The New Era of Digital Marketing: 4 Trends Small Businesses Can’t Ignore

The majority of your customers spend up to 3 hours online each day. Searching, posting, updating, watching and reading. They are bombarded with marketing messages, to the degree that they quickly become immune to tactics that just a short while ago were touted as the “next big thing” to revolutionize your digital marketing strategy.

As a small business you have to be smart about which trends you seize upon and which ideas you rule out as not being the best fit for your goals, audience and budget.

Here are four digital marketing trends that aren’t going away any time soon, and are absolutely essential for you to consider as you plan for the future.

Digital Marketing and Mobile Optimzation

You’d have to be an ostrich with your head stuck pretty deep in the sand to be oblivious to how much mobile phones and tablets have infiltrated our daily lives. Yet many businesses haven’t fully considered what that means for their marketing.

You don’t have to take the full leap to creating your own app, or even launch a wide scale mobile ad campaign, but you do have to think about how visitors experience your website on a mobile device.

As well as ensuring that visitors using a mobile device to access your site stay longer and can find what they are looking for, making your site mobile ready is critical for search engine optimization.

Many small businesses suffered catastrophic drops in search engine traffic after Google’s algorithm update in April, which added a website’s mobile readiness to their ranking factors. If you were lucky enough to escape “mobilegeddon”, consider it a lucky reprieve and don’t delay in making sure your website looks great on all types of mobile devices.

Content Marketing

You have probably heard the phrase: Content is King. But what exactly does that mean? And how can you make sure your content is helping your small business grow?

Today’s internet users consume content at a startling rate. Hundreds of articles, videos and blog posts flood our inbox and social media streams and the average person spends two hours a day consuming content online.

Content can be shared, bookmarked and interacted with in ways that few other marketing channels can be.

In general, try to create content which is:

  • Valuable. Ask yourself what your content offers the reader.
  • Visually appealing. Make your content more engaging with images, videos and infographics.
  • Crafted with SEO best practices in mind. Decide what keyword your content should target and optimize it carefully.
  • Easily shared. Place social sharing buttons in the content and use a catchy, descriptive title that will entice people to click through to read the content.


Headline security breaches can cost big businesses millions, but it’s not just major brands that are at risk. Over 30,000 SME websites are hacked every day. Small businesses are often more likely to suffer a data breach or website hack due to having weaker security systems in place. When we think of hacking incidents we tend to think of individuals looking to steal or expose information. However, your website can also be hijacked or injected with malicious code that serves unwanted ads, redirects visitors to other pages, locks you out of the admin area and generally wreaks havoc with your site’s stability.

Of course, theft of information is a strong motivator for hackers, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have anything worth stealing!

If your website stores intellectual property, contracts, orders or customer information it is your responsibility to protect it.

Look into steps you can take to strengthen your defenses such as SSL certificates, two-factor log in authentication and third party monitoring/response services such as Sucuri.

An Ever-Shrinking Attention Span

It’s not just screen sizes that are shrinking- our attention span is dwindling too. While there is little you can do to combat human nature, it’s vital that your marketing efforts acknowledge and adapt to the fleeting window of opportunity you have to capture someone’s interest.

Make sure your title is catchy and interesting. Keep important information up front and centre, but include a great “hook” to encourage them to read more.

Include great visuals such as videos or infographics. Visually represented information is digested by the human brain at a much faster rate than the written word, so it is a great shortcut to getting your point across.

Make sure that your call to action, whether it is a link, a button or a form are prominent and clear.

While we are on the topic of forms, keep those short and sweet. The percentage of people who will complete it decreases with every field that you add.

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How to Create Quality SEO Friendly Content

Content marketing is an invaluable tool to any business with an online presence, thanks to its cost-effectiveness, wide potential reach and long-term benefits. When it comes to search engine optimisation, the focus is on creating content that is highly visible on websites like Google, in order to generate traffic and leads.

In terms of creating solid, SEO friendly content, you need to consider the way search engine algorithms work, as well as the target audience of your content, and then balance these two aspects. This article presents some useful tips to make sure you strike that balance and create quality content, which works for your company.

Use SEO Tools to Steer Content

A business or SEO company has a range of tools available to them, which can steer them in the right direction when it comes to creating highly visible content. Sites like Soovle will help you to pinpoint popular search terms, while Portent’s Content Idea Generator can help you to think of interesting subjects. Then, of course, search engines like Google have a number of their own tools to make use of.

