At the end of the year I spend some time not only looking backward, but also looking forward. Truth be told, I never stop looking forward, watching for trends and trying to keep up with the business of internet marketing.
We saw a lot of changes during 2012… Facebook changed the Profile format to the timeline back on February 29th. A few shorts months later, Facebook changes the Pages format to the timeline, and then changed the form and function of Groups.
Pinterest started gaining popularity early in the year, and by the end of the year was ranked as the 3rd most visited social networking on the internet.
Google Places pages have been entirely replaced by new Google+ Local pages. Essentially, Google Places is now integrated with Google+ Pages.
All three of the above changes has changed the look of social media. These days there are images everywhere; pictures, graphics, infographics and videos. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are all about pictures.
Let’s talk about 2013 Internet Marketing Trends…
The need for Internet Marketing skills is going to increase.
Either small business owners are going to have to learn internet marketing skills, or they are going to have to hire people to do it for them. By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web.
These days, Internet Marketing is the best and most cost-effective way to create brand awareness and generate leads for companies. An important advantage of integrating an internet marketing program is that small and medium sized companies can compete with large companies on a level playing field.
Content Marketing is still king.
Content was king 15 years ago and it is still king today. Internet Users are looking for unique, high quality information. Written content needs to be well written and web-friendly. Content is the best way to build relationships with your target market. And an original website is absolutely essential for a small business to achieve top results in an online search.
The world is going mobile.
It is predicted that by 2014, more people will be accessing the internet on a mobile device than a PC, and currently smartphones represent more than 50% of new mobile devices being purchased. In fact 88% of adults in the US have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-reader, and 19% have a tablet.
These days, people are doing everything on their smart phones, accessing email, interacting with their social networks, playing games, and using their mobile devices to shop online.
Local Search is expanding.
Local Search is common place on a phone due to maps, GPS, and Voice recognition, etc. Now instead of phone books (and even pc’s), people use their phones to find the closest Starbucks, to get directions… sometimes even to do price checks.
During the last year Google has shifted towards providing locally relevant search results, based on location. For this reason, enhanced data is of more value; additional business categories, descriptions, website links, images and even videos.
Social Media is evolving.
Social Networking is no longer just a marketing function, it is now a business function. The fact that 91% of online adults use social media regularly and 20% of Facebook users have purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there has forced companies to change the way they reach out to clients and prospects.
Image sharing and marketing came of age in 2012. Social media is much more colorful with pictures, video, and graphics. Instagram and Pinterest gained a lot of ground during 2012… watch for copycats in 2013.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! As an Internet Marketing Coach I am encouraging all of my clients to decide on an internet marketing strategy and implement it into their business plan. An easy way to get started on a internet marketing plan would be to write down 12 activities and implement 1 new activity each month.