Keywords Change for AdWords, GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Firm

There was big news from Google and GoDaddy this week. And those are just two of the news items with implications for small businesses recently. The Small Business Trends editorial team brings you some of the headlines that could impact your small business in a big way in our weekly small business news roundup.

Online Marketing

No More Phrase and Exact Keyword Match in AdWords

Holy smokes! Google has effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords.

GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Service Mad Mimi

GoDaddy is adding another tool to its suite of small business services. Once known as just a place to buy domain names and website hosting, GoDaddy says that its latest acquisition – the email marketing service Mad Mimi – further shows its commitment to small businesses.

Finance

Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service for Small Businesses

Square is expanding its cash advance service for small businesses. The mobile point of sales provider says new funding will allow it to advance more money to more small businesses soon.

Square Appointments Assists You With Your Bookings

Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.

Email Marketing

Phil Hill of Flashissue: Turning Gmail into an Email Marketing Platform

Sending emails and doing email marketing campaigns are two completely different things. But with many small businesses living in Gmail today, being able to do full blown email campaigns right from within the popular app may be just what many entrepreneurs need to efficiently execute more successful marketing interactions.

Local Marketing

Study Shows Consumers Prefer Shopping in a Store, Not Online

Good news for small retailers. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to eCommerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online

Charles Town, W. Va. didn’t have much of an online presence before Van Applegate showed up. Now, the town and all of its local merchants have found a way to truly benefit from technology, promoting their town online.

Research

Nostalgia Makes People Spend More, Study Finds

A recent study shows something marketers and business owners have believed all along. Nostalgia is not only persuasive in a marketing message, it actually makes customers willing to spend more.

Mobile Trends

New Shopping App Connects Fashion Brands With Mobile Customers

Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts. Part of the reason behind this has to do with access.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Technovation Shows Technology in Actual Room Settings

Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place?

Small Business Operations

51 Franchised UPS Stores Hacked, Possible Data Breach

If you used a credit card to pay for services or products at The UPS Store this year, your private information may have been hacked.

LLCs are a Hot New Trend Among Sole Proprietors

Unless you are an accountant specializing in small business, you may not be aware of a new trend in the world of sole proprietorships: registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a limited liability company (LLC).

Social Media

Users Aren’t Happy That Twitter Now Reweets Favorites and Follows

A new Twitter experiment shares favorites and follows in others’ Twitter streams as if they were retweets – and a vocal group of users aren’t too thrilled about the idea.

Technology

HTC Flagship Phone Now Has Windows Phone 8.1 Version

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One M8 for Windows 8.1. The company claims the phone is the first example of a flagship device being offered with two different operating systems.

HP Stream 14 Is Windows Answer to The Chromebook

The HP Stream 14 runs Windows but will sell for just $199. As trends show increased adoption of the Chromebook by small businesses, Hewlett-Packard offers its own inexpensive laptop with cloud storage  features, running a more familiar operating system to business users, which is the HP Stream 14.

Chromebook Sales Will Rise As Businesses Adopt Cloud Technology

Chromebook sales are on the rise. And their use in the business community is expected to contribute to their continued popularity. New research shows that sales of Chromebook devices rose sharply last year and will continue on that trend in the near future.

Tiny Polaroid Cube Records HD Video On-The-Go

Polaroid has introduced a new camera that can go just about anywhere with you. The Polaroid Cube is only 35mm tall, wide, and deep … a true cube. It’s capable of shooting 90 minutes of 1080p HD video on a single charge.

swivelCard: One Part Business Card, One Part USB Drive

swivelCard, at first glance, looks like a basic business card made of thick cardstock. But the innovative feature is the card’s ability to fold up and become a USB drive.

Funding

Venture Capitalists Now Search Crowdfunding Sites for Opportunities

When crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo began taking off, some thought they would make venture capitalists obsolete. That has not been the case so far. Crowdfunding sites have actually served as an opportunity for professional investors to easily find new startups to fund.

Product Lists

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

As the years roll on, podcasts still continue to be popular. We’re excited to announce the 5th Annual Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014 Edition.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

The Future of Mobile Marketing: Smartphones and Augmented Reality

With each new year, marketers continue to say that mobile marketing is going to be huge. Has the time already come, or are there more developments in mobile marketing and technology yet to be seen?

Mobile is one of the most innovative technology platforms out today, and with about 50% of mobile users (and 70% of affluent customers) owning a smartphone, the market for apps and further technological advancement is greater now than ever before.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

Smartphone users are expecting a deeper personalized engagement and assistance from their phones. Many people are dependent on their phone as their sole source of telecommunication, as well as a way to connect via social media and email. They also use it for entertainment and consuming content. This means that app and operating system developers need to fulfill a hefty order: To continue to make smartphones an integral part of user’s lives.

Facilitating Experiences

FourSquare and Yelp have released app updates in the last year that allow users to be notified when their friends have checked into the same location or are nearby. This type of GPS-location for a user’s social network is even further reducing the need to communicate directly with friends to find out where they are. This can be useful when attending large events, going out with new friends while running into some new ones or even avoiding an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or boss.

