How much has changed between 2012 and 2013 on the web?
If you haven’t yet read my web recommendations for 2012, then you should do that now, as all of my recommendations for 2012 still strongly apply to 2013, but even more so!
With that said, if you have been following my 2012 web recommendations, then what should be your online marketing focus for the year ahead?
The leading web trends for 2013, will be the following and all of them somehow overlap and benefit each other:
Web Trends for 2013:
1. Social Media Marketing
2. Search Engine Marketing
3. Unique Content Development
5. Online Videos
6. Mobile Marketing, Mobile Sites and Apps
1. Social Media
In case you haven’t figured this out by now, you can no longer ignore the significance that Social Media plays in the online world – from breaking news, to online sharing, to brand publicity, social goes beyond a Facebook Fan Page. It’s about building an online Social Media presence on any and all social sites that are relevant to your business and audience.
It’s about making you social online presence different from your web site yet true to your brand and engaging to your Social Media audience.
When building your Social Media Strategy, ask yourself, why would people want to follow my brand? What can I share with them that would be interesting and of value to them?
How can I get my audience to have a positive experience? How can I get my audience to share this experience with their friends, family and colleagues? Thus engaging your audience to the point where they are marketing your business for you!
In 2012, I mentioned that your business should at least have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. There are a number of other social sites available that you can look into, but there has been a lot of media attention and popularity for Pinterest and Instagram this year.
If you have a business that would benefit from sharing photos of products, experiences or anything that would be visually engaging and worth sharing, then Pinterest and Instagram are the Social Media platforms you need to add to your Social Media Strategy for 2013.
Google+ is also now in the picture. While it started off with a lot of hype, it is still questionable whether its going to survive the test of time socially. Regardless, it is said that Google+ engagement will help your online search visibility, so that alone should be a reason to take it seriously and include it in your Social Media Mix for 2013.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing has been on my priority list for the last 10 years or more. It is not going away. It is becoming even more and more necessary daily. Things you need to consider in your Search Engine Marketing campaign for 2013:
– Are you using the right key words for your campaign?
– Did you ‘negative’ key words that you don’t want to show up for because you don’t want to pay for wasted clicks?
– Do you have the right messages in your text ads?
– Are your landing pages set up to produce results and conversions?
– Are you using Google’s Display Network in your Paid Search campaign etc.?
– Have you added Pay per Call to your mobile PPC Campaign?
Remarketing – Are you using Remarketing in your search campaign to target people who have visited your site but haven’t converted yet?
Phone Tracking – Aside from tracking forms filled out on your site or other factors that can be measured through activity and clicks on your site, are you implementing Phone Tracking technologies into your marketing campaign? Phone leads are hotter and quicker to convert than online forms filled out. Tracking the source of phone leads can provide profound insight into your online marketing campaign and how your staff is handling those leads. Today, online phone tracking systems exist that can track the exact source of your incoming calls, and even recorded calls so that you can measure results based on lead sources?
3. Unique Content Development
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but now it’s true more than ever – “Content is King.”
In order to be considered a specialist in your industry, you must have rich unique content that people want to see, read or listen to.
Information is abundant online, but it is not acceptable to replicate content. In fact it’s detrimental from an SEO perspective. You must represent your distinctiveness in the market by sharing unique information, images, videos, tools, etc. that demonstrate your specialty. That will not only help you from a search engine perspective, but it will help you socially online, and ultimately your followers will see your brand as the expert or leader that it is.
Speaking of content development, a company Blog is the best place to share new and unique information in your industry. Make sure to add to your blog regularly, whether it’s monthly, weekly or daily – just make sure it’s consistent.
Also research and follow other related or relevant blogs that would be a great resource to your industry, and share ideas openly, provided that you are truly adding something of value to the discussions.
Post your blogs on all your social sites and encourage readers to share them as well.
5. Online Videos
There is no doubt that online videos are growing and people viewing online videos as part of their online activities is growing too.
According to data from comScore Video Metrix, 182 million US internet users watched online video content in December 2011 for an average of 23.2 hours per viewer. The total Internet audience viewed 43.5 billion videos.
The increase in online video engagement will surely go up as connectivity speed increases, mobile devices and smartphones provide improved experience to view online videos.
Video provides a very engaging and rich experience to your audience when:
1. You want to convey a passion or emotion that people bring to a topic that you can relate to even better when you hear their voice and see facial expressions or body gestures.
2. You want to demonstrate something that is much more easily demonstrated through visuals and voice over.
3. You want to help people save time by giving them a good quick overview of what they are seeking to learn.
4. You want create an emotion or experience; such as humour, shock, enlightment etc., that people want to share with others.
YouTube is considered the largest online video provider, and partnered with Google it is the 2nd largest search engine.
For 2013, think about how you are going to add online video to your web site and Social Media channels to make your brand’s online experience more engaging.
Also, think about how you are going to promote those videos through video search optimization as well as rich media online promotion.
6. Mobile Marketing, Mobile Site and/or Mobile Apps
There is no doubt that web access through Mobile phones and tablets is growing. In fact tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year and their sales may surpass notebooks this years. Smartphones, of course, are also a hot commodity — according to Nielsen, the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones, not feature phones.
If you were to review the analytics data of your web site, you are bound to discover that mobile and tablet visitors have increased in comparison to the year before. The amount of mobile visitors from smart phones and tablets to your web sites, are even more likely to increase in the year ahead!
Therefore it is time to relook at your site to ensure it is not only mobile friendly, but optimized for a better user experience on mobile phones and tablets. You may want to consider building an App for mobile users, if there is truly and need and benefit for users to download that App. More important is having a web site built to be adaptable and work well on every device – different size PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. In order to do that one must understand Responsive Web Design.
Once you have set up your online mobile presence for 2013, the next thing you’ll want to consider is how to do some effective mobile advertising. The first place I would suggest is adding pay-per-call to your Paid Search campaign. There are many mobile advertising opportunities. Find the right channels and strategies that make sense to reach your target market and goals. Test, measure results and refine your online mobile marketing strategy. But no doubt this is something you will need to give special attention to in the new year.
For any assistance in getting your marketing strategy or web site up to speed in the new year, contact Eden Advertising & Interactive at 1800 844 0106 for a web assessment and consultation.
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year and Happy Surfing!