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Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends in 2021

Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends in 2021

2020 was a very difficult year (Pandemic). It pushed people to change their lifestyle and the way of working (Remote work). The world was not prepared for such a viral outbreak. For many people worldwide 2020 was a disaster.

This also affected the world of businesses (Big or Small). Companies had to find a way to keep operating but still respect and follow the new government measures. They have to use collaboration tools such as video call software (Zoom), chat apps (Slack), screen-sharing software (TeamViewer), and so on.

Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends

Here are some interesting technology trends you need to know and how to grow your small business in 2021.

  1. New Collaboration Tools

Pandemic has pushed businesses to virtual offices, online video conferences, and many other software solutions that transform a traditional office into an online one.

Communication had to be effective because teams now are working remotely.

So it’s expected that 2021 will bring more and better collaboration tools. No one can say when the pandemic will end, so it’s safe to assume that businesses will need effective and useful collaboration solutions.

Many companies will start using new types of collaborative tools. (there are already many categories available).

Companies that have to hold meetings regularly are using Cisco Telepresence for high-quality video conferencing.

Also, more businesses will turn to entire collaboration systems. These systems are made of workflow applications, databases, and other software solutions that allow companies to run everything remotely.

For example, Microsoft SharePoint is a great collaboration system. It allows employees to access important data from all kinds of devices (PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc.).

  1. AI and ML

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a top trend for many IT enthusiasts and tech fans. These technologies are already used in many aspects of life, and more and more people are loving these tech trends.

AI and machine learning are implemented more among business owners. Entrepreneurs and marketers will keep incorporating them into new and existing businesses in 2021.

This year will bring more AI tools and apps. Keep in mind that the main goal is to use AI to provide better and more personalized customer experiences.

Also, many people and experts believe that AI will find its use among small business owners. It is expected that small businesses will start adopting AI quickly. AI can help small businesses to improve their marketing strategies.

Also, AI can help small businesses to offer more personalized experiences to their customers.

  1. 5G

The 5G or fifth generation of cellular capability is just here. 5G is about faster data transmission speeds.

According to various phone manufacturers, 5G can outrun 4G LTE easily. It’s an important fact that there is little to no latency (the delay experienced in data transfer).

It’s a great step in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G networks can support the influx of interconnected smart devices.

  1. Automation

Repetitive tasks are a common (boring) thing for most workers. These tasks take up a lot of time and kill the overall productivity.

Many developers have recognized this problem, and it is expected that 2021 will bring many automation tools across many different industries.

Every business that wants to boost its employees’ productivity and performance should think about automating all these tasks. When it comes to small businesses, these tasks include appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, and so on.

In 2021, automating these tasks will become easier. Once a business has all of these tasks automated, the employees and the owner will have more time to focus on more important matters.

With more time to focus on more complex and value-adding tasks, the team will be more productive.

  1. Analytics – Data Insights

Many small businesses have to deal with huge amounts of data regularly. But, hiring a data scientist or analyst can be expensive. This is the main reason why in 2021, deep analytics tools and data insights will become a necessity.

It’s not only about straightforward and simple reports such as conversion rates, web traffic, etc. A business that leverages this technology will acquire many valuable insights into different business aspects. This will allow the owner to optimize strategies and new techniques.

Deep analytics can help a business owner to identify pricing trends and gain a competitive edge over competitors.

Modern software doesn’t require users to have the technical knowledge to use the power of data-driven insights.

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Social Media: 6 Trends To Improve Your Marketing Strategy In 2021 [Infographic]

Social Media: 6 Trends To Improve Your Marketing Strategy In 2021

These days all businesses, big or small, need to have a social media presence. It’s one of the best ways to increase your online presence, grow your brand, and attract more followers. Also, with a successful social media marketing strategy, you can generate more sales.

Social Media Trends To Improve Your Marketing Strategy In 2021

Here are some useful social media trends you need to know about how to improve your marketing strategy in 2021.

  1. Baby Boomers are Using Social Media

For a long time, baby boomers were ignored by digital marketing strategies and businesses. They don’t use very often the internet.

But in 2020 baby boomers have started to use social media platforms and eCommerce almost every day. The pandemic keeps them at home and they’re spending more time on the internet than ever. (Pandemic Effect)

Your social media marketing strategy needs to target and baby boomers. Don’t target only young people.

  1. TikTok Trend

TikTok is on the top of social media platforms. It achieves two billion downloads, and over one billion videos watched every day. If you like to attract the younger generation, you need to use TikTok.

Attention! 60% of users are under 24, but 40% of users are adults. Also, adults user keep growing.

