Every year the online market changes, and there are few things more important than staying on top of those changes if you want to ensure that you are at the head of the online marketing pack. The year 2013 has just started, but already we are seeing some trends that could very well affect the way businesses market their products and brands on the internet.
In order to ensure that you are able to effectively market your business, web site or other product or service, then you can not pass up on this comprehensive list of the 10 big online marketing predictions for the coming year.
Prediction Number One: Mobile is the way
Today less people are using tower computer than ever. And while tower computers boomed for a whole, unless you are looking to market solely to hard cover gamers (and that may very well be the case), you are going to want to go mobile.
These days, three out of every five people you see walking by on the street or in a store will have a mobile device that is internet capable. Most of them use this device as their primary web browsing device. If your web site is not suited to a mobile device, you lose out on a huge portion of the market. Prediction number one? Go mobile or go home. Mobile devices can and will take over the market. Be sure you do not get left behind in the dust.
Think of it this way: laptops are the most bought type of computer in existence today. And while they do not need mobile pages to view, this should be telling you something. People no longer root themselves to one spot when they are browsing the web. We are always on the move. Cater to us if you want to be successful.
Prediction Number Two: Looking pretty
So you have some great products, eh? You think you really have something to offer? Well if your web site is not attractive to look at, or is clunky and out dated, you can most assuredly kiss all of your potential customers between the ages of 15 and 47 good bye!
People care about looks, and it is not about vanity; a better looking and better functioning web site simply looks more professional. Lay down a few extra bucks for a better web design team and better design in general and you can bet you will get your investment back ten fold this year.
A better design does not necessarily have to mean that your web site is pretty as a flower; make sure that regardless of the design, your web site lay out matches your business. Flowers and rainbows are not going to be what a tech person expects when they log on to your tech supply company web site.
Think of it this way; out dates web sites as a general rule of thumb look shady to most people. Most people avoid shady looking web sites like they are the plague, because, well, in most cases they can be a plague that leads to identity theft. Dress your web site just as you would dress yourself for an interview, because each time a perspective customer visits, they are indeed interviewing your web site, and you definitely want to get the job.
Prediction Number Three: Add an image, it will last longer
Everything is visual. And we are not just talking about web design this time either. People want to see pictures! Have a product to sell? Do not even think about trying to sell it unless you have the images to show your buyers want they are going to get.
Why? Because no one wants to buy something blindly. And do not think that you can just get away with some grainy cell phone picture of the product; to successfully market, you need professional quality pictures of your goods. The quality of the images reflect the quality of the product in most buyers’ minds.
Think of it this way: You are in a store and there are two boxes on the shelf. One is in pristine condition and the other is bent, smashed and covered in gouges. Which one are you going to buy? The quality of the image right off the bat sets the quality of the product in the viewer’s mind.
Prediction Number Four: Cloud based tools
Heard of a cloud drive? They are relatively new, and they are sweeping the online market by storm. Cloud drives can be accessed literally anywhere. So if you are at work and you need a document, you can easily access it using your work computer. Or how about using your mobile phone? A cloud drive can be accessed from there too.
In fact, a cloud drive can be accessed from nearly any device—be it a tablet, a phone, a laptop, a netbook or anything else that can hook up to the internet and download files. Clouds are the way of the future. If your web site does not have cloud tool integration, you will quickly find yourself becoming a part of the past.
Think of it this way: A file that follows you no matter where you go, and can be accessed at any time from any device. It is the ultimate convenience and it is going to take over much of the peer to peer network. If you do not get in on it sooner, it may be too late later.
Prediction Number Five: Taking some videos
YouTube has created literally hundreds of thousands of success stories. A good video marketing campaign can make all the difference for your online business. As long as you pay attention to what is happening, and what types of videos are currently the most popular, and you take your business, and your videos, seriously, YouTube can be one great tool that has no match on the internet.
The problem is you need to do research if you want your videos to be a success. Too many companies try copying and making parodies, and the result is always the same; no one takes the company seriously, and they are left so confused about the company’s purpose that they just give up.
