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Top 5 Internet Marketing Trends for 2013
[box type="info"] In this post our Guest Blogger Steven Taylor lists down five major trends internet marketers can take advantage of. [/box]
2013 will almost certainly follow the main marketing trends of 2012 and be a year of even more growth in trends that rely on organic marketing that is more about engaging interest through information, quality content and interaction with a growing list of fans instead of direct advertising in a classical sense.
Here is a list of some of the key trends in this direction that you really need to take advantage of, regardless of whether you’re also spending thousands on PPC ads or not.
1. Be Social
Social Media is growing at an enormous rate and today the quantity of web users that primarily interact with the digital world through their social networking accounts is also taking up a larger percentage of internet users. So far at least, this trend is only continuing to expand and more so as other web platforms such as Google, Yahoo and Bing adapt themselves to also integrate more with existing social networks.
Thanks to these trends, you absolutely need to increase your social presence if you haven’t already done so.
This means connecting your sites content to major social media platforms through share functions that easily let your viewers, customers and general visitors easily, quickly spread the word for you if they like what they see. It also means creating a social network presence that mirrors your regular online business presence and integrates with it fully, allowing social media visitors to quickly reach your website and regular web visitors to connect with your social media accounts by becoming fans, followers or friends.
2. Mobile Marketing Is Growing
Of the 5 billion mobile device users in the world, more than 1.5 billion are using smart phones or tablets that can connect to the dynamic mobile web. This number is growing constantly and creating a trend which could soon lead to more people using the web through their mobile connections than through conventional PCs and Laptops.
Take advantage of this by fully learning to communicate your message through mobile channels. In part, these involve social media, but they also include the development of mobile apps for easier interaction with your online business. Also, you absolutely need to create a mobile friendly website for all your smart phone or tablet using customers. This means either creating an automatically redirecting mobile sub site of your main website or, better still, simply redesigning your website so that it automatically adjusts itself to any sort of screen or device through a responsive design framework.
Additionally, you should develop a plan for mobile marketing strategies that includes basic things like text messaging and promotional offers that involve useful free apps and other mobile friendly services.
3. Engage through Content
Forget the classical marketing tactics of brute advertising, search engine manipulation and product pushing. While these are still useful in some contexts, they are starting to lose effectiveness in a digital world that’s saturated with advertising.
Instead, what you need to do is engage your customers and potential fans with conversations and helpful information through rich content creation. If you don’t already have a blog, open one up as soon as you can and start posting the kind of valuable info that will appeal to your business niche readers. Post new content regularly, share it through your social media accounts as well and in both your blog platform and on your social networking pages, start interacting! People are going to comment and you need to be there to answer questions, offer arguments and promote your business expertise.
This will build trust with your readers and it will also do one more thing that’s more valuable than any amount of constant marketing; create a growing base of true fans that will support your business with new purchases and constant interest.
4. Modernize and Clean Up your SEO
Since Google really took an interest in making its search ranking much more helpful and informative to users in February of 2011 with the unveiling of the Panda algorithm update; the company has since been constantly modifying for even more improvement in search results quality. Since the first version of Panda came out 2 years ago, over a dozen successive modifications have been released and these in turn have been followed by yet another general search algorithm change called Penguin, which has so far had 3 additions to itself released.
The essential fact of all these search changes is that they have cleaned up a lot of the spam and black hat tactics that used to be highly effective in the SEO game. Now, truly effective and long lasting optimization is best achieved through the development and delivery of high quality content (as already mentioned above) and by building links organically through other high quality websites.
We’ve already covered how you need to start releasing high quality content in 2013, so that aspect of SEO best practices is already covered, but additionally, for this New Year, you should also be sure to follow a few other optimization improvements:
- Start building a profile of high quality backlinks from other sites that are not only also well read and popular but which also have high relevance to your particular business niche. One great way to do this is by really moving into guest posting on other popular blogs.
- Change both your internal link structure on your own site pages and backlink structure on other pages so that their anchor text is clean and naturally flows with the content around it. Move away from exactly matching anchor text that keeps repeating your main keywords again and again; this looks spammy and Google doesn’t like it.
- Focus on cleaning up your site so that it’s easy to navigate, neatly organized and highly usable. Not only will your human visitors love this, so too will the Google search bots.
- Forget all black hat SEO tactics like link farming, keyword stuffing, hidden content, and duplicate content. Stay away from anything at all that smells like black hat, it’s not worth the risk of being badly deranked, destroying your search engine marketing presence and hurting your sales. Besides, black hat SEO is losing its effectiveness anyhow
5. Get Visual!
Video is only getting to be a bigger part of web content and you need to start using it! A very big chunk of internet users actually prefer to absorb their content through videos over text and if you can create some truly interesting, entertaining and helpful video presentations, then you’ve just produced an extremely powerful marketing tool. If these videos go viral, you’ll be looking at some major marketing gains through film.
Having produced some solid high quality video content, start promoting it; Spread your videos through to your social networking accounts, your YouTube channel, other video distribution channels and, of course, on your website itself.
By doing this, you are creating three separate exposure channels for your content, connecting them together so that one herds a certain percentage of viewers to the other and opening your content offerings up to a much broader audience by making them more diverse.
[box type="bio"] Steven Taylor has been writing about marketing and business solutions for nearly a decade. You can find him reviewing phone and internet service for businesses like Time Warner. [/box]