The Internet is an ever-changing environment and with the Web 2.0 revolution and more people surging to social networking, we’re seeing new trends in online marketing emerge each year. Consumers want to have a voice in the brands they like and transparency has become the new “normal” if businesses want to remain competitive. Here are ten trends we will continue to see during 2009:
ONE – Internet Marketing Surge: As we have already seen, more companies are transitioning away from traditional media and moving to the more targeted, measurable, and cost effective online strategies. These of course include investing in SEO, social media, PPC, and more email marketing.
TWO – Discount Offers: Due to the current economic conditions (the recession), the marketing message for most companies has changed. More companies are offering discounts, special incentives, and promotions than ever before. We started seeing this in the housing industry and then it spread throughout most others. Even brands that have been against discounts due to “brand image” are bending in favor of staying competitive.
THREE – Out with the Old: For most companies, its time for a new website. Even large companies that have been around for decades are waking up and realizing that their online brand image does matter and that “YES” they can gain new business opportunties from the web if they make the effort. More companies are investing in website redesign, building micro sites and using landing pages to support marketing efforts.
FOUR – Customer Interaction: As mentioned above, the consumer now expects to have a voice and be able to provide feedback. User-generate content platforms are growing immensely and the way people research goods and services has changed. They want to here what others have to say. Brands need to embrace this reality and get involved in these online “discussions”.
FIVE – Blogging: The percentages of people reading blogs online will (and has) sky rocket this year. The web is a wealth of information and people enjoy sharing knowledge online. Companies have now embraced blogging as a part of the new transparent online world. CEO’s and executives are getting involved in blogging and all kinds of social media. Blogging is a great support element to marketing efforts, providing value to your audience, building trust, and adding great content to your website (think SEO).
SIX – Video Marketing: Video content is now considered highly valuable and can improve website traffic and time on site immensely. Companies that not only include videos on their website but also use YouTube and social media platforms to host these videos increase their online visibility.
SEVEN – Social Media Marketing: Social media ties into everything we have been talking about. Social media marketing is another great way for companies to engage their audiences, provide valuable information, communicate, and create a viral buzz about their brand.
EIGHT – Mobile Marketing: It seems that everyone is carying an iPhone these days and over 40 million people access email via their phone according to Nielsen. Mobile marketing is in its infancy and it remains to be seen how consumers will react but it will certainly gain momentum in 2009.
NINE – Retargeting and Behavioral Targeting: We will see display advertising technology improving and being based more on user’s online behavior. Display ads can now be served dynamically based on what websites people visit and even what content they have on their social network profiles.
TEN – Integration of Offline and Online Marketing: Companies are now realizing the importance of incorporating their online marketing with offline marketing. The messaging must be consistent and all the same conversion rules apply. For example a print ad with a special offer should direct someone to an optimized landing page rather then just a phone number or home page URL.