10 Online Marketing Trends for 2013

2013 online trendsHere’s a list of online marketing trends I put together for a panel discussion on 2013 Social Media Trends.

My co-panelists, Stephanie Schwab and Ellen Gerstein, will no doubt have other insights  – and I can’t wait to hear them.

For now, this is the world as I see it:

1.  No more social media silos!   Businesses must finally adopt a HOLISTIC marketing approach.

Every marketing strategy needs a social component, and every employee needs to understand and think socially … as part of a much larger picture.

 2.  SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing:  The Three Pillars of Online Marketing!  When it comes to building a web presence, there is really no such thing as separate strategies.

If you want your business to be found online, pay attention to the twin levers of social and content.  Better SERPs demand it.

3.  Big data:  #SM Science finally trumps unicorns & kittens!  Marketing Analytics, Google Analytics …  it doesn’t matter which Analytics you use, as long as you’re using the data you have to gain insight.

As they say, in God we trust, all others bring data!

 4. Content Marketing:  your most important investment!? 

Either start writing, or hire a writer!  (of course, content can be more than just the written variety.).  One B2B marketer recently said that his whitepapers act like “catnip”!  MEOW:)

Prediction:  invest in creating fresh content now, and you’ll come out ahead of your competitors at the end of this year.

5. Importance of engaging visual images.  Photo sharing sites like Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest are all growing like crazy.

Images are the single best way to get social engagement, on almost every platform. Invest in more visual content, to boost engagement with your prospects online.

6.  Tell engaging stories about your brand.  The more human you can make your brand, the more trust you can build.  Maybe 2013 will be the year of the brand story (my friend Alan Berkson wrote about this).   Have a personality!

7.   Leverage peer recommendations and online reviews!  Online reviews influence people… so think of ways you can get more of ‘em.

I like when brands use a “Surprise and Delight strategy — and do something so unexpected and extraordinary for the customer, it creates positive online word of mouth and buzz in social communities.  Be creative, get noticed, create conversation.

(After all, the tweet that resulted in a steak dinner delivered to the airport for Peter Shankman bought goodwill and attention way beyond the cost of that steak)!

8.  Traditional “push” marketing websites (and traditional static websites) — aren’t working any more.

Today, it’s all about attracting customers to your marketing funnel (er … I mean website).  Beyond attracting the right visitors, your website has to educate and engage, and move people thru your funnel to CONVERT.

Mark O’Brien, a web designer I follow, recently wrote:  “Because of how websites operate today — as the hub of a much larger and more complex marketing and sales ecosystem … no new site built this year will a worthy investment as long as it is considered a stand-alone expense“.

In other words,  Inbound Marketing is the new Black!

9.  Become mobile friendly, or you’re toast!  Invest in responsive design to support mobile visitors. Use mobile tactics to engage customers.

10.  Email and Face to Face networking is NOT dead!   Businesses need to get out there and use all this “social marketing” to expand personal relationships,  build an email database, etc.  No matter what year it is, that doesn’t change!

One last thought: my friend Carole Mahoney coined the term  “SMARKETING” …. since the point of everything we do is to drive sales.

So, quick reality check:  if Sales and Marketing  aren’t BOTH happy,  then something isn’t quite right with your marketing:)

Hope your 2013 is off to a great start, and Happy Smarketing!

Make my day … leave a comment! And, stop by and say hi on my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, stupid cat photos, and more. Thanks!

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in blogging, content marketing, digital media trends, inbound marketing, marketing, social media, Social Media Best Practices, social media strategy, social media trends, website effectiveness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 10 Online Marketing Trends for 2013

  1. anthonybaisi says:

    Nice job, I also did an emerging trend blog post. I was wondering what you thought about the growing presence and capability of analytic programs? I recently started a internship with a online marketing company and the more I research the industry the more I feel like it’s going to be huge this year.

    Anthony Baisi is a consultant at MyViralWeb and a blogger at WordPress. Follow him on Twitter or hook up with him on Linkedin.

    • Anthony, I think you are right … and what would really be huge is if someone made analytics simpler for SMB’s at a cost they could afford. Hope to see that one of these days!

  2. Timely suggestions in your post. As I read through it I can definitely
    pick up on the “marathon” approach. If a runner starts out as rapidly as he has the ability to run, they soon can’t maintain the pace. Fortunately, when you develop a strategy and maintain an easy speed, you can keep on running. One way that bloggers can develop a “rhythm” for putting together high level content is to simply set aside time to be influenced by other blog posters. Using this idea makes it a lot less difficult to start writing instead of forcing ideas to break through your writer’s block.
    What are your thoughts about this method? And before I
    go, thanks so much for the coffee break! :-)

    • Hey, thanks for reading and stopping by. I am always inspired by other bloggers, and I totally think this is a great place to get ideas for content. In fact, I often leave a comment on some of my favorite blogs, and you just gave me a good idea: with a little more effort, its a blog post:)

      What are your fave. blogs that get you going? Do you let them know they inspired your post? I think that attribution in your post and letting them know on social networks is a nice relationship starter, too. Win-win!

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