New years is fast approaching, so I felt like it would be a good time to go over some of the hottest topics in the internet marketing world that will be able to help increase your business for 2012.
1 ) Mobile Marketing – This just might be the biggest increase that you see in 2012’s digital marketing landscape. Mobile search, advertising, music, banking, messaging… all sectors are due for record growth in 2012. With more of us constantly on the go, and able to get information during our travels, its more important than ever to be in tune with the mobile generation. Does your business even have a mobile optimized website?? If not you are probably missing a ton of potential customers with a website that is hard to read from a mobile device. Forrester reports that Mobile marketing will grow to $2.8 billion in 2012.
2 ) Interactive Websites – Look for a huge rise in companies updating their old brochure-like websites, to a more interactive, social, and real-time updated approach. Blogging and social sharing options will see a major push as companies try to get their articles and information into as many prospects hands as possible. This type of website is also favored by search engines, and by integrating blogs and social aspect, makes it easier to stay in touch with customers to easily remarket to them.
3 ) Online Reviews – Expect online shoppers to get savvier when looking to choose the right business for them. There will be an increase in the time spent researching a business online, and more sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google Hotpot searched to reach a buying decision. What do you see when you Google your own business?? More and more customers are Googling someones reputation before they decide to do business with them, so have it look good for you!
4 ) Cloud Computing – 2012 will see a record number of SMBs switching to cloud computing from the old methods of storing data. As more and more business people use multiple devices like tablets and smart phones, Cloud computing makes it very easy to transfer data among multiple devices, along with help businesses to protect against data outages or lost data. Security will also be more of a factor for most businesses with cloud computing options like iCloud and DropBox.
5 ) Location based marketing – With the rise of Foursquare’s 15 million+ users and Facebook Places popularity… along with Facebooks recent purchase of location-based app Gowalla, its easy to see that these location based “check in” services are on the rise. Look for a huge increase in the way that businesses target customers in their vicinity by offering specials to new customers or rewarding brand loyalty. Being able to reach a customer at the point of purchase is key!
6 ) Web Video Marketing – If a picture is worth a thousand words… then I say that a video is worth a thousand pictures! Video marketing is on the rise and should keep growing through 2012. More and more SMBs are using YouTube or similar sites to tell the story of their business. Videos are a great way to generate more traffic to your site, or to deliver information. Try making some tutorial or How-To videos teaching your customers something new. This can be the one of the best tools to make yourself the expert in your field.
7 ) Conversion based Marketing – The new hot topic in internet marketing – conversions. In the past, it has been amount of traffic that has dominated and been what business owners have been looking for. Expect conversions to be the calculated goal of most businesses now. With the analytics getting better and better, its much easier to figure out where your actual new customers are coming from. Expect a huge emphasis on optimizing a website for conversions that deliver to the bottom line instead of just traffic. Forrester reports that Search marketing will triple in the five years.
8 ) Webinars & Podcasts – 2012 will see a continued rise of SMBs hosting webinars and podcasts to teach and educate their prospects about the topic of their expertise. The digital consumer is getting savvier with the way they buy… make yourself the industry expert and host some webinars for your prospect. One of the best ways to get new business in the digital marketplace is to give away information for free.
9 ) Social “word of mouth” – This has pretty much already happened for the younger demographic, but 2012 will see a rise in older demographic using social media as the prominent word of mouth and referral medium. Consumers will take what they hear on social media more seriously, and take in to account a companies social media presence and brand image into account before making purchase decisions. Google has already started taking into account social authority as part of their search algorithm.
10 ) Display advertising becomes more targeted – The recent growth of display advertising numbers has a lot to do with the increased targetability of the consumer. 2012 doesn’t look to be much different, with all the forecasts expecting a huge growth in display advertising spend. With Facebook, businesses can actually now target customers that like other brands or are in competitive groups, and through remarketing pixels, can keep targeting customers who have been to their webpage and have had previous interest in their products and services.
11 ) Informational E-mail Marketing – Expect a rise of email marketing, but with a twist from years past. Sales and promotion driven emails are discarded and largely ignored by the consumer… but provide relevant content, and you will in turn make yourself the industry expert, and will be in the forefront of the consumers eyes when they are making a purchasing decision.
These are some trends that through some research and personal experience, I expect to see in the internet marketing space in 2012. Let me know your thoughts as well, and as always, feel free to contact me for a free consultation for your business at firstname.lastname@example.org