“It’s increasingly important to offer mobile-friendly websites to consumers who are generally intolerant of poorly-optimised sites.”

Trying to keep up with rapidly-emerging marketing trends can be overwhelming for businesses. But ignore them, and you run the risk of being left behind.

Before we examine some of the more recent online marketing trends that have popped up over the past 12 months, it’s important to reemphasise networks that are tried and tested.

The White Pages® Network, that includes print, online, mobile, voice services and search engines, is used by more than 4.65 million people a week to make more than 19.6 million searches.

With business searches receiving on average 3 million visits a month on, there’s no doubt the extensive reach of the network can help maximise your chances of being found.

In addition to this, here are some extra tips to help you stay on top of your marketing game:

1. Subscribe to newsletters from news and industry sites relevant to your business. Some examples include Mashable (social media), LifeHacker (productivity tips), Bright Yellow (small business in Australia), and SmartCompany (business and innovation).

2. Set aside time to learn and catch up on news about your industry. This could be a dedicated “reading” hour, or attending seminars and networking events.

3. Create lists on Twitter as a way to manage your connections. This curated steam will assist you access relevant information in an ocean of chatter.

Now you’re in a better position to stay on top of things, here are some of the current marketing trends that everyone’s talking about. Some will definitely be here to stay.

Mobile consumers

According to a report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, mobile and tablet uptake in Australia is rapidly accelerating, with an estimated 8.9 million (and growing) smartphone users in the country. So what does this mean for businesses? Simply put, as technology changes, so should we. Kathleen Aoki of Business Think Tank highlights the implications of this continual trend:

“It’s increasingly important to offer mobile-friendly websites to consumers who are generally intolerant of poorly-optimised sites. Mobile-enabled sites are especially important for local businesses, which are often accessed via mobile devices.”

Responsive design

Today we can access the internet just about anywhere on a variety of devices – from laptops to smartphones to iPads and other tablet devices.

As Alice McLean of Digital K Online declares, “you don’t decide how your readers will get to your website; they do.” This means ensuring your websites is accessible from any vantage point.

The main priority is for your business to invest in responsive web design technology to allow your website to automatically adapt to any screen size.

Now more than ever, responsive web technology that resizes text and images to fit any screen is becoming the norm with new websites.

Social media dominates

If content is still king, social media is the queen of the web. On Open Forum, Mike Michalowicz reports some of the key takeaways from Social Media Week, held in October in Los Angeles:

1. Link online with offline – Reach a wider audience by making live events accessible via social media networks.

2. Use stories – Storytelling is an undisputed marketing tool, particularly effective and compelling in spreading your messages.

3. Streamline – Aggregated services such as HootSuite and TwineSocial can help you manage your social media so you never miss a mention. Plus, it can also help grow and drive social engagement.

4. Be human – Conversation is a two-way street. As Kiki Nichols on Forbes writes, “This means you have to give a little to get a little. Post questions to the group. Listen to and apply their feedback, if appropriate.”

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