Besides utilizing mobile to market locations as a place where a user’s friends are hanging out, mobile apps can also be used to market events or unique experiences. This includes secret concerts or performances for only certain app users or a special on hot air balloon rides that a user just happens to be a few blocks away from. Users like the gratification of having apps do the work for them. That way, they can focus more on their friends and the experience itself, rather than spending effort having to find it.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) continues to be the golden child in the minds of those thinking about the future of mobile marketing. Think of all the potential for local businesses – instant restaurant reviews (which Yelp has already been utilizing since 2009), hotel locations, online prices for products on shelves and more. Not to mention all the games and entertainment experiences that augmented reality can bring into users’ homes.

The potential of augmented reality is seemingly endless, especially because it is still in development and its potential remains vastly untapped. HowStuffWorks (who has a great video on AR) estimates that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. This means that online sensors can influence how users see reality in relation to their individual preferences and past history.

Price Comparison

Mobile makes it easy to instantly check for product and service prices, as well as for coupons and discounts, from anywhere there is wifi access or cell phone service. While many mobile marketing apps, like CouponSherpa (available at Google Play and iTunes) and Apple’s passbook, have utilized this to create services based on a user’s location, search and available connected profiles, the future still remains wide for further possibilities.

For instance, what if a restaurant’s app noticed a user’s negative tweet about a competitor and instantly text them a lucrative coupon? Or if a user’s smart phone GPS says they are in the area, a business could pay to be part of an app that offers instant, unique deals personalized to that user, depending on where they are (Groupon is going down this road with their instant deals).

The future of mobile marketing will depend largely on apps reacting to the customer, instead of the customer initiating the request for information themselves. GPS location, as well as inter-connected social media APIs will make this second nature.

Interaction With the Outside World

In relation to augmented reality and mobile marketing based on a user’s behavior and location, mobile technology may also continue to make a user’s life easier by increasing their ability to interact with the outside world. Instances may include:

  • Using Shazam to listen to an infomercial to instantly buy the advertised product.
  • Ordering photos from Shutterfly directly from a user’s smart phone camera album.
  • Using apps or bluetooth to pay for purchases at a department store.
  • Scanning a piece of furniture’s barcode to search for tutorial videos on how to assemble it.

There are many instances where the Internet already makes smartphone users’ lives easier than ever, but the key to future development is fine-tuning what has already been done while also innovating further ways to streamline and make things more efficient.

While mobile marketing has already come quite far in just the past few years, the fact remains that there is much more that can still be done. With almost every electronic device available being built to connect to the Internet, smartphones and other gadgets alike will bring marketers and users together to create experiences, influence purchases and make life a little easier.

Mobile Future Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

4 Ways Mobile Devices Impact Your Business and Marketing

4 Ways Mobile Devices Impact Your Business and Marketing

1.  Mobile devices have a smaller screen. This is painfully obvious, but have you designed for it? Mobile screens are changing e-mail messaging structures. I read an Infusionsoft report that highlighted this and implored customers to pay attention to the mobile screen. Dozens of others have followed suit. What will your customers see on a smaller screen? Is the subject line more important than ever because it is all they might see?

It is frequently stated that e-mail is dead due to mobile and social networks. E-mail is far from dead.  Although stats show that many people are migrating to social networks to communicate, consider the fact that Facebook recently decided to create an e-mail platform. Why? Because people need and want more than short updates and chat to communicate.  If you’re wondering what your e-mail might look like on a mobile device, Web-based service provider Email on Acid lets you test your e-mail as it will appear on many browsers and mobile devices.

The smaller mobile screen will also impact how a customer sees your website. Many mobile devices don’t allow or use Flash technology, so you have to think about that. It may be worth considering a mobile marketing platform instead. One of the top mobile site builders is mobiSiteGalore. Yes, it would be a pain to maintain two sites, but it could also be more cost effective.

2.  Location, location, location used to be the real estate world’s maxim, but should now be the marketing and small business owner’s maxim.  Location-based offers and services will change how customers engage in almost every way. Customers have the ability to be hyper-connected with their social networks.  You have only to look at Foursquare and Gowalla to get a glimpse of the power of location.

3.  Use of mobile apps is growing. Whether you know it or not, customers are scanning and comparison shopping, on the spot, in your retail store.  Search and search engine optimization are rapidly changing. On the Droid X I’m testing and will be reviewing here shortly, one of the top apps was a barcode scanner used via the smartphone camera.  Think of how you can tie mobile coupons to your offers.

I worked on a project in Japan years ago; in that country, I could use my cell phone to pay for an in-store purchase.  Japan leads U.S. mobile technology by five to 10 years and possibly Europe and other parts of Asia by one or two years.  Along with your Google Places (or Facebook Places) page, you can add a QR code (like a barcode) to your site, to your retail store window and your e-mails. The viewer or recipient can scan that code with a smartphone and receive a special offer or welcome message.  There are a few easy QR creation sites out there if you want to create a code for your site, e-mail or storefront.

