Identifying and Leveraging the Most Disruptive Forces In Small Business Advertising

While still relatively young and adolescent, the Internet has proliferated exponentially, bringing the world’s borders just a little closer to each other; it’s allowed for a blue ocean that global entrepreneurs have made billions off of, and arguably just as radically, it’s changed American small business advertisement and the way a company interacts with consumers forever buy facebook page likes.

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Online ads have taken many shapes and forms and will continue to innovate in new ways we haven’t yet seen, and millions of even the smallest companies are on board. Nearly $30 billion will be spent this year and that figure is expected to increase nearly 30 fold by the year 2013 to more than $42 billion. The universal advertising model for business is simple: the advertiser pays cash to be seen and “clicked-on” within an affiliate website that drives traffic by offering free content; that’s it.

But if you really want to be a forward-thinking ad-savvy small business owner, then this article is for you. Here’s a small list of the most innovative advertisement tools, tips, and trends that already have – and will continue to – land into the eager paws of small business owners the world over. The list is hierarchical from the earliest ad innovations to today’s merging trends and beyond.

Mobile websites

It doesn’t seem all that long ago when visiting a Website from your cell phone was frustrating: slow connection and download speeds, missing banners and logos, and ugly, jumbled hyperlink text. Boy, how that has changed. With today’s phones, consumer have demanded the same functionality and user ability when surfing the Web that they do when they’re on a laptop, and phone makers are listening.

There’s no denying the move to mobility. While we may still be behind the curve on a country-wide internet infrastructure (South Koreans are downloading an average of 14.6 Mbps compared the U.S.’s measly 3.9 Mbps), we’re far ahead in smart phone design and innovation. Two of the world’s biggest competitors, Google and Apple, are slugging it out on our home turf for the almighty smart phone and ad market share.

And the amount of work Americans do business using their cell phones is only going to increase along with competition among advertisers, providers, and consumers. But not everyone has a smart phone, and those that don’t still want to access information on the go. Make sure that the content on your Website is compatible with most mobile phones. One surefire way to do this is to create a simple mobile Website that can be accessible from the homepage or landing page of your site.

Google AdWords/AdSense

If you’re not advertising your small business on Google yet, then I have a question for you: Where are you advertising, and why? Google (could you imagine an “greatest innovations list” without them?) single-handedly made advertising across the town, state, country, and the world simple, affordable, and effective for companies of any size, especially the small ones.

With the roll out of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) years ago, Google indefinitely sealed itself as the elite advertisement platform of this century. The reason is because of its genius efficiency: businesses will only pay for an ad when it’s been clicked on; converting those visitors into customers is up to the business. Prices are based on “bids” tied to “keywords” – in other words, you choose what keywords you want to pay for, and you choose how much you want to pay for them. Google’s algorithm will place your ads into search queries that contain your keyword, assuming your bid is sufficient.

In case you’re wondering what the big deal is, consider that in just 10 short years Google has shook up and turned an entire industry on its head with their powerful, disruptive ad model. With Google, small businesses that open can go global tomorrow, and do it at a fraction of the cost that kind of growth once required.

Online Video

Just a few years ago, a kid named Justin Beiber was probably playing kickball on an elementary schoolyard and avoiding icky girls with cooties. With the explosion in popularity of user-content generated video destination YouTube, the third most popular Website in the world, Justin put out a hit teeny-bopper record and to date his music video has clocked well over 374 million views. Just behind his video of “most watched YouTube uploads” is a home video of a toddler getting his finger bitten by his baby brother. That video has garnered over 245 million views.

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