TikTok is about short, easily digestible videos. But allows you to share them on other platforms like Instagram. TikTok videos can be funny, educational, instructional, How-to videos, or any other kind of category.

TikTok video content could be made by a person with a mobile phone. Very easy and fast way to create video content.

  1. Social Media and eCommerce

Online shopping growing a lot during the pandemic. You can be sure that online shopping has exploded in general over the past year.

A study from the UK shows that 17.2 million people were planning on shopping online after the pandemic.

Also, 57% of people across 9 countries say that they are shopping more often online even before the start of the pandemic.

If you’re in the business of selling physical products, it’s a good idea to invest in a website where people can buy your products. (Online Store)

But if you don’t want to start your website, you can now do it on some of your social media accounts.

Even before the pandemic, 55% of online shoppers purchased a product through a company’s social media account. Also, 87% of buyers claiming that social media helped them decide on a purchase.

Not every social media platform offers services like this. But Facebook and Instagram have implemented channels through which you can make sales.

  1. Video Content Is Gain Traction And Keeps Growing

It’s not just TikTok that people are watching. People are watching more and more video content. People love video content and no one wants to read, long, boring, articles.

When we say videos, we don’t mean YouTube videos that last a couple of minutes. We’re talking about videos that last for as short as a few seconds. First, Snapchat had a feature known as “stories,” which was quickly adopted by Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

On stories, people could post a ten-second video to show off whatever they wanted.

Stories are a very popular trick of social media because of their digestible nature.

Many businesses and marketers are using these short videos to show off or advertise their products or services.

Stats show that 84% of people bought a product after watching a video.

It’s better to create short videos. Make sure you provide all the basic information in as short a time as possible.

  1. VR and AR Are The Future – Interactive Content

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two of the most exciting developments in the last decade. They are the future.

Augmented reality is when something like a Snapchat filter uses reality as a base, but lays something fantastical over that base. Those filters that make you look older, or put a dancing hotdog on your shoulder, are all augmented reality.

Virtual reality is different. The user is going into another world entirely. You can be taken to a virtual house viewing or a tour of a real-life place.

AR and VR are very much growing fields, with new and more advanced AR and VR technologies coming out constantly.

These technologies are expensive (especially VR), and might not suit your marketing method or your business. But keep an eye on future apps.

  1. People and Brand’s Posts

For a long time, brands presented themselves with a degree of professionalism. They appear as serious organizations with complete control over their product and image.

But with the arrival of posts, comments, and replies, people could interact with their favorite brands. So began a new communication channel between customers and brands.

If your posts are helpful, interesting, and friendly people will feel more comfortable engaging with you.

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Work from Home: 5 Trends and Future of Remote Work

Work from Home: 5 Trends and Future of Remote Work

Remote work or work from home is not a new concept. Stats show that the number of employees working remotely at least once a week has increased by 400% since 2010. Work from home (remote work) trend accelerated because of the coronavirus pandemic when businesses had to go remote.

Even the tech giants and big brands like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc, have asked most of their employees to work from their homes.

Work from Home: Trends and Future of Remote Work

Stats show that more than half of the full-time employees want to work from home. Here are some trends about work from home and the future of remote work.

  1. Benefits of Remote Work:

Avoid the Commute (Save Time and Money): Nobody likes to get stuck in hour-long traffic. With work from home, you can reduce commute stress, and increase your efficiency.

Virtual Office Place: Work from your home or anywhere else you like wearing pajamas or shorts. You are free to set up your virtual office near the coasts of Hawaii or on the mountains.

Global Opportunities: There are no boundaries in remote work. You can work for any company from around the world. Remote setup also allows recruiters to perform remote hiring of talents from anywhere globally without worrying about the relocation package.

High Productivity: Working from your home gives your mental peace. Work-life balance and healthy food provide an employee with all the energy he needs to stay focused and productive.

Flexible Work Hours: An advantage of remote work is fewer restrictions on work hours. You can work from home during the time you feel the most productive. You can also take breaks to stay fresh and productive during work hours.

  1. Challenges of Remote Work

Communication: Communication between the teams can be a challenge in remote working. These days technology plays a vital role. Using productivity or work from home apps can reduce your resistance to communication.

Distractions: It becomes easy to give in to distractions when you are working from home. Doing daily chores, social media, and watching your favorite TV shows can eventually eat up your time.

The secret to staying focused while working remotely is to create a schedule and sticking to it.

Overwork: You can save time in remote working only if you manage your time well. Otherwise, procrastination can crawl up in your routine, and you may have to work extra hours to catch the deadlines.

