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Small Business Newz lists the top 10 trending opportunities for small businesses. Interestingly, the first five are firmly established and growing online marketing tactics. I think in five years these will be so mainstream that you can’t ignore them. So what are those five? Let’s take a look.

  1. Social networks – This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been online for the last couple of years, but I think niche networks will grow to be even more popular than the big five (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube).
  2. Geolocation – Services like Foursquare and Facebook location updates are putting business owners just around the corner from their customers. Your office can be anywhere.
  3. Crowdsourcing – Small Business Newz proclaims the excellencies of deal and discount sites, but crowdsourcing can come in many formats. And it will.
  4. Social commerce – A blend between social networking and e-commerce, small businesses can use these sites to create outposts with shopping carts. Why just have one storefront when you can have several storefronts, each one getting its own traffic and with its own conversion rate that you can measure and control.
  5. Referral-based review sites – We’re talking about sites like Yelp that allow customers to review businesses and then refer traffic to those businesses. Already popular, I think you’ll see more of these types of sites pop up in the future, and you’ll likely see them serving specific niches.

The trend online for any new marketing tactic is to fan out from the general to the specific. New trends start with general audiences in mind, then when something catches on the concept goes specific with niche-targeting technology. I think you’ll see it with every one of these top 5 online marketing trends.

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