Digital marketing campaigns have become effective means of allowing small businesses to get in front of a bigger audience than ever before.
And a lot of small businesses are turning to social media to launch those campaigns. This week, Tweet Binder released a new product to allow small businesses to better monitor campaigns on Instagram. Also, a new study found that small business spending on social media marketing is up.
Read about social media news and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.
Tweet Binder Launches Reports for Instagram Insights
The value of customer insight has always been appreciated by companies, but until recent technological developments, data availability was limited to the larger enterprises. Thanks to smartphones, social media and big data, all of the interactions people have now can be analyzed to deliver actionable insights to improve your business.
Paid Advertising in Social Media Increases, Study Finds
Content marketing is finally catching on with businesses, says the new B2C Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America study (PDF). Conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, the study found that marketers made impressive progress over 2015 with documenting their content marketing strategy.
Entertain and Engage Your Audience with Live Streaming Tool Strea.ma
Whether you’re hosting an event, participating in a tradeshow or just want a way to engage your visitors on your website, the social media tool Strea.ma will help you connect with customers better than ever before. What is Strea.ma?
Small Business Deals
Square Sees 49 Percent Revenue Boost, Quarterly Report Says
Payment processing company Square, which allows merchants to easily accept credit cards through a simple card reader, has reported (PDF) major revenue growth in its fourth-quarter earnings. The mobile payment service company reported it saw a total net sales increase of 49 percent year over year to a total net revenue of $374 million.
U.S. Government Hits Goal for Women Owned Small Businesses
After almost two decades, the federal government for the first time has been able to meet its goal of awarding five percent (worth $17.8 billion) of all contracts to women-owned small businesses.
Retail Sales to Grow 3.1 Percent, National Retail Federation Reports
Retail spending will see a 3.1 percent growth across 2016, the National Retail Federation reports. America’s largest retail group said in its annual economic forecast that employment gains and increasing consumer confidence were slowly helping to steer the U.S. economy back into growth.
With Right Side Ads Gone on Google, Was it Disaster as Predicted?
It’s been about a month since Google confirmed the death of right sidebar ads for desktop search results. Immediately following the change resulting in right side ads gone from Google search results, a hot topic of rampant speculation throughout the search industry was how much CPCs would skyrocket.
5 Predictions in Digital Marketing to Watch
Digital marketing is not an area where you can kick back and relax for any length of time. Well, you can, but as it moves forward at a mile a minute you will end up getting left behind. Although things are changing on an almost weekly basis, we decided to have a look at what we expect to happen during 2016.
21 Clever Spring Marketing Campaigns and Tips
Spring is in the air. And with it comes a whole host of exciting Spring marketing ideas that your business can capitalize on. To get some fun ideas for Spring marketing campaigns, take a look at the tips from marketing experts below.
2016 Is the Year Small Businesses Must Develop Mobile Apps
Apps are no longer considered merely a “branding exercise” for small businesses. Business owners are becoming wise to the marketing power a well-designed, intuitive app can bring. From simplifying online purchases to providing easy-to-access information, the benefits are undeniable which is why small businesses must develop mobile apps to stay competitive.
Microsoft Aims Lumia 650 at Business Users
Smartphones have become a vital part of business, but the high cost of the premium models makes it impossible for many organizations to deploy the technology company wide. The new Microsoft Lumia 650 looks to change all that with a smartphone that has many of the features of its more expensive rivals.
Recharge Your Phone in Three Minutes With iTron
Simpiz, the maker of a powerful portable charger called iTron, claims the unit can fully recharge your phone to 9000mAh in 18 minutes. Even better, three minutes is enough to recharge an iPhone 5. And when at full power, the iTron fully can recharge most smartphones three times or more.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Market Campus Provides Fun Training, Mentorship
Training and education are important elements to any business. But many online training courses are often either boring or ineffective. Enter Market Campus. The company works to make its courses actually fun so that students can take in the information and want to learn even more. Learn more about Market Campus in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
Small Business Operations
Shippo Finds the Cheapest Way to Ship Ecommerce Products
One of the more important aspects of an ecommerce business is shipping. If a company doesn’t have the right platform in place, getting the item a customer has ordered to them can be a problem, which can translate to high customer attrition rates.
Get More Done with New Products from Infusionsoft
At its ICON16 Conference in early March, a slew of new products from Infusionsoft were announced, along with product updates to help small business owners. The idea, says Terry Hicks, Infusionsoft’s Chief Product Officer, is to give Infusionsoft customers “solutions that remove roadblocks and all work together” so business owners can focus on growing their businesses.
Evolution of the Office: Times They Are a-Changin’
The evolution of the office was gradual until the beginning of the 21st Century. But since 2000, the pace of change has quickened dramatically. The level of progress and rate at which new software and hardware are being introduced into the marketplace is nothing short of astounding.
New TV Show “America’s Greatest Makers” to Showcase Latest Tech Innovations
Who doesn’t enjoy a unique television show — one that goes beyond mere entertainment to offer useful business ideas and life lessons, and drive business results that matter? Mark Burnett, six-time Emmy winner and producer of “Survivor,” “Shark Tank,” “The Voice” and “The Apprentice” has a new television show coming this Spring called “America’s Greatest Makers.”
Lynda Video Training Beefs Up Note Taking Features
Lynda.com, the LinkedIn Company that offers thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills, has added new features including a new course page, new note taking features and a faster, slimmer player. The new note taking feature allows Lynda users to read or take notes directly next to the Lynda video training they are watching.
Foursquare and Delivery.com Partner Up to Deliver Food and Alcohol
Foursquare just recently announced a partnership with Delivery.com, a leading online platform for local ordering and on-demand delivery. This integration will enable customers to order food and alcohol with the Foursquare app. Order Food and Alcohol Online This partnership will not only offer an enhanced customer experience to millions of Foursquare and Delivery.
Squarespace Introduces New Magazine-Style Templates
Squarespace recently announced its new Spring line of templates. This year, it seems magazine-style websites are in! While Squarespace’s first magazine-style layout was introduced back in June 2014, these new templates offer an all around upgrade.
VerticalResponse Offers Open API to Developers
Email marketing platform VerticalResponse has recently launched an API and Developer program. This will allow developers to use the company’s new REST-based API and have open access to use it. Now that VerticalResponse offers an open API, developers can add feature-rich email and social media marketing functionality to their business applications.
NASA Robotic Arm: Crowdsourced Construction Through Freelancer.com
When you think of NASA, what comes to mind? Rocket scientists working in jet propulsion laboratories on super high-tech gadgets for the International Space Station (ISS), Hubble telescope or missions to Mars, most likely. What doesn’t come to mind, perhaps, is NASA crowdsourcing freelancers to develop such gadgetry.
Weebly Carbon Relaunches With New Tools for Small Business
Weebly, a DIY website-building platform provider, recently launched the third iteration of its platform, called Weebly Carbon.
VC & Angel Capital
The Venture Capital Industry is Still Rightsizing
A few years back, I made a presentation on “Trends in Venture Capital” at a Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland event. Every few months or so, I receive an email from someone asking me if I have updated the tables and charts in that presentation.
Image: Tweet Binder