Digital transformation of business has led to new trends in business management, marketing and short-term and long-term planning. We have almost reached to the year 2015 and will see which are the latest trends that small business owners need to keep an eye on when developing a plan to maximize their marketing effort in 2015.

Social media is the key tool for the 21st century marketing and Facebook and Twitter will continue to push consumer spending. Both social networks now have “buy“ buttons that appear alongside status updates and tweets which makes it easier for consumers to buy products without leaving the social network and going to another web-site.

When paying for ads, small business owners pay for performance instead for reposts or retweets. The demand for promoted ads will continue to grow, but thid also entails increased pricing. These two largest social media networks will become essential for small business marketing.

Besides Facebook and Twitter there are other innovative social networks (e.g. Ello, Tsu, Yik Yak, etc.) that are ad-free or have unassertive advertising, don’t sell private information to other parties and provide customers a piece of their ad income based on the popularity of the customers’ posts. But only time will tell for how long these networks will be around.

What is also expected is the increase of LinkedIn users. LinkedIn is a strong publishing resource populated with prime content on new business trends and insights. You can use LinkedIn to express your thoughts on these topics or to build your brand.

Image-based social networks, like Instagram, have a great role in influencing consumers’ buying habits. Since recently, Instagram started a service of in-feed video advertising, which gives you the opportunity to pay for 15-second video ads based on targeted metrics like age, gender and geographic location.

Bear in mind that internet is the place where customers can speak their mind freely about your products and services. Keep track of what’s being said about your brand on social media and If a customer has a problem with your service, respond back in a timely manner.

Consumers are also influenced by their friends’ purchasing habits. A Harris Interactive poll conducted this year showed that 68% of millennials (people born between 1981 and 2000) are likely to buy after seeing a friend’s post about a product/service. You will need to specially create marketing messages for millennials.

They are well-educated (76 million of millenials in America with 63% of them having at least bachelors’ degree) and can be major influencers because they rely on social media when making an online purchase. Also, small business owners need to recognize the growing purchasing power of minorities, otherwise it can have a negative impact on their business.

Only Hispanics (who make up 17% of the U.S. population) have purchasing power that exceeds $1 trillion and that number is expected to grow by 2017.

In 2015, take the time to explore content marketing and to determine how it might benefit your business. Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. It is a great marketing tool, but it requires work.

While awaiting the soon-to-come year 2015, prepare for it by exploring, understanding and applying new digital marketing techniques.

Avoid old conventional ways of advertising your business, get into social media network channels, use them properly and be a smart marketer.

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Posted by Sophie Andersen

Sophie is a Sydney based writer who loves to write about all home-things. She's running her own home business for the past five years and has huge experience in managing finance and investment issues. She loves to share that knowledge and help other women to start her own career.