“We have used Google’s Keyword Planner to identify a list of valuable terms and phrases,” says Graham Charlton from Econsultancy. “Having identified these terms, our content team then brainstormed article ideas to target [them]. This kind of planning exercise ensures that the content we create does as much work for us as possible.”

Make Content Evergreen

An experienced search agency will often reference the importance of evergreen content – that is, content which retains its relevance for a long period of time. For example, news pieces may not be ideal for SEO, because they can become dated quickly, but advice pieces stay useful for months or even years.

In relation to search engine optimisation, the primary benefits of evergreen content are its ability to continue to generate traffic, leads and shares on social media sites long after its publication date. As a result, this enables content to occupy valuable positions in search results for much longer than current affairs articles.

Take Care With Keywords

Once you have decided upon the content you want to produce and the keywords you want to include within it, you need to consider how they are used. Many readers are familiar with the concept of SEO and while that can be a positive, it means that any jarring use of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb. For this reason, keywords need to make sense within the context of the sentences and paragraphs they are in, and relate to the heading.

In addition to context of keywords, it is also crucial to think about placement. It can be beneficial, for instance, to include popular SEO keywords in the title itself, but it can be counter-productive to place your keywords in close proximity of one another.

Remember to Include Images

Finally, it is worth remembering that graphics can also play a valuable role in your SEO strategy, helping your content to show up in image searches, like Google Images. The most important steps are to include an alt tag (the ‘label’ of your image) so that search engine crawlers know what it is about and are able to index it. Also ensure the file name is descriptive and appropriate for the image.

“If you spend hours crafting the perfect post, don’t miss out on the chance to optimise your images for maximum search engine benefit,” says Derek Halpern, a marketing expert and the founder of Social Triggers. As a further tip, due to the fact that page load times can impact SEO, smaller images are generally better, where possible.

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5 Tips to Repurposing Video for International Consumers

For small businesses, the opportunity to expand into the global business market has never been better; however, there are some challenges that small businesses looking to engage an international audience will have to consider. One thing that will have to be considered is what it will take to make the necessary adjustments to the marketing strategies and plans in order to reach a broader international audience. One of the immediate challenges in this area will be the need for new content.

When a company is on a constrained budget, coming up with new content to launch an international marketing campaign can be quite challenging; however, there is a simple solution to the potentially perplexing issue. Repurposing content is one of the most cost efficient and resourceful methodologies for generating content for a broader audience. There are a number different ways that content can be repurposed.

Repurposing Video

Due to the fact that video has a universal appeal that transcends language and culture, the repurposing tips offered here will focus specifically on the use of video content. According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words. Additionally, ComScore, recently release data that revealed that 45.4 percent of online users view video at least once per month. The Average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos over the course of a month.

1. Voiceover

One common mistake made by small business marketers is attempting to translate an existing script for a video into languages that they are not fluent in. It is also not a good idea to use less complex services, such as Google Translate, because these types of translation programs can produce unpredictable and inaccurate results. Take the time to find someone fluent in the language that the script is to be translated into. To get the best results, use a native of the country that is being targeted.

2. Use Subtitles to Introduce New Ideas and Concepts

Much in the same way as creating a voice over, subtitling will allow the marketing team to create a specific message without having to translate the complete script. It will be important to ensure that the content and the subtitles correspond in harmony.

3. Use Cultural References

It is important to be very sensitive to what the new audience is used to seeing and responding to. If not, it can possibly confuse them as to the true meaning of the message that you are attempting to deliver. For instance, different countries use different currencies and may not identify with the U.S. dollar. In this case, using currency references that are specific to the natural currency of the target audience can be an immensely powerful tool.

4. xpand Distribution Channels

Most major companies now have specific suffixes for their country, such as au for Australia, de for Germany, etc. By registering these country specific domains, it will allow for a marketing strategy with greater specificity as for as localization and cultural paradigms are concerned.

5. Time is Important

Understanding that changing the language will change the timing in which the message will appear during the video. It is important to understand that it will take a marginally different amount of time to say, “Get your office supplies here” in Italian or Japanese than it does in English. Repurposing video is not simply about translation; timing is immensely important. Because time is such an important element, it may be necessary to edit the video to ensure that the timing is on point.

The same video can be repurposed more than once with a little creativity. The idea is to determine exactly what message you are attempting to deliver to the target audience, then find the video that can best be repurposed to meet the goal. With more than 90 percent of online shoppers admitting that they find video very useful in helping to guide their shopping decisions, repurposing video is a solid way to initiate an international marketing campaign.

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Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries.

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.

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