If you’ve been up to speed with online marketing trends in 2012, you will know that it’s been a year centered on Google updates, mobile news and major brands. As the New Year was ushered in, trends that should leave a mark are just coming up.
Here are a few that are all set to make a huge impact.
Businesses need to realize that the future lies in that sleek device that people hardly part with nowadays. Reaching out to customers via their smartphones will become an integral part of online marketing.
In 2012, we saw how brands were looking at optimizing their sites so that users can have the same experience while browsing from their mobile phones. Now the onus is on creating nifty apps that customers can download in order to stay updated with that company’s products and services.
Nearly 75% of the world has access to mobile devices. Businesses need to create interactive apps that are fun to use and give the users all the information they need.
The rise of gamification
A number of brands are applying game-design ideas to products and services that have a non-game nature. This is a trend that has been going strong for quite some time, but experts view 2013 as its peak year.
For example, Nike+ is a brilliant example of how the sports brand has gamified its offering. Nike+ allows you to track your running and even compare it with your friends.
Mint.com’s Financial Fitness is another instance where the website allows you to check how “fit” you are, financially speaking.
Overall, brands and startups will be looking at gamification with a lot of interest this year.
The importance of inbound marketing
Paid online marketing is passé. Brands, in 2013, will be looking at creating unique content, resources and conversations that will attract customers to their products and services. This inbound marketing is all set to take off as brands realize the importance of organic results.
Make sure you keep aside funds for stylish web design, never-seen-before content and other unique aspects.
Treehouse, an online school (startup) that teaches students how to design and code apps and sites, uses inbound marketing to spread word about its courses. They mainly use YouTube videos and social media to attract students. This has helped them pull in a large number of people.
Any experienced online marketer will tell you that it’s easier to retain a customer than attract a new one. In the past, emphasis on keeping present customers satisfied came later in the marketing process. Nowadays, brands are checking up on their customer base in order to build loyalty towards their products and services.
It’s all about design
What is common about websites like Apple, Nike, Desk.com, Pinterest, etc.? All of them are stunningly designed, to say the least. That’s what makes them sell. Take a leaf out of their books and spend additional time and funds on the design of your site or app.
New design techniques are also catching on quickly. Check out the Volkswagen Beetle site. You will find that the background images move slower than the images in the front, while scrolling. This makes the screen look deeper. This technique is known as parallax design, and is hot property. Consider using it if you’re redesigning your site.
This is just the tip of iceberg when it comes to Internet marketing trends. Re-marketing emails and attribution measurements are also picking up pace. If you want to stay ahead in the race, then you need to incorporate these changes before long. This will give you a slight edge over rising competition.