Online Marketing Tips–What’s New in 2012?

Online Marketing Ideas

Just as technology and the Internet are constantly evolving, so are online marketing strategies that work. New years bring new online marketing tips, so let’s take a look at some online marketing tip for small businesses that are taking off in 2012 according to “Small Business Trends,” a popular website for small business owners. “Small Business Trends” focuses on areas such as marketing & sales, funding, research, technology, management and, of course, online marketing for the consumer.

Back in November 2011, Google engineer, Matt Cutts, encouraged website owners/managers to focus on three areas in 2012:

  1. Social
  2. Local
  3. Mobile

Here’s an interesting fact that shows just how important mobile devices are in the world of online marketing: “According to an article in Small Business Trends, “The year 2011 saw a 400 percent increase in the number of mobile searches, with 74 percent of people using their mobile phones to search while running errands.” Simply put, small business owners must adapt to new ways of reaching customers.

Focus on online reviews–A recent study showed that 63% of social media users indicate consumer ratings as their preferred method of obtaining information about a business, product or service. This means that if people are not reviewing your product or service, they are going to go to a website that does have reviews (i.e. your competitor!). Google likes online reviews of businesses, also, and sees reviews as bringing accountability (weight) to your website. Google +1 is proof that Google takes “reviews” seriously because with Google +1, users are forced to use their real names. Users looking at this data and Google wanting to display it are proof that small businesses need to focus on this area–soliciting themselves online.

“Moving into the cloud”–Cloud computing alternatives are becoming popular and helping small businesses to save money. Cloud computing simply means that a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet is used to store and manage data instead of you managing it yourself on your local server. For instance, instead of hosting your email on  your own personal computer, if you use Gmail, they host it for you. Here are just some of the benefits  of allowing your data to be managed in the “clouds”:

  • All you need is an Internet connection.
  • You can log in and retrieve your data from any location.
  • As your company grows, you can add storage and licenses.
  • You only pay for what you use; not responsible for any overhead.

Watch out for hackers–Even small businesses make great targets. Just think about a small pizza delivery shop that has hundreds, possibly thousands of names, phone numbers, addresses and credit cards in their store computer system. That is a hacker’s dream! There are ways to protect your software from being hacked such as changing passwords often, establishing strong firewalls and not opening spam emails.

Use Apps when possible--Apps are everywhere and they’re not going away anytime soon! Adopting a business app will allow small businesses to work faster and smarter (easier).

Check out these PaperDirect blog for more online marketing tips that really work: