For those small business owners who are always looking for ways to give their business an edge, the constantly evolving digital landscape offers many new avenues to explore. Whether it comes to establishing or building your marketing footprint or streamlining your everyday business operations, there are always new methods to implement and improve your operations.
While it can be difficult to stay on top of all of the emerging trends, nowadays, it really is critical for business owners to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. With the huge amount of tools available to help businesses streamline their processes, you can make your business run more efficiently than ever by utilising some of these tools.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most relevant and useful tools and trends you should be aware of to help your business move in the right direction.
Developments in artificial intelligence have provided many innovative and potentially cost-saving technologies that are highly useful for small businesses. Chatbots are a notable example. Chatbots are automated customer relations tools that can assist your customers with answering simple questions and even purchasing products. While earlier versions of this digital tool were somewhat simplistic and frustrating to deal with, the technology has advanced sufficiently to often make conversations indistinguishable from human-to-human interactions. Using chatbots can save you valuable time (and money) as your employees will be freed up to deal with more productive tasks.
For the uninitiated, web scraping is an automated way of extracting data from a number of websites with efficiency and ease. This data can then be analyzed depending on your specific application. This is useful for small business owners who want to build a database of products, images, text, or contact information which can then be used to build an analytics-based marketing strategy. Look into some of the web scraping services available today to find one that suits your unique needs and requirements.
Google Keyword Planner
If you struggle with SEO and effective online marketing, a good place to start is with Google’s Keyword Planner. One of the most useful SEO strategies out there today is a thoughtful use of keywords in your content. Closely following trends and patterns of keyword searches can help to boost your site’s prominence on Google’s search engine. This will likely bring in more traffic and attract more interest in your products and services. If you have not already explored this digital marketing trend, take advantage of it today to get a leg up on the competition.
Voice searches are becoming more and more common in the contemporary digital landscape, especially as services like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant become more widespread. In fact, Google has announced in 2016 that voice searches represented 20% of all searches and that number is growing.
As such, it is necessary for small business owners who want their online presence to thrive to be aware of the differences between conventional text searching and optimizing for voice searching. For example, keep in mind that spoken searches usually manifest as fully formed questions and are typically longer. Investigate how you can take advantage of this trend to increase the profile of your small business.
Internet Of Things
It can no longer be ignored that Internet-connected devices in our homes are here to stay. With your customers having smart devices throughout their places of residence, the amount of data that will soon be available for business analysis is staggering. Beyond that, the market for products and services that revolve around this “internet of things” is bound to expand as time goes on. This trend represents an excellent opportunity for any small business.
Stay Up-To-Date On Emerging Trends
Staying up-to-date with the latest digital tools and trends, you can take steps to streamline your small business’ operations. Moving into 2019, it is vital to stay abreast of emerging movements in order to have an edge against your competition. The ever-evolving digital environment represents a challenge, and an opportunity, for the savvy business owner.