2011 will be known as the year the online advertising industry turned its attention to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The average SMB, however, will become overwhelmed by the number of new online marketing and advertising tools available this year. The hardest choice for them will be what to focus on and what to ignore.
Small businesses have different types of customers, so every advertising medium is not a guarantee of success for each customer type.
Following is a list of trends that will create the biggest opportunity, and confusion, for SMBs in 2011.
1. Online presence moves to Facebook
I recently saw a print ad with a Facebook address, but without a traditional website URL. Times are changing.
For SMBs, websites are still too complicated to build and update. Just as blogging sites made it easy to publish content online, Facebook is making it easy for small businesses to put their business online. As social commerce takes off, having a Facebook presence will be invaluable.
2011 will be the first year we see successful new businesses with no websites, just Facebook pages.
2. The dawn of the SMB agency arrives
SMBs can't do it all; they need to focus their efforts on their core business. Online marketing is growing in complexity, which creates new opportunity for SMBs but also makes marketing more daunting.