Business owners and marketers these days have to be skilled and knowledgeable in online marketing to keep themselves competitive amidst the rise of the Internet, the search engines, and the social media. Most businesses have already put their business presence online to bring their brand to the online market. There are companies who have already made search engine marketing as a vital part of their marketing campaign. There are also businesses that have already included social media marketing as an important part of their marketing procedures. Thus, if you own a business and if you want to stay on the top of the competition, you have to ensure that your marketing activities include effective online marketing strategies, techniques and tactics. To make sure your online marketing knowledge is up-to-date, here are 10 Internet marketing trends for 2014 that business owners like you should know.
1. Internet marketing is already mobile. It’s obvious. The use of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are rising rapidly. This also means that online marketing is going more mobile. Facebook has now 819 million mobile users out of 1.15 billion total users as of June 30, 2013. 75% or more than 164 million of Twitter users are mobile users. Currently, mobile makes up more than 25% of YouTube’s global watch time. Thus, if you want to take full advantage of online marketing, don’t forget to integrate mobile marketing in your overall marketing campaign. Business owners and online marketers are now leveraging mobile apps and responsive websites to reach out the mobile market.
2. Search is becoming personalized. Google is undeniably the largest search engine in the world right now with more than 1.1 billion people who use it each month, making 114 billion searches. Google+ is also continuously growing, and it is now one of the most important social networking sites every online marketer should leverage to achieve their marketing goals. With the integration of search and social, Google’s search results are now more personalized, using personalization factors such as the unique location, language and search behavior of the user. In other words, Google is now showing different SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to different search users.
Google has also recently moved to secure search, leaving organic search analysts with no keyword data in their Google Analytics report. So what could businesses owners and online marketers do about those developments? Personalization only means that you have to get closer to your target market. In other words, to succeed in search marketing (whether organic or paid), you have to go beyond building links or reading numbers. You have to go to building personal relationship with people and understanding their personal behaviors.
3. Online marketing is becoming more integrated. There are many types of online marketing, such as search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. The most effective online marketing campaigns are those that are not only composed of one strategy but composed of different online marketing strategies that are perfectly collaborating to each other. Online marketers today are not only focusing on search marketing alone, but they integrate it with social marketing, content marketing, relationship marketing and other forms of Internet marketing. Hence, if you want to be more competitive, you have to explore other online marketing strategies, techniques and tactics.
4. Authority is a big deal. The reputation of a brand matters a lot in online marketing. Today, the authority of a brand or the authority of the author of a website or page is an important factor in getting high search engine rankings. Furthermore, the number of followers in social media (Facebook subscribers, Twitter followers, Google+ circles, etc.) also determines the influence of a certain business or brand, and it helps them get more and more followers. Therefore, if you want to rank higher in search engine results, you have to constantly improve your brand’s authority. You could also grow your Google+ followers so that your authority as an author will increase through Google’s Authorship Markup. Moreover, if you want to get more attention from the social media, you have to make more friends and followers so that your social brands and profiles would be more trustworthy and reliable.
5. Inbound marketing is in! Today, people can easily get the information they are looking for, searching on Google and other search engines or asking their friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. People are also seems to be very busy nowadays. With this abundant flow of information and people who are seemingly running out of time, using megaphone marketing to aggressively approach potential customers to tell them about your products and take their time may not give you better results. That is why many marketers today are implementing inbound marketing or magnet marketing. Instead of overly promoting and advertising their products to create noise, they are now focusing on the quality of their products and customer service to make their brand something that promotes itself naturally.
6. Relationship defines your business. Although online marketing could be technical or technological, its essence remains in the humanity. Online marketing is more behavioral rather than technical. That is why marketers who rely heavily on technology may not get long-lasting relationships and trust with their customers. Search engine optimization is now more personalized and social media marketing has always been personalized. Hence, the success of online marketing depends not on the links we build but on the relationships we build, not on the number of followers we have but on the depth of relationship we have with our followers.
7. You need freshness to stay in the competition. Search engine optimization (SEO) needs not only high-quality content, but continuing and fresh high-quality content. SEO also needs not only quality backlinks, but also constant building of quality backlinks. Every hour, online marketers may have new competitors. Online marketing is already a very competitive field. That is why you have to stay fresh. You have to consistently provide quality content, constantly build quality links, and continue building good relationships.
8. Analytics are not to be ignored. Data intelligence is vital to business success even in the ancient times. In today’s online marketing, data analysis is very important for marketers to make better judgments or decisions. If you are marketing your business online, you have to leverage the data and insights provided by different sources. For example, you could use Google Analytics to get important data to increase your search rankings, search traffic and conversion rate. You could also use social media metrics like Facebook Insights to analyze and take a closer look at your Facebook Business Page’ audience.
9. Visual marketing. Simplicity and minimalism save people’s time and prevent information overload. That is why graphics, such as images and infographics are among the best marketing media that online marketers are using today. This could also be the reason why image-based social networking sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are very popular nowadays. Visual media like images, infographics, presentations, and videos can efficiently convey rich information to target audience without taking much of their time. Thus, online marketers should try to implement visual marketing to make their marketing campaign more efficient and effective.
10. CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization. Effective online marketing is one that doesn’t only bring massive web traffic or tons of attention from social media people. Effective marketing is one that brings relevant and targeted web traffic and attention from people which could help the business consistently increase its revenue, profit and loyal customers. In order to improve conversion rate, online marketers use targeted content marketing, data analysis, and market segmentation to ensure that they would achieve their marketing goals.
Business owners, whether small or big, have to keep themselves updated with the latest trends in online marketing to ensure that their business would be more competitive. Online marketing is already one of the most important keys to business success. Thus, business owners and entrepreneurs should learn how to leverage it to ensure success in their business.