Whether you are a digital marketing professional or just someone trying to drive more traffic to your blog or company website, there are certain trends you must take into account when designing your digital marketing program. In this blog post we identify the top five trends in digital marketing that – in our view – will have the greatest impact on the effectiveness of your digital marketing effort.
1. Content Marketing
As you’ve undoubtedly heard before content is (still? again?) King on the Internet. And in the context of the recent Google algorithm changes which reward fresh, engaging content with better rankings, your content must not only be compelling but relevant as well. First, make your readers happy. And if you take a few extra steps to make it relevant to what they search for, the SEO benefits will follow.
According to the latest research, however, it’s no longer enough to just write brilliant, original content each time you post (although if you can do that too, you’re ahead of the game). For extra impact consider enriching your content with videos, games, apps, etc. In 2011 spending on digital content marketing rose to $16.6 billion and some researchers are predicting that digital content marketing will soon become more dominant than print. In other words, the data shows that in order to keep your audience engaged, you need to spruce your content up with digital media.
2. Customer Centricity
In the end, it’s all about the user and what they do on your website. It’s important to not only know who they are, but also to understand what they experience when they visit your website. If you have a website that isn’t user-friendly, hard to navigate, slow to load or poorly organized, then you are going to be saying goodbye to a large number of potential customers from the very beginning.
Consider doing user testing on various portions of the conversion or (if you’re in eCommerce) purchase funnels on your site. And in order to get feedback from your visitors, you must make it easy for them to provide it, either through a contact form or a comments sections.
3. Mobile Marketing
Mobile commerce is becoming more and more popular and so if you sell anything online, for most eCommerce businesses building a mobile presence is paramount (as far as trends in digital marketing go, this is one you definitely need to watch out for as it will be evolving considerably over the next few years). You need to meet your users wherever they look for you, whether it’s on their PC, their tablet or smartphone. Going mobile will enable you to a. reach a larger audience and b. diversify your channel in order to meet different customer needs.
If you are choosing between building a mobile app or just a mobile website you must consider what your end-goal is first. If you’re trying to reach a wider audience, then a mobile website is enough, however if you are able to build both, having an app is a way to further expand your reach. Research has shown that multi-channel marketing can be very effective.
4. Social Media
Social media is extremely popular with hundreds of millions of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ users worldwide. And because social signals such as a “like”, a “tweet”, or a “share” have proven to encourage online participation from customers and clients, Google has started using social signals to help determine a site’s value and where it ranks.
This is why it is so important to use social media channels. Keep an eye on the traffic your social media channels are driving by designing and putting in place metrics for social media management. By doing this you will be able to help determine how much time and money you should devote to promoting your brand via social media channels.
Due to new automation platforms that now allow marketers to keep track of purchase-ready leads, in 2012 marketers will be able to focus more on the quality of leads over the quantity of them. There are so many different analytics platforms and tools available to everyone these days that finding the right one for you shouldn’t be too hard.
In order for you to be able to effectively use any analytics platforms or tools you must first figure out what your goals are. Once you undersand where you want to see growth and change you will then be able to pick the right analytics program for you. (Although if you can’t choose, start with Google’s powerful platform, it does a great job and as a bonus, it’s free!)
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