5 online advertising trends that small businesses shouldn’t ignore

One could ask what the point of considering future online advertising trends when as a small business owner you are probably struggling enough to understand the complexity of the digital world as it currently stands.


This may actually present you with an opportunity – to leapfrog ahead of competitors already active in the online advertising space.  Think about how mobile phones have exploded in African markets where there was no fixed line infrastructure.  The absence of legacy systems and infrastructure meant that mobile technology took off quicker and better because it wasn’t weighed down by the past.


Similarly, by looking into the future you can plan ‘ahead of the curve’, to make sure that when you do start using online advertising as a primary marketing channel you are likely to get much better returns on your investment.


5 of the key online advertising trends that small business owners should consider are:

  1. Growth of visual social channels.
  • As people read less and less, and want to consume information faster, they have turned to visual social channels such as Pinterest and Instagram.
  • The use these two social media platforms has doubled since 2012, while other platforms, like Twitter have slowed dramatically.
  • This does require you to produce good quality visual content


  1. Facebook used for search
    • Facebook want to keep its users within Facebook, and reduce the need to search in traditional search engines, like Google
    • They started allowing you to search for individual posts, and not just people
    • It makes a presence on Facebook more important than previously, where people may search for the product or service you sell (rather than your name)


  1. Growth of mobile internet
    • More web browsing is done on mobile devices than on desktops
    • Your online advertising needs to be optimised to be ‘mobile-first’


  1. Growth of local search
    • Google have announced that for the first time over 50% of mobile internet searches are for local searches
    • This means people looking for products, services and places in their immediate surroundings
    • Google are changing the way that searches are displayed to rank local searches higher -the golden ‘three pack’ shown below

Google local

  1. Individualized targeting, using phone numbers and email addresses
    • Targeting potential customers through online advertising based on their phone numbers and email addresses ensures even less waste than other forms of targeting.




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