If you’re a small business owner, you are well aware that the digital world is a fast-moving monster. The good news for you is, this monster can be tamed! This article features multiple topics that you will need to know in order to grow (or stay afloat) in 2014.
1) Canada’s New Anti-Spam Legislation
This is probably the most important topic of 2014 from a marketing perspective. This July, Canada will begin to enforce it’s incredibly rigid anti-spam bill. Spam has many definitions, but falls under the category of a “CEM” or “Commercial Electronic Message”. Businesses will have a new set of rules to comply with or run the risk of suffering charges up to $1m/day of being in breach of the new legislation. The rules are quite simple to follow, however businesses both large and small need to go over their subscriber lists and re-examine what their versions of “Commercial Electronic Messages” are within their company. For details on the new legislation, click here.
2) Mobile-Optimized Sites Are Now a Standard … Not a Luxury
A recent study by Google shows that 61% of mobile internet users will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized. With continual growth in SmartPhone sales, it’s no wonder that over 50% of local search traffic is performed on mobile devices.
But what does “Mobile-Optimized” really mean? Most business owners believe that because their website can be seen and navigated on a SmartPhone–they therefore have a mobile-friendly website. The truth is that “mobile-optimized”, really means that your site has the ability to “respond” to the device it’s being viewed on; thus making the navigation, design and flow of the website much more intuitive and enjoyable for your potential customer.
Above is an example of a “desktop” view of a website (left) compared to a “mobile optimized” view of a website (right). Note the clarity and ability to read text without having to “pinch-to-zoom” on the mobile-optimized website?
3) Social Media is “Word Of Mouth”
As each year comes to a close it becomes more and more apparent that social media is here to stay. It’s no secret that people are influenced by their peers and Facebook has become a megaphone. “Keyboard Courage” has given introverts the power to voice their opinions with minimal implications. The already vocal extraverts are expressing their ideas to larger audiences–Facebook has become a culture. Reviews are posted on a second-by-second basis by everyday people with an average audience of 300 readers.
Businesses-to-consumer businesses who have not made the jump to social media (or have social media but aren’t executing properly) are going to be facing the repercussions of their lack of online efforts in the year 2014. Don’t be left in the dust!