Think of it this way; videos are very entertaining. Half of America has, at one point in time, watched a YouTube video. With such a huge open market, you are going to need to dedicate some time to your video marketing. It is not going to be the easiest part of your marketing plan, nor will it be the quickest, but it can definitely be the most effective.
Prediction Number Six: Social media—end all be all
Social media has proven it is the real deal. Ten thousand tweets per second, and over twice that amount of Facebook comments, likes and posts means that people are paying attention. You need to pay attention too. Getting yourself properly set up in the social media network is the number one way to connect to potential customers and generate buzz.
Think of it this way; almost everyone that you know has either a Facebook account, a Twitter account or some type of blog, such as a Tumblr page or a Blogger page. Multiply that amount by the number of friends your friends have, and keep multiplying for each of them. The result ends in a very large number.
Prediction Number Seven: Logos that catch the eye
If we asked you right now to visualize the logo for Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Adidas or BIC, chances are you could do it. Brands are constantly identified by their logos. The problem with internet marketing is that too many companies spend all their time trying to friend people on Facebook to expand their reach, thus annoying countless people, and creating spam articles to focus on the bigger picture; creating a brand identity, or a business identity.
You want people to be able to identify your company. Even if they do not know the name right off the hand, if they can recall your logo, or your catch phrase, then you are doing something very right. The things that stay in people’s minds are the things that will cause them to later become curious, Google you, and find what it is you do. This means more sales, more traffic and more marketing.
Think of it this way; ever hear of Igadgitz? No. Well, that is because they have no identifiable logo, no marketing and no real hand hold on the market as a result. They sell cell phone cases that are cheap knock offs of cell phone cases sold by other companies, but no one really knows them because they have nothing unique and eye catching about their entire business.
Prediction Number Eight: Content is the king of the world
Content matters. Too many companies spew spam in to the market and frustrate readers and viewers. Readers and viewers, in return, become wise to the company and no longer click on a single thing they have to offer. So even if the company eventually stops spewing spam, no one will know it because they started off polluting the market and consumers, being intelligent, learned to avoid them. If you have nothing worth while to say, then save your fingers the stresses of typing and just don’t post anything at all. Unless your content is going to be useful, do not bother making it.
Think of it this way; when you were younger, did you ever burn your hand on the stove? Did you then go back and touch the stove each time it was red hot? Even if you did, 99 per cent of people did not. They learned from their mistake. They will learn your company is a mistake if you do not offer them something up right at the start.
Prediction Number Nine: Connecting with the world
People use the internet almost every single day of the week to talk to people they have either never met, or no longer live close enough to, to visit. Whether you deal in articles or other types of similar media, allowing your users to connect is going to boost your ratings and traffic. Simply allowing them to comment on things, and reply to others’ comments, will encourage people to come back if only to see what other people had to say on the subject. And as you well know, each view is a good view.
Think of it this way; people like going over their friends’ houses and chatting on the phone and texting. People like communicating. Giving a person the means to communicate will give them a reason to come back to your web site. Even if not everything they have to say is positive, you still have all the traffic.
Prediction Number Ten: Listening
Reading this article was a good step, but we are not the only people whose advice you will want to listen to. Your audience is going to input ideas, advice and, some times, complaints. As an internet marketer, it is your job to pay attention to what they are saying.
You can not be successful in marketing if you never take the time to listen to what your readers, visitors and contributors say. The number ten prediction is one that will dictate whether or not your company flounders. Keep your ears and eyes open to the things that those who visit your web site say. Be open to changes. Be open to improvements. Be open to implementing new ideas.
Think of it this way; even if they are complaining, there is a reason that people are using your web site over a competitor’s. But unless you listen to what they have to say, there will be no reason for them to keep coming back to you if your competitor does listen to them, and takes their words in to consideration.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://morguefile.com/archive/display/175110>
This article is by Anthony Reid who writes for online marketing agency yoma.co.uk.