Small business owners are strapped for time as it is, but that doesn’t mean that they can afford to not stay up-to-date with where the world is headed. Whether you manage your marketing yourself, you handle it internally, or you use an agency to help, continued education will help guide other aspects of your business so that you’re not left behind.
For example, it’s important that you’re aware of the fact that the mobile revolution is already here. This will be the first year that smartphone growth will not hit double digits. Our small business customers receive around 70% of their website traffic from a mobile device too. While you don’t need to know how to build a mobile friendly site or market towards it, you should be aware of its importance to make wise business decisions.
These tools will help you stay on top of Internet marketing trends without interfering with your Shark Tank reruns.
- Flipboard and News app (iPhone only): Expose yourself to a variety of articles, tech news, and marketing blogs by curating your own online magazines through Flipboard and the Apple News app. These apps will allow you to create a newsfeed that you create using specific topics that you are interested in reading more about. Additionally, you can add specific news outlets such as Fortune or Forbes (typically a little slower on tech news than blogs).
- Twitter: Once categorized as a social media network in the app store, Twitter is now considered a news app. Twitter is loved by journalists looking for breaking news. It also provides them with a platform to share their articles immediately to their following. You can use your Twitter profile to follow specific organizations or create a curated list, similar to Flipboard but in real time.
- Medium: Where have all the great writers gone? Many of them are using Medium to spread original content through a growing community of thought leaders and passionate readers. You find a little less “fluff” on Medium because work in this community isn’t used to drive ad revenue (yet). It’s simply a gathering of great insight. If you’re looking for content that dives into the why more than the how to, then Medium might be a great addition to your phone menu.
- Subscribe to (the best) Blogs: There are plenty of blogs out there that share news about software updates, algorithms, and tools to build your business. Most small business owners might find more value in following blogs that dive into human behavior or explain “what this all means” so that you can make educated decisions on why you might need to start using that new app everyone is talking about. I recommend subscribing to Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, and Jay Acunzo to start.
- Observe: Few things are as powerful as careful observation. When you go to the mall, go to church, or gather with family on Independence Day, be sure to sit and watch how people act. Watch how they engage with each other or how they browse stores. Observe how people interact with the people around them while simultaneously connecting with friends that are miles away. If you want to discover where people are placing their attention (where you should be advertising) then you need to be observant of the world around you.
Business leaders that are aware of new marketing trends are have the advantage of reaching their customers no matter where they might turn. Did your customer base shift from Instagram to Snapchat? That’s not a problem for the small business owner who recognized the shift 6 months ago.
You have the opportunity to be that leader too. Try these 5 tools to help you stay connected and educated with Internet marketing news and trends. They might be exactly what you need to grab the attention of your customer.