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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