The acceleration of innovation in online technologies and the ways we can discover, consume and engage with information can be a challenge to keep up with. But as digital marketers that are more than shiny object opportunists, seeing future trends is exactly what we need to do in order to anticipate our place in the digital universe. Today, there are many online marketing channels to suite any type of business and any size of marketing budget. Not only is the number of quality marketing channels impressive like social networking sites, email, mobile and online video but there have never been so many free and inexpensive tools that require little to no expertise available.
In 2012 the internet world will continue to dominate the marketing strategy of all small and medium business which will focus on utilizing the various online marketing tools available. Here are the eight trending online marketing strategies in 2012:
1. Content Aggregation. With the incredible amount of content generated every 60 seconds online getting cut-through is a big challenge for the marketer and as a consumer of content, finding the important developments that make a difference is a challenge too. Content aggregation is how we try to help and you can use tools to tame the social media firehouse too.
2. Social Marketing Integration. In 2011 companies began to take social media marketing seriously and because of that we saw social media explode as a marketing tool. This year we will begin to see companies heavily integrate social media into their overall marketing plan, which is how it should have been done in the first place, but better late than never. We will see social media expand from a tool used primarily for customer service and brand management to being used to collect customer data and enable better target marketing of products and services that those customers are interested.
3. Mobile Marketing. Users are constantly seeking improved and intuitive mobile versions of websites that allow them to easily shop and find the items they want. So if you still do not have a mobile friendly version of your website its time you look into getting one. Mobile will not only help you gain improved visibility of your campaigns it will also help you invest more accurately in performance advertising and paid search.
4. Video Marketing. Video comes in many different form factors. Most people think of YouTube or case study material, but what about video as a communication tool? We’ve had a lot of interest in YouTube marketing tool and this suggests many marketers are going to “up their game” on video marketing. Remember that You Tube is the second most important search engine in many countries. Think about running customer events over video or producing video newsletters, you might be pleasantly surprised how much the technology has moved on since you last tried it.
5. Ad Network Innovation. There’s growing awareness that there is value in display advertising beyond the click, for its value in building awareness, encouraging searches on a brand or category and subsequent visits to a website. There are also a lot of new approaches to target, for example Google’s new display formats too which integrate content marketing and social sharing. This is an area I’m interested in covering more on the blog, so watch this space.
6. Cross Channel Optimization. Since we specialize in digital marketing innovations, we naturally focus on digital approaches, but these are only part of the broader multichannel customer journey in many cases, so this is an area that warrants better understanding and optimization of the customer touch points.
7. Website performance optimization. The approaches that have been around for a long time, and is really possible since the first websites, since log files were available for analysis. With the new features of Google Analytics v5 and Google Website Optimizer this strategy is possible.
8. Content Optimization. In order for you to succeed, you need to have a deep understanding of customer preferences and analysis on what works for competitors.
Make sure you’re riding the big waves for this year. For sure, your business will not be known as simply a trendy one, but a company that maximizes the best tools to deliver the best products or service.