As a small business owner, you should know the importance of focusing on customer retention and business growth. It can be done through marketing.

For example, 75% of small businesses currently believe that digital marketing — complete with a responsive web design — is the best and most effective way of attracting new customers.

According to research, 37% of these businesses planned to increase their online marketing budget because it’s a rapidly changing industry.

With the continued advancement of technology, it can be difficult and challenging to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In that regard, here are the top trends this year in digital marketing for small businesses.

1. Fully-customized email marketing

7 Trends in Digital Marketing for Small BusinessesUndeniably, email marketing is one of the best and most effective tools when it comes to internet marketing.

In fact, sending out emails every month, particularly those that are both promotional and informational, is nothing new.

However, not every small business has consistently implemented this practice. As a small business owner, it will be good for your growth to send a number of creative and personalized emails every day if you want to take your business to the next level.

2. Cheaper marketing automation

There are many ways to create stunning emails, which will help you as a small business owner, to stand out. When it comes to automation, sending automated emails is also critical if you want to stay relevant.

There are many tools that you can use to send automatic emails to all your newsletter subscribers or to users who make purchases off your website.

3. Mobile marketing is on the rise

Mobile marketing is on the riseMobile marketing is so ingrained nowadays that it is no longer an option not to have it. Google has even started penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile use.

It’s therefore important to optimize the mobile version of your site. There are many tips on how to make your website mobile friendly.

4. Increased advertising investment

This year alone, businesses are predicted to spend more than $10 billion in all fields of digital marketing compared to last year.

Small businesses, therefore, should also be considering how much they need to set aside for avenues, such as video marketing, re-targeting, pay-per-click advertisements, and much more.

If you are running a small business, increasing your advertising investment can help increase your chances to generate more awareness of your site, leading to increased sales.

5. The look of various search engines is constantly changing

It’s important to be aware that Google is currently indexing Twitter, and Facebook is also testing its own search engine. Even Pinterest has already expanded its own algorithm by simply incorporating “guided searches.”

Because of that, this is the right time for any small business to make sure it has a strong online presence, especially on social media.

6. Social networks are becoming bigger

Social networks are becoming biggerTwitter and Facebook are the most common social networks these days, but there are also other necessary social media platforms you need to be on as well.

There’s LinkedIn, as well as Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest.

However, social networks aren’t just a one-size-fits-all solution. Just like any other marketing efforts you deploy, you will need to invest some efforts on determining the social network that will work best for your small business.

7. Content will always continue to be king

Virtually, everything you do online can qualify as content marketing, especially if it’s done with the aim of providing information and building strong trust with prospective and current customers.

The internet users’ appetite for useful, entertaining content continues to grow. Consistently, customers respond to unique and quality content that provides them with informative news or entertainment value, but bear in mind that customers aren’t the only people who demand new and quality content.

In fact, search engine algorithms are specifically designed to hold several different marketers to higher standards of quality; they reward high quality content with higher rankings in search results.

These are just a few top trends in digital marketing this year. Any small business owner worth his salt should know these so as not to get left behind.

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