Both technology and transparency have brought the advertising industry a long way from the droning, one directional communication of the past. It’s now becoming an industry where marketers busy themselves trying to attract and engage their customers in a more meaningful way, by offering more relevant and genuine information. Applying online marketing to a company’s strategy has become essential for any campaign, but with the internet becoming more cluttered the consumer has become harder to reach. Common themes are emerging that point towards what businesses can do for their customers, instead of what customers can do for business. People want to know how companies can help them reach their goals. Subsequently they are becoming more interested in well thought out and genuine communications. These three trends are the ones that I personally see making the biggest impact in the industry this year.
Mobile Marketing – With the popularity and reach of mobile networks, it’s said that more than 75% of the world has access to mobile devices. Furthermore, these devices offer a multitude of applications that engage the user in an interactive and personalized manner. These apps can now help business owners reach and monitor their audience and marketing activities. From your mobile device, you can monitor, average visit time of your website, page views per visitor, repeat visitors, what site your viewers came from, and who referred them.
The trend is beyond making your website mobile friendly and easy to navigate, it is more about how you engage and interact with your customer. Marketers should be discovering new formats you can you offer the customer while, winning them over with new information and resources.
Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing is the action of pulling in customers by attracting them with rich content, relevant conversation and new resources. This will ultimately result in more unique visitors and a larger amount of loyal followers. It’s predicted that inbound analytics will see upgrades, therefore helping marketers to plan their next steps and better manage their inbound marketing strategy. Another important part of inbound marketing is the design of the website, usability, and data visualizations. Great design has never been so available and affordable then now; it’s recommended that companies polish their websites for 2013.
Google authorship has become a factor in SEO and will also help writers pull in viewers based on visibility, placement and trustworthiness. This means Google will begin to identify authors online and will measure their influence and trustworthiness. Google is striving to reduce the amount of duplicates and spam by rewarding verified content creators with additional images and links in search engine results. Resulting in a scenario where a high quality and trustworthy writer can pull in a higher amount of views.
Growth in Analytics – Analytics go beyond monitoring the performance of your website; instead they help measure and optimize your marketing efforts. Analytics have grown to new heights where you can find who is talking about your company, the sentiment they have towards you and the influence their opinions carry. This means there will be less time wasted building connections with those whom have a very limited entourage and more time available for structuring an influential and prosperous network.
Influence doesn’t mean building the amount of followers you have with irrelevant or inactive accounts, but instead with followers that share common interests and goals. Some dedicated companies, like My Viral Web have begun working towards this direction as it strives to build richer and more relevant networks for its customers.