With the year coming to an end there are several things for entrepreneurs to consider. What steps they will take next year to manage the various aspects of their job, and what new business owners will watch for when working their way into the market. As with each passing year there are changes to strategy – namely marketing. What trends in marketing will the new year give us and how exactly will business leaders handle the hurdles that come along with the differences?
Rescue a CEO and CEO Blog Nation asked entrepreneurs what trends they anticipate in marketing and how they will manage the changes.
Focusing on video marketing
I plan to concentrate on sub weekly video interviewing for my site and also turn interviews into podcast. I'd then summarise and get the best out of the interviews and turn it into a digital product. I think that entrepreneurs will be actively searching for new ways of marketing and one of those ways will be attracting customers from abroad. Connecting to foreign media, creating direct personal and professional contact overseas will become more of a trend in 2013. I for one, will definitely be embracing these opportunities and exposing my self to foreign media channels and international opportunities.
Thanks to Katya Barry
A more personal approach
In 2013, marketing will get personal. Content will continue to dominate as the primary marketing tool, of course. But the focus will be on creating content which is deemed valuable and shareable. In 2012, the search engine updates really encouraged personalized marketing by adjusting how they ranked this content. This will continue in 2013. As search engines placed more value on shared content, businesses will seek to catch up. To take advantage of this personalized marketing, businesses should expand their connections and offer valuable, shareable content to appeal to these connections. This will allow businesses to reach their connections over even organic search results because of a search engine preference for these personal connections. Because of this trend, pay per click marketing will start to see fewer returns online. Outbound marketing tools in general will need to be merged with inbound marketing efforts in order to produce better results. 2013 will encourage more tailored marketing campaigns overall.
Thanks to Steve Mehr, WebShark360
Looking to eBooks and Self-Publishing
“The future trend that I've been predicting since the mid-1990's is what I call the Age of Purpose and Meaning, the age after the Information Age. Finally, most every person on the planet can be an entrepreneur, especially anyone located in the USA. I'm turning to self-publishing to serve my existing and coming clients. Amazon.com is synonymous with books on the internet. Why not partner with the world's largest online seller of books and ebooks? Their Kindle platform and CreateSpace service offer the best of all worlds to produce books in print and online. If you want to be an authority, why not start with the first part of the word and become an author?”
Thanks to Kevin W. McCarthy
Upswing of mobile usage
As a digital agency, it's our job to know the trends before they happen. And in 2013 – the world will be more mobile, social and specific than ever before. Mobile usage has been on the exponential upswing for the past few years – and it's only continuing to grow. Pairing this with microtargeting means catching consumers on-the-go, and creating custom marketing messages for specific demographics. In addition, newsjacking is by far the best way to garner media attention without astronomical budgets. By finding a creative angle on news stories and making ourselves and our clients a part of them – we can gain invaluable coverage. Social integration is another must for the coming year. Consumers expect to connect with friends and family everywhere they go – via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites of choice. Integration benefits marketers, too, since shareability is #1 when it comes to expanding the reach of your products and services.
Thanks to Jennifer Barbee, Jennifer Barbee Inc.
Goodbye Facebook, Hello Google +
There have been quite a few changes around Facebook since they went public. There's the new promoted post feature and just released is the ability for anyone to send me a message for a mere dollar. I'm going to go play in another social media network's sandbox…Google +. I do have a community on Facebook so I'm not deleting my page and completely walking away. My goal for 2013 is to convert my Facebook fans over to my email list and hopefully connect with them on Google + and LinkedIn. And I've learned that offering something really good for free is an excellent motivator to get people to part with their email address. So what does marketing look like for me in 2013? Less time and money on Facebook, more time connecting and building relationships through my own site and email list, and sharing content that matters to my audience on Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter and maintaining their trust.
Thanks to Lisa N. Alexander, The Marketing Stylist
Referencing marketing platforms in advertisements
As a marketing consultant, I rely on resources from a Business Network International (BNI) group to help me get past gate keepers and reach my target market. But my company focuses on a very niche group of business. For my clients, however, we'll be using a wide range of traditional, internet and social media to reach their customers in 2013. One major goal this year for all of my clients will be to reference additional marketing platforms in all our advertisements. For instance we may direct people from a television commercial to go to our Facebook page for a discount code or use a billboard to encourage customers to interact with us on Pinterest or Instagram. The more we can drive customers to interact with us, the more we become a brand they trust and use.
Thanks to Hilary Hamblin, Momentum Consulting
Heightening online presence
As a law firm focusing solely on the practice of US Immigration Law, we focus heavily on being able to reach our clientele across the entire country, who can range from Fortune multinational corporations down to single individual. With each passing year, we are told that we need to increase our focus on heightening our firm’s online presence, through social media sites, blogging, etc., to improve our web profile. More clicks equals more clients or so they say. However, for marketing purposes, our bread and butter has always been word-of-mouth marketing. Immigrants tend to know and interact with other immigrants, so our model has always focused on being able to deliver excellent service on case-by-case basis. If we are successful in delivering our services by interacting with our clients and achieving their specific goals, then the end result will be much more effective than dumping an untold amount of money into buying online advertising that may reach thousands of people, but no one personally. This is no indictment on online marketing or to say that we should ignore our online presence outright; however, the rush to be first to show up on a Google search doesn’t trump the importance of a phone call or courtesy. In our inter-connected world of smart phones, tablets and instant news feeds, a good, old-fashioned “please” and “thank you” typically ends up being the best marketing tools that we use. Best of all: its free.
