It’s the first business day of 2013 and many companies are cleaning shop, reallocating advertising dollars, and adapting to the ever-changing world of marketing. I rarely (ok, pretty much never) hear business owners and marketing directors say things like, “We’re really starting to consider Yellow Page advertisements.” Instead, their curiosity continues to branch out into the world of digital marketing, a space where they can track their ad spend down to the cent while putting their products in front of laptop, tablet, and mobile users. The following is my 4 predictions for digital marketing in 2013.
Content will drive online marketing.
Up until this point, SEO and search marketing campaigns have been driven by link building tactics. We’ve seen Google change the link game with its Penguin update, a ranking factor change that punishes those who violate their webmaster guidelines by using “black-hat” techniques like keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, and creation of duplicate content. The value of one authoritative, relevant link is potentially worth more than hundreds of solicited links. We urge you to learn more about how content will continue to be a driving force in 2013.
Paid search marketing will become less popular.
Though much more effective than traditional marketing for SMBs, paid search marketing will become less popular as new ad platforms emerge and display networks improve. I still think that Google’s Display Network is massively underplayed by SMBs looking to capitalize on offers, specials, and promotions. It’s unfortunate that all of the attention is on CPC text ads when there is a competitive edge in display advertising. Our article on digital advertising for small business will give you some great insight on how this tactic could bring in big time traffic and ROI.
Email marketing will grow even bigger.
I could write pages and pages on why email marketing will soar in 2013, especially for SMBs looking to increase the amount of repeat customers they have. We all know that the traditional sales funnel should influence every decision you make in your marketing efforts. Flip the funnel and you’ll uncover what you should do after the customer bought your product and service. So many local SMBs miss the value of lead generation, cultivation and nurturing. Email marketing plays a huge role in bringing back repeat business, ultimately growing your sales.
Marketing automation will get an “at bat”.
We see this as a huge opportunity for mid-sized businesses who are looking to grow even larger. In short, marketing automation is all-in-one sales and marketing software that combines intelligent automation with eCRM (electronic customer relationship management), email marketing, e-commerce, and social media tools. A few of the features let you segment lists to better engage customers with highly targeted messages, personalize campaigns for increased conversions, and nurture leads with automatic follow-up emails. It’s the well-oiled machine that works for you.