Web marketing is becoming increasingly important for all businesses. Research completed by ZenithOptimedia suggests that 25% of all advertising will be web-based by 2015. As a result, it is a good idea for marketers to have a grasp on what is currently working and what is likely to work in the future.
Keeping up to date on these marketing trends will become essential to a company’s growth as online advertising expands in 2014 – and be sure to avoid these SEO mistakes in 2014 as well.
Scheduled Content Marketing
The majority of customers do not want to feel like you are selling them something, but instead want to feel like you are providing them with a service. When you create insightful and unique content, it gives you a chance to give potential customers something useful in the hopes that they purchase your product or service in the future. Making solid content available also turns you into an expert on a particular subject, which can encourage customers to trust you.
Essentially, content marketing is about opening up dialogue with potential customers, rather than looking directly for a sale. If you are able to provide valuable information — the sales will soon follow.
Image & Video Optimization
With so much content available online, users are looking for information as quickly as possible. Therefore, it makes sense that images and videos outrank words when it comes to engaging a potential customer and ranking in search engine result pages.
There are multiple ways to optimize images and videos, but one of the highly recommended ways via Google is to embed videos or images with appropriate meta information (alt text, title, keywords).
Location Based Advertising, PPC, and CPA
Those with a Google account have already noticed how location based advertising works. Basically, getting involved in this type of advertising allows you to market yourself to people within a certain geographical area. Of course, this works best if you have a physical storefront for people to visit, but it is not necessary.
Many businesses and organizations that exist completely virtually – that is, their business is a website, forget they can list and rank their actual office! A good example is how an online college like Vista includes a physical address for their offices; even though everything is essentially “online” there is still a physical business behind it.
By paying attention to details like this we can increase our exposure and ranking. Along the same vein, PPC and CPA comes into play, giving us strategic options for exposure, traffic, and conversions.
Social Media Prospecting
Having an active social media voice is essential to your long term survival, as 52% of all marketers have found a new customer on Facebook in 2013 and an additional 43% found a new client on LinkedIn, according to USA Today.
These numbers will continue to increase as social media becomes more mainstream, so companies that do not have this voice stand to lose out on a great deal of money.
Social media also allows businesses to begin conversations with their customers. This is important because it allows businesses to address questions and concerns in real time, rather than doing it through email or via telephone. The more you can communicate directly with a customer, the better the connection becomes. Speaking via social media allows you to show a human side and to engage directly with those who are interested in the services that you provide.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone in today’s day and age, which means that it makes sense that advertising through these devices is a popular trend. This trend started with SMS messages, which arrive on the phone through a text message.
It has evolved greatly in recent years, however, as advertisers can market their products through push notifications, phone apps, in-game advertising and web-based marketing.
And don’t forget about mobile SEO – even rich snippets and meta descriptions apply. Many companies are already taking advantage of mobile SERP optimization. For example, Havahart displays the following mobile SERP:
They could even take it a step further by including 5-7 targeted keywords for each rich snippet!
Advertisers should experiment with multiple methods of mobile marketing to ensure that they get the most for their money. Mobile web marketing allows advertisers to reach customers who are already out and looking for a particular product or service, which makes it a particularly interesting trend moving forward.
Digital Marketing Budget
All of this means that business owners will have to expand their digital marketing budgets greatly. This is perhaps the most important trend that we are noticing, as it is becoming necessary to devote more of the budget to online advertising than ever before.
Even though allocating for a digital marketing budget has become a commonly accepted necessity, some organizations like startups and small businesses simply don’t have the resources. However, a website must be a top level priority. Design and functionality can be improved over time, but getting a base foundation of a site up and running needs an acceptable budget allocation.
For example, a small business like amish outlet store has a layout and design that is easy to navigate, but surely not on the same level as Amazon or another big eCommerce site. But the point is they don’t have to be! They have all their keywords and site structure set up appropriately and any novice web surfer could navigate this page with zero trouble.
People look to the web for information before going anywhere else and many spend more time reading news online than in their local newspapers.
As a result, we are sure to see new trends emerge in the coming years that will change the way that businesses advertise once again. For now, marketers should plan on spending more time advertising online than ever before.