Online marketing for small businesses is in overdrive mode right now. New statistics culled from online marketing firm Hubspot show the following:
84 percent of business-to-business marketers are using some form of social media today
81 percent of smartphone users say they often read emails on their mobile devices
92 percent of companies found new customers as a result of consistent blog posts on their company blog
Social Media Today found that small business owners are fast learners with web tools that can make dramatic shifts in their businesses. From email and mobile marketing tools to consistent use of social media, businesses are embracing online marketing to reach out to customers more efficiently. Let's look at some of the new tools in four key areas for small businesses.
One of the under-utilitized means of growing a small business is by using mobile marketing. With more than half the US population of phone owners having smartphones, businesses have a great opportunity to ramp up this segment. As mobile wallet use also grows, marketers can better engage with prospects and customers to learn more about customers' spending habits. In return, a small business can offer these shoppers coupons, product discounts and various loyalty programs.
Targeting helps too, if your business wants to reach users on the new cell phones on BlackBerry. The company's new Q10 model, for instance, offers users the ability to use their Blackberry smartphones like a bank card, connected to a money account. This was a result of a deal etched out earlier in the year with credit card giant Visa, noted Digital Trends. Some see Blackberry's move as helping to kick-start more carriers and phone manufacturers to move headlong in to the mobile wallet arena.
The success of email marketing is clearly due to businesses able to track users in the process. Businesses can see who received the email, who opened the email, who clicked on any of the links or images in the email and much more. One stat shows 88 percent of email users want HTML emails as opposed to the 12 percent who would rather just have plain text. Leaders in helping small businesses develop a professional looking e-newsletter are MailChimp, Constant Contact and Benchmark Email.
Small businesses are showing results from using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube to market products and services. The Hubspot numbers noted above show that just over 60 percent of marketers said social media has become an integral part of their marketing campaigns in the first half of the year. Tracking the progress of your business efforts can be done with tools like SharedCount, which gives a snapshot of recent performance on a variety of social media outlets. If you need to promote your social media efforts and brand to bloggers and PR people, try using BuzzStream.
There are many types of analytics companies available to work with a small business. Some of these SEO companies also offer web, blogging, content and social media services as well. Find time to experiment with some of these online marketing tools to enhance your marketing efforts.