Online marketing isn’t static. Your online marketing strategies should be adjusted and updated to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Online marketing is shifting from an emphasis on big brands to something that is attainable for small and medium businesses too. That’s just one of several Internet marketing trends worth considering.
1. Mobile-Friendly Websites
Take a look at your current website. Does it have a lot of images, photos, and HTML features? Then it probably isn’t mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly site should have a fast load time; 30 seconds or less, ideally. Keep your relevant headlines and main selling points clearly visible towards the top and middle sections of your homepage. New visitors aren’t likely to scroll to find out what you sell or offer.
2. Meaningful Analytics
A big trend in 2012 was to assign a value to everything as far as measuring results. The problem is that these values tend to be arbitrary. It’s still important to measure the effectiveness of your online and social campaigns, it just isn’t necessary to read too much into every click. Instead, focus on the stats that really mean something to your business.
3. Game Design for Non-Game Applications
This is one of the more interesting online marketing trends. More websites are using strategies that video game designers use to create websites and other non-game applications that are just as engaging and fun for visitors. This includes easy-to-use platforms, appealing graphics, and a focus on keeping your visitors or users engaged.
This is also known as gamification and it’s something we use at Crowd Content to help motivate our writers. It also helps our writers stay focused on delivering quality content at fast turnaround times.
4. Rise of Inbound Marketing
With the rise of social media marketing, there has been a renewed focus on inbound marketing where the focus is on creating content and sparking conversations rather than just relying on paid advertising to grab the attention of new customers. When it comes to your budget, this means shifting some of your resources from advertising to sprucing up your online content.
5. Loyalty Marketing
Since your customers are more connected than ever, it just makes sense to reward loyalty. This is also a good way to build brand recognition. This includes everything from sending personalized coupon codes based on past purchases to offering special perks for returning customers.
6. Social Brand Awareness
Getting back to the issue of building brand awareness, social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest are making it easier for brands to have legitimate influence over customers. Offer something of value with content that sparks engaging dialog and relevant conversations. Find where your target audience is participating in these conversations. If your target audience is using certain platforms, it makes sense to be there too.
7. Local Marketing Tools
Small businesses have more marketing tools available than ever before. Sites like GetListed and Yahoo Local make it easy to post your business information and generate feedback that makes it easier for new customers to find you. Even Facebook is reaching out to small businesses with its new sponsored ad program where ads are placed on the side of the desktop with the goal of naturally generating likes.
Having a firm grasp of what’s going on in the world of online marketing is the first step towards building an effective online marketing campaign. This doesn’t mean that every trend has to be embraced. It does, however, plant the seeds for some marketing approaches that just might make your online marketing more effective.