Silly me. No, what it really means for small business owners is you should be strategizing your marketing plan for next year. If the Mayans have their way, we won’t have to worry about next year, but I’m gonna just state for the record that I’m sure we’ll be seeing January 1st with eyes wide open and global warming in full swing.
So, here are some online marketing predictions for next year. Grab a hold of your crystal ball……
1. You’ll see many more businesses doing real time communicating with their target audiences in order to convert sales. That means more social media via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. This probably means more apps from Facebook. This probably also means more changes from Facebook. Again.
2. Inbound marketing will no longer be the job of a certain department, but a company wide experience. Yes, you. The one behind the cash register? You will engage web visitors by posting stuff on your company’s fan page or sending stuff out via Twitter. The trick here is how to maintain consistency with your message. My prediction is smaller businesses will have better luck at this than larger businesses will, since larger businesses don’t trust the bottom feeders to spread the word about how great the company is when they are sweeping up the floors and mumbling under their breath how much their job sucks.
3. Marketing departments will become more accountable for revenue in 2013. This makes sense considering they are the ones who are responsible for that social media stuff and customer engagement. However, since there really is not a hard line as to how ROI for social media engagement is measured (at least not quite yet), it may be a very grey area for accountability. The sales team still needs to close the deal.
4. Social media and content impact SEO more than ever. Even though on page SEO will still matter, I see off page SEO like social media that will bring search engine optimization to a business one of the most important online marketing strategies for 2013.
5. Online Marketing talks like a human being. This is new. You mean, no more spin words hearing the same ‘ol stuff from every single customer service department you’ve ever dealt with in your life???? I guess since consumers are wary of businesses in general, they want a more personable approach. They want a relationship. Not, “Give me a ring and let’s get married” relationship, but a solid connection.
6. Email will live on. Eblasts will continue to be a huge part of online marketing strategies for businesses. The importance to opt-in will take a front seat with some interesting ways to get you to sign up. I’m sure there will be some freebies in there somewhere, and it better be PG rated!
7. Again, content is king. Creating engaging, insightful, informative content will always be a top priority with any type of inbound marketing opportunity. Learn how to write creatively, or hire someone to do it for you.
8. Let’s play! Marketing starts to get more creative with interacting with visitors. Playing games to get a discount, or opening up a credit card for rewards will provide a fun way to make your brand more interesting and memorable.
9. Pinterest will show prominence. Let’s face it: Humans are visual people. We like to see stuff we buy. We like to see stuff that is cool. It’s different. It’s unique. It’s your opportunity to sell in a visual way.
10. Bye-Bye outbound marketing. With a less than 2% response rate from those postcards you send out, inbound marketing can produce almost 5 times more. You’ll see businesses spend less on outbound marketing and focus more on inbound marketing in 2013.