We’re fast approaching the end of the year so it seems an apt time to give my predictions for online marketers in 2013. I try to be more realistic than blue sky when it comes to these things so don’t expect buzz words galore…
1. Quality website content a must
With the raft of Google changes on their site ranking techniques and how competitive companies are getting on price and range, it is more important than ever that websites have a focus on quality content for visitors. Content that is naturally beneficial to visitors and highly relevant is the order of the day – make sure websites are frequently updated, not over optimised for keywords and give a variety of content types for viewers.
2. Increased standards for email marketing
Email has become such a staple in an online marketer’s tool box that it is unavoidable if you want to get good ROI for your efforts. It’s no longer ok to just blast out any old email to your whole database though, recipients expect relevant content to them, that they’ve asked for and that is not too frequent and of a high quality. Spend some time working on your lists and segmenting them, ensure you’ve got proper opt in processes and be careful with what you send and when.
3. Social media gets measurable
In the past year social media has been tested as a marketing tool and more brands are getting it right. There are however still many companies new to the channel and they make the mistake of expecting to put their message out there and social will do the rest. In 2013 there are many tools available know that can measure impacts of social campaigns so it’s important to treat activity as a proper integrated campaign with set goals in place like other channels. Get to know what measures are important to you and revisit whether your activity is successful or not. If not then keep tweaking until you’re happy with the results.
4. Handheld devices must be considered
There is no avoiding the huge sales of smart phones and now tablets. This means that your recipient is no longer tied to a desk – they’re on the move and viewing your activity over a huge range of ways. This presents challenges like making sure your Facebook activity isn’t just great on the vanilla version but also any apps that are out there and your emails need to be visually impressive in many different sizes. It also presents opportunities – you can now target your users at different stages through their day, get to know their habits – are they on the sofa watching TV and on their tablet or commuting on a train? Your campaigns can become very clever once you start factoring in the handheld device