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Top 7 Tech Trends For Your Small Business in 2016
It can be hard to keep up with every new or updated trend in technology for your small business. A must-have platform or app often seems to launch just as you ﬁnally get the hang of the previous one.
Which trends are really worth trying? Here are seven tech trends to watch and consider implementing for your small business in 2016.
01. Mobile Video Video and the way it’s viewed by customers will continue to evolve. According to ZenithOptimedia, mobile will become the main platform for viewing online video in 2016, with mobile devices accounting for 52.7 percent of time spent watching videos online worldwide. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: If you haven’t already done so, incorporate video into your marketing strategy with product demonstrations, behind-the-scenes peeks or other great content that relates back to your brand.
02. App Indexing In 2015, Google announced a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. The new algorithm involves app indexing, which means that search results now include relevant content from mobile apps. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: Consider creating a mobile app for your business if it would allow you to provide unique utility and content for your customers. White label app options, such as BuildFire, give you the ability to create an app for your business even if you don’t have the budget to develop a custom app. If your business already has an app, use this guide to make sure that Google is indexing it.
03. Mobile-Friendly Websites Google’s new algorithm also changed the way mobile-friendly sites populate in search results — for the better. Sites that are mobilefriendly now appear higher in Google search results than sites that are not. Plus, research from PayPal estimates that mobile commerce will reach $96.3 million in 2016. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile so your business is able to take advantage of the continued increase of mobile spending power. Click here to test your site.
04. Sophisticated Ad Targeting Tools such as Google AdWords are becoming more sophisticated every day. These tools allow businesses to target their ads to speciﬁc customers based on location and demographics. According to Wishpond, businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: Review your online marketing budget and consider trying pay-per-click ads. Your return on investment should increase because the technology helps you pinpoint the right customers in the right places.
05. Digital Assistants Voice-controlled digital personal assistants such as Siri and Cortana are here to stay. This will prompt search engines to form a new type of optimization that helps these digital assistants find the right information based on the way you speak instead of the way you type. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: Keep the future in mind, and make sure your site is optimized for long-tail keywords that would be used in voice-based queries. Long-tail keywords are three- or four-word phrases that are very specific, such as “thin-crust pizza St. Louis.”
06. Mobile Payments The popularity of mobile payments has only just begun. According to Gartner, Inc., mobile commerce currently generates 22 percent of digital commerce revenue, and this is expected to rise to 50 percent by 2017. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: If you already accept credit cards in person, start investigating ways to integrate mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, to give your customers convenient ways to check out.
07. Live Streaming Apps Due to better bandwidth and reliable connections, mobile apps that allow you to live stream video are gaining popularity. These apps enable you to share information with your customers in new ways. In August 2015, Periscope, one of the most popular live streaming apps, announced that it had reached two million daily users. NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR BIZ: Host an event and publicize the fact that you will live stream it for customers that can’t attend. While live streaming, interact with your viewers by speaking to them or responding to their comments. You could even offer a special rafﬂe or giveaway for customers that tune into the live stream.
Quick Wins Advice Action Inspiration Technology is only as good as the user. Make sure new trends are right for you and for your customers before you decide to adopt them. Take a look at what forms of technology your competitors are using and consider how you could use them better. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” — Arthur C. Clarke, science writer and futurist
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