Working for both a web development agency and a domain and hosting brand we have visibility over the most significant trends and challenges impacting the web and web marketing. Nowadays there aren’t many businesses choosing to ignore the web as a key customer acquisition channel. So just what are some of the hot trends for 2013 and how do they affect your business?
Social media continues to develop and grow. Communication and engagement though Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Pinterest are driving more and more customers to businesses. The use of social media channels is showing no sign of slowing down, we get almost daily calls from previous clients wanting to add a twitter feed on their existing homepage or a like button on their blog posts.
Consider that Facebook has more than 1 billion users and Twitter has in excess of 500 million. Social media provides direct communication opportunities for businesses and customers are frequently turning to such channels for support and purchase recommendations both direct from brands themselves and peer groups.
Thoughout 2013 we are likely to see even more developments across these channels. Businesses should plan for this within their marketing strategies. Social media should not simply be a platform from which to simply shout about the business successes. They should provide engaging content, links and resources to truly interact with readers. Engaging interest and encouraging return vista will ultimately keep customers interested and connected with websites and social media accounts. Don’t become one of those businesses who’s followers can’t remember following them.
Whilst multi devises have always been on the radar and cross browser and resolution checking is always done on our sites we are increasingly hearing clients asking for this functionality rather than us informing them of its importance. We hear questions such as ‘how will this look on a mobile?’ and ‘how will this perform on an iPad?’.
There are more than 5 billion mobile users so this potential customer segment simply can’t be ignored. Accessing information and buying ‘on the move’ are becoming part of our daily lives as we increasingly want information at our finger tips.
If you are considering website redevelopment during 2013 remember to go responsive and ensure your site works effectively across multiple platforms. We assure you that this will open up your busing channel to further customer groups.
Videos are now becoming the most effective way of pushing a message to end uses. Think about how much text you read when just simply browsing a site. Say you were looking for a pair of blue shoes and the page contained images or a video of those shoes, would you read the description or use the visual aids? Invoking an emotional need or an attachment to the purchase cycle through the use of video can set businesses apart from their competition.
Remember Retargeting Options
You have worked hard to drive visitors to your website, guided them through the buying process but they leave without making a purchase. Do you simply sigh, sit back and say ‘oh well’ or invest in retargeting. Even in our own marketing efforts we are noticing the importance and benefit from reminding those customers who have left our site of what we can offer them. Consider Google Remarketing or Adroll as a method.
One key conclusion that I can draw on my own experiences is that individual channels and techniques within online marketing are now working hand in hand together more so than ever. Blogs are linked to social media which is turn can drive traffic, an increase in traffic can boost SEO and authority of your site, in turn making it more attractive to guest opportunities and search engines. It’s increasingly important now to view online marketing not as individual elements but as multiple, multifaceted activities that all work together within the same strategic outline. It’s only when all these things come together and compliment one another that optimisation is reached.
Be aware of new developments and spend time reading blogs surrounding the latest techniques and methodologies. Positioning yourself at the forefront of such can stand you apart from other businesses.
This article was written by Sarah Stott. Sarah has over 10 years experience in web marketing having spent the last five years within domain name, hosting and web development agencies. She currently works for domain name provider http://www.siteopia.com