As marketers and small business owners, we know that our job changes everyday as new technology is introduced and we continue to look for new ways to effectively reach our target audience. Looking forward, there are several new trends emerging that will be prevalent in the coming years.
According to the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project study, over half of all adults own smartphones, and nearly two-thirds of cell phone users use their phones to access the Internet. These numbers have steadily grown each year and are expected to continue in an upward trend as technology and cell phone networks continue to improve.
For marketers, this means two things. First, the majority of our audience receives marketing messages on their phones. If you haven?t already, now is the time to offer a responsive website. Your marketing messages should also be mobile-friendly, including emails and social media posts.
Second, your audience will almost always have access to their phones and Internet and email. They will be seeing your messages much faster than before and wherever they are. This could change your social media strategy, as you will be able to reach more people much quicker than before.
As more people are using mobile devices on a regular basis, mobile applications will continue to upset the social media scene. Recently apps like Vine and InstagramVideo changed the face of online videos with micro-videos. Micro-videos are expected to grow in popularity, driven by the ease of taking, editing and sharing videos instantly on smartphones.
App developers are working continuously to develop the next best thing, and it would be impossible to make any predictions here. Apps can be an incredible useful tool for marketers, but you may not want to jump right in with every new trend. Stick to what works, and experiment with new apps to see how they may benefit your business.
Changes to the Google algorithm and the reduction of true keyword insights in Google analytics due to encrypted searches have continued to reinforce the notion that content is king and SEO is dead.
In reality, content marketing is the next generation of SEO. The shift away from specific keywords toward effective content marketing focusing on valuable content and phrases is already taking place. Google?s new algorithm Hummingbird improves the ability to search using a question (this goes back to the growing popularity of smartphones and voice searches), and the more relevant your content is the higher you will rank.
As social media networks grow, go public and need to turn a profit, more and more are turning to advertising to do so. Several social media networks announced they will begin testing or offering ads for businesses in 2013, and those networks who have tested social media advertising have shown favorable results.
Expect to see a full rollout for advertising on Pinterest and Instagram. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn will likely continue to improve and expand their advertising options for businesses.
Looking back at 2013, cell phone manufacturers continued to develop new devices with advanced features, larger screens and increased performance. Expect to see these manufacturers continue to innovate in this extremely competitive market. There seems to be a push toward wearables?technology you can wear including watches and Google Glass.
While implementation and adoption may not happen for a few years, it?s a good idea to keep track of what?s coming. For marketers, this may mean a push toward more capability and the ability to offer additional interactivity.Keep up on the latest tech trends, and continue to push the limits of your marketing efforts for greater return. Make it your goal to simplify the lives of your audience and make sure your content is accessible on all devices.
Trends Push Toward Individualized Marketing
Overall, these changes will have a significant effect on marketing for the foreseeable future. Do your best to stay up to date on new trends and technology, and always consider how you can better serve your customer. You?ll be better prepared and able to stay one step ahead of your competition.