2012 was an interesting year for many people in the marketing industry.
Search engine giant Google rolled out its infamous Panda and Penguin algorithm updates which sent shockwaves throughout businesses across the world; and social media pounced onto the scene out of no-where, affecting how consumers communicate with companies.
Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google all pushed the boundaries of their respective areas, but what will 2013 hold for the industry?
Well, we’re already a couple of months in and already there have been some big changes in the way online marketing companies work. SEO agencies have had to sink or swim to stay alive, and businesses have had to expand how they market themselves across various platforms, in order to survive.
Adobe has published its thoughts on digital trends for 2013. I agree with most of them, with the main being that 2013 is the year for content; however there are others that I contend. Yes social media engagement is relevant and important, but there are various other techniques that are even BIGGER and BETTER this year.
Here are my top predictions on what areas are going to impact businesses the most:
Creating, optimizing and marketing content
This needs to be a top priority for marketers. If you haven’t yet jumped onto the bad wagon, you need to do so quickly. This will be the most significant trend this year, and I’m not just talking about some text on a page.
Content in all shapes and forms needs to be at the heart of everything you do; whether that is producing a video on how your product is used, or creating an infographic with tips and advice for consumers.
All types of content, both online and offline, are key but what matters is that this content is high quality, relevant, and share-able. It needs to be great and spread everywhere, to be consumed by everyone.
Don’t believe me? Content marketing last year was only 21% of agency’s priorities. Now it has soared to 38%. Get your head to the drawing board, hire an expert content strategist like we did, and start planning, delivering and managing valuable content.
We’ve all been saying for years how smartphones and tablets are increasing in popularity.
In 2012, the UK had 83 million mobile subscribers, of which 36 million were smartphones.
The technology has transformed the way consumers buy and interact on the World Wide Web; therefore it is crucial that content is optimized, and sites are mobile-friendly.
It has never been more important for businesses to enhance their online profile to be mobile-responsive. We are currently working with a number of our clients to ensure that their brands are accessible via smartphones and apps.
According to Adobe’s study, mobile optimization should be 38% of an agency’s priority and 30% of a company’s focus. 44% of consumers always research products online before purchasing in-store. Get your brand on the platform that everyone else is on. Simples.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Here at Custard, our philosophy is that if websites don’t convert, they’re a waste of time.
If you have a website that isn’t converting, there are a number of techniques which you can implement to improve its overall performance.
Great on-site content is key to improving your rankings in search engines, and the bottom line is that if it isn’t converting clicks into clients, it needs to be fixed pronto.
Heard this before? Well, yes there has always been the foretold memo about CRO but this is going to be HUGE this year, and will play a MASSIVE role in brand awareness and rankings.
Yes you can change a colour of a button on your site to be more ‘friendly’, and you can issue call to action notes on the bottom of landing pages, however it really is much more than that.
You need to have a strong, consistent message that takes the consumer on a journey, as soon as they land on a page.
If you only take one thing away from this article, please let it be author rank. To cut a long story short, Google is going to use this algorithm to rank high quality content, more appropriately. It’s not a question of if, but when.
When a consumer types a question into Google, they only want to see answers by credible, trustworthy sources. Enter Author Rank. It centers around who you get links from, not just where. The impact is going to be HUGE, so you need to become a specialist in your chosen area and build up a profile as a go-to-expert.
If you don’t have one already, set up a dedicated Google Plus and Twitter account, and start shouting about your content to establish your online identity. What now? Continue (or start) writing killer content!
So there you have it; the top 4 predictions for 2013. Have you taken any of these into account already? That’s fantastic! If not, get your pulse on the trigger and get started. Or else.