4.  Text messaging still matters. Even with the growth of iPhones and Droid-powered smartphones, these are still only a slice of the mobile market. Millions of people are still engaging via text messaging and SMS platforms. Your customer will opt-in to text message (SMS) offers. You don’t have to wait for smartphone usage to completely dominate. Text is a favorite way consumers communicate, but is not used often enough as a way to market. Again, this isn’t spam, but permission-based marketing.

One of the best posts I’ve read about mobile marketing trends came from one of our contributors, Paul Rosenfeld of Fanminder. Granted, Paul is in the mobile marketing (SMS) space and has some bias, but he paints a fair picture from all I’ve seen and studied about mobile.  One important note from that post: “Gen Yers (18-29) say their phone is the most important device they own.” I would argue that other generations are saying the same thing.

If you want to get just a taste of the many mobile applications for small business, read my 19 Mobile Apps post.  What mobile apps are you using, developing, or researching?  Please share them here in the comments.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Keywords Change for AdWords, GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Firm

There was big news from Google and GoDaddy this week. And those are just two of the news items with implications for small businesses recently. The Small Business Trends editorial team brings you some of the headlines that could impact your small business in a big way in our weekly small business news roundup.

Online Marketing

No More Phrase and Exact Keyword Match in AdWords

Holy smokes! Google has effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords.

GoDaddy Acquires Email Marketing Service Mad Mimi

GoDaddy is adding another tool to its suite of small business services. Once known as just a place to buy domain names and website hosting, GoDaddy says that its latest acquisition – the email marketing service Mad Mimi – further shows its commitment to small businesses.

Finance

Square Expands Its Cash Advance Service for Small Businesses

Square is expanding its cash advance service for small businesses. The mobile point of sales provider says new funding will allow it to advance more money to more small businesses soon.

Square Appointments Assists You With Your Bookings

Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.

Email Marketing

Phil Hill of Flashissue: Turning Gmail into an Email Marketing Platform

Sending emails and doing email marketing campaigns are two completely different things. But with many small businesses living in Gmail today, being able to do full blown email campaigns right from within the popular app may be just what many entrepreneurs need to efficiently execute more successful marketing interactions.

Local Marketing

Study Shows Consumers Prefer Shopping in a Store, Not Online

Good news for small retailers. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to eCommerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney.

This Guy Promotes an Entire Town Online

Charles Town, W. Va. didn’t have much of an online presence before Van Applegate showed up. Now, the town and all of its local merchants have found a way to truly benefit from technology, promoting their town online.

Research

Nostalgia Makes People Spend More, Study Finds

A recent study shows something marketers and business owners have believed all along. Nostalgia is not only persuasive in a marketing message, it actually makes customers willing to spend more.

Mobile Trends

New Shopping App Connects Fashion Brands With Mobile Customers

Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts. Part of the reason behind this has to do with access.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Technovation Shows Technology in Actual Room Settings

Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place?

Small Business Operations

51 Franchised UPS Stores Hacked, Possible Data Breach

If you used a credit card to pay for services or products at The UPS Store this year, your private information may have been hacked.

LLCs are a Hot New Trend Among Sole Proprietors

Unless you are an accountant specializing in small business, you may not be aware of a new trend in the world of sole proprietorships: registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a limited liability company (LLC).

Social Media

Users Aren’t Happy That Twitter Now Reweets Favorites and Follows

A new Twitter experiment shares favorites and follows in others’ Twitter streams as if they were retweets – and a vocal group of users aren’t too thrilled about the idea.

Technology

HTC Flagship Phone Now Has Windows Phone 8.1 Version

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One M8 for Windows 8.1. The company claims the phone is the first example of a flagship device being offered with two different operating systems.

HP Stream 14 Is Windows Answer to The Chromebook

The HP Stream 14 runs Windows but will sell for just $199. As trends show increased adoption of the Chromebook by small businesses, Hewlett-Packard offers its own inexpensive laptop with cloud storage  features, running a more familiar operating system to business users, which is the HP Stream 14.

Chromebook Sales Will Rise As Businesses Adopt Cloud Technology

Chromebook sales are on the rise. And their use in the business community is expected to contribute to their continued popularity. New research shows that sales of Chromebook devices rose sharply last year and will continue on that trend in the near future.

Tiny Polaroid Cube Records HD Video On-The-Go

Polaroid has introduced a new camera that can go just about anywhere with you. The Polaroid Cube is only 35mm tall, wide, and deep … a true cube. It’s capable of shooting 90 minutes of 1080p HD video on a single charge.

swivelCard: One Part Business Card, One Part USB Drive

swivelCard, at first glance, looks like a basic business card made of thick cardstock. But the innovative feature is the card’s ability to fold up and become a USB drive.

Funding

Venture Capitalists Now Search Crowdfunding Sites for Opportunities

When crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo began taking off, some thought they would make venture capitalists obsolete. That has not been the case so far. Crowdfunding sites have actually served as an opportunity for professional investors to easily find new startups to fund.

Product Lists

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

As the years roll on, podcasts still continue to be popular. We’re excited to announce the 5th Annual Top 100 Small Business Podcasts 2014 Edition.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-ndtv”]