  1. Remote Work Trends For 2021

Flexible Work Hours Are The New Normal

Since 2015, the number of remote work setups has increased by 400%. Most people are prioritizing freedom from old restrictions. Around 65% of people said that the typical 8-hour workday would eventually disappear.

Automation

Automation is the future. With companies going remote, the whole hiring process will go virtual. Technology will play a significant role in recruiting because it can increase the productivity of the HR department. Now chatbots can trim down the support cost (internal and external) by 30%.

Communication and Collaboration

The success of remote work depends on the effectiveness of communication and collaboration. Very important if you’re working remotely or managing a remote team.

It’s crucial to create a digital version of meeting rooms and coffee space where team members can interact and discuss. There is a growth in users of conferencing tools like Google Meet, Zoom, Slack, etc., during the pandemic.

Cybersecurity

Remote means everything on the internet. Communication, collaboration, hiring, and operations. Hijack of a company’s sensitive data during transit to the server can incur huge losses to companies.

That’s why the security of online data becomes the priority of any organization. Organizations are recognizing the loophole and investing in the cybersecurity infrastructure.

  1. Work-Life Balance

Mental health is a priority now. Still, 43% of the remote employees are likely to work more than a standard 40 hour per week system. For companies, this is important because more hours means more tasks getting done. But for employees, is trouble.

For companies, it means equipping systems to measure an employee’s output, such as a time tracking system for remote workers.

  1. Remote Work and Work from Home Will Keep Growing

The pandemic has accelerated the evolution of the business landscape. Remote work is more than just a sprint or a trend.

Important Tip. Remote work is good for the environment too. This flexible system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’ve already seen nature coming back to its glory during the lockdown.

These days productivity is no more a choice but a necessity in remote work.

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Affiliate Marketing: 4 Trends and Strategies in 2021

Affiliate marketing is a very simple process. An affiliate marketer earns a commission when selling products or services of another person or company.

The affiliate simply searches for the product they know or like, then promotes the product and receives a share of the profits from each sale they make.

Affiliate Marketing: Trends and Strategies in 2021

Here are some trends and strategies you need to know about affiliate marketing in 2021

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a valuable traffic source you can use to promote affiliate programs. These days traditional content marketing is no longer enough to engage consumers. But influencers can help you to reach new audiences that are already engaged with them.

Many people are searching influencers for discount codes, product recommendations, or new offers.

In 2021, we’ll see influencer marketing become more micro-influencing. Also, we’ll see more management tools to track influencers and their marketing campaigns to track performance delivery.

Micro-influencers tend to have a smaller following than big influencers but they are more relevant and engaged within their target audience (followers) and have more credibility giving them a huge advantage in reaching and maintaining closer relationships with their followers.

In 2021 you need more quality and less quantity to ensure that you get the best possible revenue.

  1. Video Content

Video content is among the top increasing trends for affiliates to drive traffic and user engagement in 2021. But many affiliate managers use video content to connect themselves to new affiliates.

Video is an extremely effective tool that grabs a viewers’ attention much quicker than a blog post would.

Stats show that by 2022, more than 80% of all created content will be created as video content. This information provides enough insight for affiliates to focus on creating more quality video content in 2021 and beyond.

  1. SEO and Voice Search

SEO is an important part of content marketing strategies with the use of relevant keywords and unique content. But this strategy is also ever-changing, and affiliates need to remain up to date on the latest trends.

You need to understand your target audience first, then improve your marketing strategy to fill their needs.

One of the growing trends we’ll see in 2021 is “voice search”. This is fast becoming more mainstream as part of a digital marketers content strategy. Siri can answer questions for us within just seconds with a simple voice search.

A short question asked to Siri is also asked Google which means that the search results that best answer the questions will appear first. Google always using new techniques and update their algorithms. (Marketers have to change their strategies)

  1. Native Ads

Native Advertising is not the traditional banner-ads format, but instead carefully slipped into the content. This will become popular in 2021, as studies show that it is a more effective way of marketing.

In fact, with so much exposure to banner ads, users have developed a sort of “banner blindness”. They ignore or avoid banner ads.

It is a great idea to place ads inside the content itself. So trends like influencer-marketing and advertorials will gain much more traction. Research has shown that nearly half of all social media users trust influencer recommendations, and will convert that into a purchase decision.

Find Trends and New Strategies

Marketing strategy constantly changes, as audiences adapt to new challenges or product innovations. Affiliate marketing will remain trendy in 2021. There is no sign that affiliate marketing will slow down but you need to use new strategies to win competitors and grow your business in 2021

Predictions About Affiliate Marketing

Online learning

Online learning was always there, but pandemics have clarified how important a virtual mode of education is. With more than half the population, including adults and children, got self-quarantined at home. People were bound to spend more time online.