Thanks to Rishi P. Oza, Robert Brown LLC
Online marketing for organizations large and small
In the coming years, starting in 2013, we will see an increased focus on digital and online marketing for all organizations, big and small. One of the biggest trends we will see is the continued use of social media channels to reach current– and especially future– clients. With Facebook's continued effort to monetize their platform and changes in their algorithm, there will be more emphasis on promoted posts and Facebook advertising. To make it more effective, you can tie it in with your e-mail marketing initiatives. This powerful site has allowed you to take word of mouth to a whole new level. Now, more than ever, recommendations from friends have a huge impact and can sway even the most cautious consumer. As with any advertising, you want to be sure that you’re reaching your audience effectively and not spending a ton of money to do so. Update your ads, target markets and copy often to keep it fresh in the eyes of your target. Running stale content will create even a larger advertising disconnect with that user.
Thanks to Jayme Pretzloff, Wixon Jewelers
Building trust with clients through personal interaction
We are constantly striving to get in front of our target market. Getting their attention via online marketing, email campaigns, social media contests is the beginning. We are constantly building brand awareness. We use content marketing to build trust with our prospects, free templates, advice etc. that can help them grow their businesses and communicate to them that we A. really do care and B. have the knowledge and experience that can take them to the next level. That's just the online/digital marketing, then there's also the direct mail and face-to-face marketing. We are strongly committed to an integrated marketing approach. In the coming year we will be reaching out more through event marketing and networking. The online/digital has taken time to establish and now that it can be handled with little additional supervision, it's time to reach back to the traditional forms of marketing that always yield great results. The financial challenges of the past four years have created an even greater need for building long-term, trusted relationships. We see the trends over the next year to be give more, care deeply and make a difference in the lives of your clients. Relieve their pain, solve their problems and they will reward you.
Thanks to Elizabeth Perea, NYC Real Estate Advisors
Utilization of ‘Big Data'
From my perspective 2013 will be the year that the utilization of “big data” in online marketing will allow marketers to become smarter and wiser than they ever thought was possible. Typically in search marketing, advertisers buy keywords across the country and cast a wide net without the intelligence of trying to deliver the appropriate message to the right audience. Its like shooting in the dark and hoping that you hit something. My firm, Didit, has already started engaging clients in audience targeting through keyword buys and we have seen a huge available opportunity start to come to fruition. Over the next 2 years, there will be access at a more granular level to the audiences that each and every marketer strives to reach in this landscape based on the new technologies that are being structured as we speak. The other strong direction for 2013 will be to break apart the marketing silos and create a more holistic, integrated approach through the various marketing channels available like SEM, SEO, CSEs, social media and marketing, etc. When these separate discipline work together, they unfurl a greater, more balanced and strategic initiative for the marketer than when the parts go at it on their own. The sum is definitely greater than its parts and that will prove out.
Thanks to Mark Simon, Didit
Increasing consistency on Social Media platforms
As a social media consultant, I plan to increase my consistency on LinkedIn and Pinterest, two totally different platforms, speaking to different consumers. Additionally, the use of podcasts and video messaging will become more prevalent. Consumers' attention span is so short, but the use of visuals, i.e. Pinterest, used correctly with the proper backlinks can be a huge windfall for a business who embraces this medium. LinkedIn, the traditional social networking site, has made some great improvements, including use of the Company Pages which are fantastic for B2B. Podcasting, with great content is a viable source of disseminating information for that consumer who is always “on the go” and video messaging speaks to the visual learner who wants involvement “on call”. I anticipate business owners will move away from Facebook a bit, even though, when utilized correctly Facebook is still extremely effective. However, consumers are getting frustrated with all of Facebook's many policy changes, such as the new January 15 cover banner revisions – only 20% can be graphics. So, a return to tradition – LinkedIn and jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon should be considered in the social media marketing mix for 2013.
Thanks to Laurie Hurley, The Social Networking Navigator
Increased customer focus
There are two things that 2013 will demand businesses do when it comes to marketing. The first is to be increasingly customer focused. If you think you have this covered, you should ask your customers to be sure. From how the phone is answered when you are away to width of parking spaces in the parking lot, your brand and your business will benefit from the details more than ever in this coming year. And as customers have more and more choices at their finger tips a.k.a. virtually, the details could be the difference between sale or no sale. And speaking of finger tips, if you are just beginning to market yourself in 2013, you should lead with mobile. As more and more internet searches come from smartphones, you will set yourself apart from the competition with a robust mobile website that supports any traditional marketing you do. If you want to be as close as possible to your potential customers, their phone s as good as it gets unless you handout promotional underwear. Your mobile site should be an integral part of you marketing plan but if you are just starting out, it is the best place to start in 2013 both from a resource standpoint ( you can do a robust mobile site for as little as $300 a year) to a prospect recruitment standpoint(its a great way to help people find you and with new analytics available you can learn about who those customers are and fine more of them.)
Thanks to Brooke A. Benschoter, Torsion Mobile, Inc.
Image courtesy of africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net