You had a good 2011. Your online marketing campaign went off without a hitch; you made so many new customers and increased your traffic so quickly that you’re ready to rest on your laurels. You plan to spend a good chunk of time sitting back, taking in the beauty that was your company’s 2011. That’s great plan…if you plan to spend 2013 regretfully reviewing this year. While it’s wonderful to have a monumental marketing year and want to reflect upon it, the online world is very driven by momentum. The time you waste basking in the glory of past successes is the time your competitors are using to get ahead. Your 2012 online marketing strategy needs to be tight, cohesive, and ready for the changes this year will bring.
Here are 5 ways you can be ahead of the curve and continue your momentum into 2012:
1. Take advantage of new technologies.
Many advancements will be introduced this year. New social metrics will track advertisements, allowing you to see which ads are getting face time with your audience. Measuring social engagement will enable companies to start aligning the cost of their advertising with the amount of influence the ads will have. The more people you’ll touch online, the more you’ll be able to charge – just like a Super Bowl advertisement. Social eCommerce platforms will increase this year, allowing more web and mobile customers to conduct business online. As we move closer and closer to becoming a paperless society, finding different methods for people to utilize your products and services online is crucial. Expect to see an explosion of Facebook eCommerce sites throughout 2012. Google+ is going to take off this year. While it made its debut just last year, Google+ will be giving other social media outlets a run for their money. Because of the customizations Google+ offers its clients, expect to see this develop a bigger professional presence.
2. Develop great content.
Real and relevant content will be pushed to the forefront even further. Now that everyone’s connected virtually on a daily basis, people have higher expectations for your company’s output. Offer your customers regular, thought-provoking content. Not only will this build their trust in you, it will also help your SEO. Search engines latch on to sites that consistently produce a good amount of new material. Make it useful and interesting, and you’ll be rewarded for it.
3. Ditch the spam once and for all. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: people have hated your spam blasts for years. This year, search engines are finally going to give you a good incentive to dump your spam. Their algorithms have stiffer penalties built into them for spam content and other black-hat tactics. These ads may have gotten your name out, but not in the way you want. Help your SEO – and your reputation – and give these strategies a break.
4. Utilize local search tactics. Local search (Google Local, in particular) will become more important than ever before. Google will make local results a more significant factor in its algorithm. As a result of so many mobile users searching for local products and services, mobile and local searches will become intertwined. (This new marketing strategy is called “MoLo.”) Take advantage of this, especially if you’re running a small business.
5. Build rich media into your social media strategy. Greater importance will be placed on marketing with rich media, especially video. YouTube has rolled out new analytics features that will make these types of media more appealing to businesses. Videos, audio, and the like have always been a big draw for clients – we live in a society that craves instant gratification, and these provide that in spades. Get comfortable with producing media-rich content for your website and social media outlets. Your customers will spend more time on your content if you do. You deserve to have a 2012 as great as your 2011. Focus on doing the right things this year, and you’ll get better results while expending less effort. Take these 5 tips seriously as you develop your online marketing strategy, and your champagne toast next January 1st will be that much sweeter.