This is not just about surfing the web. More and more people are looking for ways to continue their jobs and education using online portals.

Is the trend expected to decline once the lockdown is over? Normal life will resume sooner or later, it is expected that many will still stick to the idea of using online platforms as a source of learning, managing daily tasks, and work from home.

Online Ads

There is going to be a drop in advertising revenue. Some businesses might face a huge drop in organic traffic. The impact will be felt by various affiliate marketing companies worldwide, from healthcare to property and the real estate industry.

Marketing and Automation.

With marketing relying more on automation now. Many companies aid in easier startups by offering loans or cash to invest in marketing. In this way, more beginners can now benefit from SEO and paid ad campaigns.

Artificial intelligence is now being incorporated into software that will let you skip all the headaches and jump directly to better recommendations, improved SEOs, and other marketing forms.

Trust and Loyalty

Via affiliate marketing, it is now more important to build customer trust. Reliable partnerships can help brands build a long-lasting relationship with the customers using gift-cards, cashback, or other loyalty programs as an incentive.

The use of online platforms is here to stay. People are always searching for something new, and they are always in need of money. Therefore, the need for both online learning and earning will stay even when Coronavirus goes away.

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Small Business: Top Opportunities for 2021 – Trends and Money

2020 was a disaster. Pandemic has hit businesses and markets pretty hard. Business trends and opportunities in 2021 are about technology, consumer preferences, and behavior.

New trends will help small businesses to grow sales, offer better customer service, and effective operation.

Here are some small business trends and top opportunities to look out for in 2021.

  1. Work from Home and Remote Work

Many people are now choosing to work from home. Companies and employees have realized the benefits of remote work during the lockdown.

So, in 2021, this trend is expected to become the norm for many new entrepreneurs and online workers.

Remote work gives companies more options like hiring remote workers to handle digital jobs. Also, having remote workers mean more savings on electricity, office overheads, and equipment maintenance.

Working 9-to-5, five days a week, will no longer be the norm.

Communication technologies will encourage workplace collaboration when everyone is working from a different place. Employee communication apps will make it easy to video conference, chat, send messages to the team, fill out online forms, etc.

  1. Freelance Work and Gigs

With the rising trend of remote work, the gig economy will grow. Many people are also choosing to do several freelance jobs. Gig work is becoming more and more popular because people like flexibility and prefer to be their boss.

Gig work is very popular with new entrepreneurs. Many people who start working as freelancers, after some time, decide to create their consultancy or professional services business.

With the gig economy, small businesses will no more need to hire permanent employees. Gig work allows companies to hire someone temporarily who can work remotely instead of working at the office.

Gig jobs have many benefits to businesses, including paying lower compensation packages, no need to pay employee benefits, and less equipment maintenance.

  1. E-commerce

With the popularity of online shopping increasing, global e-commerce is estimated to grow exponentially in the next years. So, new entrepreneurs and start-ups should know and use this trend.

These days more retailers are moving from brick-and-mortar stores to online stores and e-commerce portals. (Pandemic and Lockdown Effect).

e-Commerce businesses can generate more sales and increase profits, reaching a new target audience worldwide.

  1. Mobile Devices and Online Shopping

With the new mobile technology and the internet, mobile businesses (Mobile Commerce) are booming pretty fast! Many people are using their phones all day. Also, many consumers are choosing to access online shops through their mobile devices.

Reports show that by 2021, mobile commerce will get 54% of the total e-commerce sales.

  1. 5G Technology and Networks

These days businesses need better, faster, and smarter technology. In 2021, 5G networks will be all over the world and will open new avenues and opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.

5G offers higher bandwidth, lower latency, and high download speeds. So 5G makes interactions on the internet more instantaneous, allowing businesses to communicate and get things done much faster.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Many businesses are now using social media to engage with their existing and potential buyers and promote their products or services. With social media marketing, they generate more web traffic, more sales, and more revenue.

Many businesses are investing in social media marketing because they can reach more customers and generate more profits.

Social media are attracting many people, and people like to buy things. So, buying and selling on social media (social commerce) is increasing.

  1. Online Content and Marketing

Many young entrepreneurs like gamers, comedians, musicians, artists, and educators are creating online niche content. They use social networks to create and monetize content and create media outfits for their followers.

There are many sites and platforms to share, promote, media, and content. (gamers have Twitch, musicians have Spotify, and everybody else has YouTube).

Media and content seem to be a good fit for young entrepreneurs.

The great tip for their business success is making relatable, engaging, and shareable content for target audiences.

The new trends and opportunities are about technology development and use. So technology will play a significant role in small businesses’ and entrepreneurs’ success in the future.