Best and Worst Sports BobbleheadsThe new age of marketing is a beautiful thing – you no longer have to beg, borrow, and steal. Or, to be less dramatic about it, you don’t have to spend big bucks to reach your target audience. Begging for attention is a thing of the past. Today, you can use various social media and Internet marketing tools for free, or at least for very, very cheap. That’s why you need to stop ignoring these five marketing trends that could potentially take you to the next level with your business.

Content Marketing

There are far too many articles out there claiming that content marketing is dead – ignore them all. Content marketing is alive and well, and something you should absolutely be focusing on. Far too many business owners think that as long as they’re utilizing Facebook to the best of their ability, they’ve done their part. This is far from the truth, though. Content should be spread out around various platforms, including Twitter, Google+ and blogs. You need people to read and share your content. Depending on just one social media website is a poor strategy.

Continuous Marketing

When the economy starts to slump or your products aren’t selling, it’s tempting to scale back on social media marketing, especially if you’re paying for a professional to handle it for you. This is the worst thing you can do to your business, though. Continuous marketing isn’t just a trend, it’s a necessity and a lifeline. The only hope you have of being found online, including on social media and in Google searches, is to continually have fresh content. Search engines of all types rank the latest information related to certain SEO keywords, so if you haven’t updated your online presence in a while, you’re going to get lost in the sauce. Luckily, there are plenty of automation tools you can use to plan ahead so that you’re not glued to your laptop and smartphone day in and day out.

Mobile Marketing

It’s not a stretch to say that almost everyone in the U.S. has a smartphone. “iPhone owners can just put in my website URL – so I am using mobile marketing.” It’s not that easy. You have to make sure that your web designer has optimized your website for both traditional and mobile platforms – otherwise, mobile visitors won’t be able to do much once they get to your site.

Personalized Marketing

One-size-fits-all no longer applies to a modern audience. That’s why mass advertising via TV programs, newspapers, magazines and radio stations isn’t working so well anymore. Your marketing message has to be tailored to your target audience or even to smaller sectors of your overall audience. The best way to do this is to gather big data, which means your website intelligently monitors user activity to better target them in the future. For example, if someone logs into your lifestyle blog and reads five of your wedding planning posts, their next newsletter will contain information related to the same topic. Technology is getting smarter at this by the day, so make sure to stay on top of the trend for the latest information.

Visual Marketing

YouTube was one of the first social media platforms that showed us how influential visual marketing is. Since then, a ton of sites have sprung up to cash in on this marketing wave. Instagram and Pinterest are the two major players right now and both sites are being updated and improved every time you turn around. Online photographs and videos are extremely popular and effective when it comes to engaging your audience. How do you stand out from the crowd, though? Make sure to always post high quality, interesting content – there’s so much out there that shoddy content will get overlooked immediately.

LeadMD pioneers the best practices of marketing automation software to increase customer’s revenue. Lucy Torres works as a freelance marketing consultant and writer.