Look into the Crystal Ball of Marketing
Trying to keep up with trends in online marketing is a difficult endeavor. Just when you’ve mastered one technique, it becomes out of date. Just when you formulate a strategy you’re excited about, nobody is paying attention anymore.
Advertising online is becoming progressively popular and refined. Mobile devices are becoming commonplace, and as entertainment and news are increasingly integrated into the online world, small businesses and major corporations alike are devoting more and more resources to online marketing. So let’s try and look into the future and forecast some online advertising trends of the coming year.
We’re Going Mobile
Are you old enough to remember the Flintstone’s size cell phones of the 1980’s? If not, pop in your VHS cassette of Wall Street and be prepared to laugh. As technology refined and became less expensive, mobile phones became ubiquitous. Now, payphones are nearly nonexistent, and everyone and their children carry a mobile phone, and they are smart. The phones that is. Smartphones are taking over the cell phone market, and by 2013 nearly everyone will have one. People will be using their Smartphones to search for shopping tips more than their computers and businesses and marketers will take note.
Start now and begin to nurture marketing campaigns that are precisely focused on mobile users. This means more than just having an easily-navigated mobile version of your website. Run a targeted mobile campaign with mobile-specific keywords and plenty of integration with social media sites. Speaking of which…
Let Me Ask My Friends
If you think social media sites have sway now, just wait until next year. Though traditional SEO is alive and well, Google is placing more and more weight on social media popularity. It makes sense. Ultimately, Google’s goal (besides making a bunch of money and self-driving cars) is to create a search experience that put’s users first. So they let the user’s speak their mind. The Big Three, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, will be joined by Pinterest and Google + to create a powerhouse of user-generated search relevancy. Who knows what other social media sites will take off? If you do, start investing heavily. If you haven’t jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon, you’d better start running to catch the train.
Television-Like Video Ads
If you want to witness some successful advertising campaigns and techniques, look no further than your good-old-fashioned television set. For years now, home computers and even mobile devices have been able to support video. Now, as Retina displays and other technologies are making video viewing a crystal clear experience anywhere, video content will enter its heyday. It’s only natural. People are highly responsive to visual imagery. Just ask the millions of Pinterest users. But moving pictures that entertain and inform are not only the way of the past, they’re the way of the future. Study TV ads for tips. Create compelling content that is humorous, short, and reinforces your brand.
Native advertising, or branded content, or sponsored content, or whatever you want to call it, will compete with traditional advertising in the coming year. Web users and media users in general have been bombarded with advertising their whole lives. As a result, they put up their blinders when confronted with blatant marketing. Integrating your ads directly into the content by collaborating with publishers is one solution to this challenge. Keep an eye out for some big company/media partnerships in the next year.
Wait, I’ve Seen This Before
Of course you have. The truth is, though trends change, the core concepts of successful marketing remain the same. Capture and keep the user’s attention, utilize the appropriate medium to instill your message, create a buzz through word of mouth, and integrate your brand with popular vehicles that the user enjoys. Keep these basics in mind, combine them with your keen eye for technological progress, and you’ll enjoy a successful year in 2013.
What does your crystal ball show you? Let us know with a comment.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.