Last year, I was asked to present at Portland’s EO Experience, featuring subject matter experts on various entrepreneurial topics. Specifically, I was tasked with covering trends in the world of digital marketing. After a bit of introspection and research, I arrived at five digital marketing trends no marketer can afford to ignore across media platforms, tools, and strategies, including social media, video, search engines, mobile, and marketing automation. Without further ado, here are the five trends.
1) Evangelizing your brand via social media marketing
The majority of companies have jumped on board with social media, but it’s time to rethink how your business should interact with constituents via social media. The old mode of “one person, one voice” does not offer the depth and breadth of a multi-faceted approach which involves all employees. I recommend turning the social role upside down, focusing on integrating social media throughout your organization, driven by a social media evangelist. In the evangelist model, the role is that of chief brand officer/CMO/editor-in-chief/HR director all wrapped into one. Instead of being the single voice for the company, the evangelist manages the overall voice of the company, as created by employees at all levels.
2) Maximizing your media via video marketing and YouTube
For starters, video provides the ultimate storytelling medium; if a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words is a 30-second video at 30 frames per second worth? Furthermore, video offers greater retention and up to five times greater recall than the written word. Video is also one of the most efficient forms of media. An HD video offers four powerful media form factors to marketers: video, audio (podcast), text (transcript), and still images. Each of these form factors can be edited, optimized, syndicated, and promoted across a variety of platforms.
3) Penguin-proofing your search engine optimization efforts
Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates over the past two years aimed to clean up low-quality and spam websites. Unfortunately, some credible websites were caught in the crossfire and have experienced significant traffic and revenue loss as a result. How can you tell if your website has been penalized? Check your analytics and map traffic drops against the timeline of known algorithm updates. If there is a correlation, conduct an audit of your site optimization elements to ensure you’re not guilty of any of the “worst” practices like duplicate content, poor-quality content, and suspect inbound links. To solve the problems, once identified, simply reverse or “de-optimize” the elements and resubmit to Google once you have 100 percent confidence the website is clean.
4) Mobilizing Your Marketing
Mobile has presented a unique challenge to marketers over the past few years, but 2013 truly is the year of mobile. Marketers must consider three key mobile strategies: mobile-friendly websites, mobile ads, and SMS and email messaging. Options for creating mobile-friendly sites include using HTML5 as the backbone of your site, building the website on a mobile-friendly CMS platform or creating a dedicated mobile website with unique content and features for your mobile audience. Mobile advertising is easy to add to your current AdWords account and then you can incorporate mobile-friendly capabilities like dedicated landing pages, click-to-call and call tracking.
5) Automating Your Marketing
Marketing automation is a relatively new term and industry that bridges sales and marketing disciplines. In short, marketing automation platforms help nurture and qualify marketing leads, typically a grey area that gets missed in organizational charts. Marketing automation platforms help you develop and analyze marketing campaigns and understand your prospects and customers. While the core functionality focuses on automating marketing campaign development, management, and reporting, these platforms also offer critical lead management capabilities, including lead scoring and nurturing. With marketing automation, the key responsibilities of a field sales team are being replaced by a platform.
This post just scratches the surface of these five essential trends and how you can utilize them to maximize your marketing efforts. For a more in-depth look, read my full article here.