the kind of return you need. By switching to ad retargeting instead, though, you're sure to get a lot more bang for your buck. The technology behind ad retargeting has improved immensely, and it's a lot more affordable than you probably think.
- Email Marketing - As old-timey as this one may sound, the truth is that email marketing continues to be a mainstay when it comes to online marketing. If anything, more businesses are doubling down on their email marketing efforts this year. After all, it's one of the few techniques over which a small business enjoys total control. Email marketing isn't affected by the whims of Google, for instance, so the payoff tends to be considerable. Consider repurposing old content and using it to engage your audience via email.
Feeling overwhelmed about putting the preceding techniques into action? If so, you should consider enlisting the help of a qualified web design company for at least some of them. At any rate, you really can't afford not to implement most or all of these strategies, so get to work on them now!