The only constant in the digital world is that there’s change—and in 2019, it’s only accelerating. The way people search online and respond to marketing is changing at a rapid pace. But how can small businesses adapt? And what are the emerging trends small businesses need to know if they want to capitalize on them?
Tech Trend #1: Voice Search Optimization
What’s the last thing you searched for on the internet? You might imagine yourself sitting at your laptop or entering a query on your phone. But there’s just as good a chance you used a voice service like Amazon Echo to find something.
That’s why today’s businesses are entering a new frontier of search optimization: discovering how to optimize their brand presence for these vocal search queries. According to Inc.com, “Voice search is changing the way users find and Google surfaces content.”
As the searching experience becomes more mobile and hands-free, companies have to keep up. In 2015, 1.7 million voice devices were shipped; by 2017, that number climbed to 24.5 million. The trend means most people will likely have some sort of voice search feature available in their home in the future.
Tech Trend #2: Micro-Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing isn’t a new idea; in fact, the concept of using a celebrity endorsement is about as old as the advertisement. But today’s social media trends have made it possible to embrace a new aspect of marketing online that allows companies to take advantage of the established content producers and voices of today’s generation: micro-influencer marketing.
The phrase simply refers to using influencers with smaller audiences — such as bloggers or those with minor followings on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram — as their endorsement partners. There are many possibilities:
- Sponsored blog posts. A small business can easily hire a blogger to write a sponsored blog post with a specific angle, ultimately leading to a call to action that highlights a specific company’s offer.
- Endorsed social media posts. You’ve likely seen plenty of these already—it’s not difficult to hire a social media influencer to create a sponsored post highlighting a link that sends their audience to a landing page.
- Podcast advertisements and special deals. Podcast creators with distinct audiences make it possible for companies with specific niches to target their potential user base more effectively.
Tech Trend #3: 5G
The idea behind 5G is simple: It’s going to be so powerful, universal, and ubiquitous that it could support any type of internet activity with high-quality speed. According to Business News Daily, capitalizing on this trend can mean a lot for small businesses.
For example, it will be easier to access cloud storage, which means small businesses can become more mobile. Small businesses that already use technology to drastically improve the quality of their mobility or reduce their overall office space needs can access 5G for greater improvements and communication.
Tech Trend #4: Miniature Financing
According to Square, 68 percent of customers said they would be more likely to consider shopping at a small business if those businesses offered their own financing options. That means small businesses can compete with large retailers for larger purchases, such as furniture and electronics, if they have their own miniature financing programs.
For most small businesses, the idea of getting into financing seems like taking on an entirely different market. But with services and platforms like Square breaking into the business, these financing options can be much more intuitive for smaller businesses to manage.
The service — Square Installments — would help small businesses more easily accept financing for these large purchases, which in turn gives them access to customers who otherwise couldn’t afford specific transactions.
Making the Most of Tech Trends in 2019
How can a small business take advantage of these trends? A small business loan or other efficient means of financing would be a great way to handle an immediate upgrade in voice search optimization, invest in micro-influencer marketing, or add 5G services to help build a more robust business. These investments can pay long-term dividends, particularly for small businesses that link with the right loan offers to receive terms that are favorable for them — and the tech trends they plan on taking advantage of in the coming year.