Lee Odden

3 Internet Marketing Trends You Don’t Want to Miss

Internet Marketing Tends

The web is flush with change and innovation. Gone are the days of linear information flow and incremental growth. Content flows in every direction through a variety of platforms, formats and devices.  The mass adoption of the social and mobile web have facilitated a revolution of information access, sharing and publishing at a scale never before experienced.

Access to information for discovery has traditionally been most associated with search. According to comScore, Google handles over 11 billion queries a month. But did you know, Twitter delivers over 350 billion tweets each day? Facebook is now over 800 million users and Google Plus has had a flood of new users as well, with estimates now approaching over 50 million. Social media is ripe for discovery as well as engagement.

In an effort to distinguish themselves, many pundits in the search marketing and social media industries have treated each channel independently. Of course that’s not the reality of user experience and information discovery.  Consumers and buyers move back and forth between social recommendations, search engines and social search on their journey to discover, consume and share information as well as to purchase.

Understanding the interplay between search, social media and content translates into opportunity for brands and marketers to engage an active internet marketing strategy that celebrates diversity of channels vs. silos – provided such efforts are customer focused.

The future of internet marketing brings the best of these disciplines together. To meet consumer needs, whether it’s B2B or B2C, it’s inevitable that PR will know SEO and Social Media Marketers with be versed in media relations.

Relevance, timeliness and sharability is the win with modern internet marketing. That means better content and better visibility in all the places customers might be looking or influenced by. It also means a better experience in brand / consumer interactions.

For example, searchers expect not only to find what they’re looking for on a search engine, but to interact with the results through commenting, rating, joining as well as buying. Purchase is just the start of social engagement with customers that extends across a lifecycle from prospect to evangelist. Adaptive internet marketing pays attention to those customer needs and creates a dynamic cycle of social and search interaction.

To that end, here are three areas in particular that I think internet marketers should pay attention to in the coming year:

Content Marketing Hub

Content Marketing: Creation & Curation –  Many brands have begun adopting a publisher model of marketing through content as evidenced by the growth of “content marketing” and “content curation”. This will only continue and get increasingly competitive for those that can afford to scale original content and media.  The sheer volume of content out there now is overwhelming (we now record and transfer 23 exabytes of data every 7 days). Social publishing platforms online and though mobile/tablet devices makes it incredibly easy to create and share.

However, original content creation is expensive to scale and challenging in the long term. Content curation will continue to grow as an efficient model for marketers to engage consumers as a source of signal amongst the noise.

Mobile Smartphone Tablet Marketing

Mobile and Tablet Explosion – It’s almost cliche to include Mobile in a prediction post because it’s been the “hot pick” for so many years. The days of reckoning for mobile are finally here. As of late 2010, more Americans own mobile devices than computers and Google’s timeline for growth of mobile match that of Google’s own search engine’s hockey stick growth.  The mobile web (including tablet devices) is becoming as viable a marketplace as the Internet we’ve known over the past 10 years. Search, social, local and apps all offer opportunities for customer acquisition and engagement on mobile devices.  Social networking is one of the top 3 uses of mobile phones and as apps and tablets proliferate the market, more time will be spent there and away from personal computers. Marketers must fish where the fish are.

Social Business

Social Business – When you add up the impact of the social web on overall business outcomes, it’s easy to see why companies like IBM and many others are adopting social business models. Beyond Marketing, social communications, technologies and engagement manifest and facilitate in every aspect of a business’s operations from Customer Service to Legal to HR. Companies that incorporate social media literacy and empowerment from within will empower their employees, partners and customers to act collectively on behalf of the brand.

With each of these areas of focus lies an important consideration for how brands will connect people with content and experiences that create awareness, confidence, relationships, sharing and conversions.  I’m a firm believer that search and social are inseparable as means of discovery that lead to valued business outcomes like sales. Pay attention to content, mobile and social business as you make internet marketing and business development plans for 2012 and beyond. Where do they fit within your go forward marketing strategy? Or are you already there?

 

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. I love the article… Do you think there will be a day when everything will be automated, such that searches, buying, and engaging will be something humans don’t spend time doing? One day we’ll come home and computers, iPhones, or Touch Pads will be in arguments and conflicts, while we’re off enjoying the day. Only a thought!

    Be Well,
    Bruce

  2. Charleen Larson says:

    Everyone loves mobile, it seems, every marketer that is.

    My frustrations with mobile are many and varied.  I’m tired of only being able to get the dumbed-down version of a site, which even my beloved Amazon is doing to me now.  I’m not sure why marketers think mobile users want less data than cubicle dwellers.  I don’t care if the interface doesn’t fit my iPhone screen precisely.

    • Charleen, I feel your pain and I think the same thing. Mobile detection should be able to identify a mobile devices vs. tablet vs. smart phone and yet still give you the option as to which version of the site to view.

  3. Love the ideas you presented here, especially on the part of Social Business.  Yes, adaptation may be slow among small businesses, but we’ll get there soon.  Now, someone told me that in today’s market, there’s no more B2B or B2C – it’s all P2P ( People to People ).  Do you agree?

    • It may all be P2P, but there are distinct differences in consumer product and business to business buying cycles. Anyone saying that a single, unified approach is all you need is outright misleading. 

      I’m optimistic about small businesses though. There are a lot of resources being developed right now to help make it easier for small companies to adapt and market online.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m staying optimistic as well… the fact that small businesses can give a more personalized customer service can be the best weapon we have to push for customer loyalty.  😉

  4. the overwhelming content part is a supreme understatement 

  5. Lee, 

    Nice, informative post…  I’m definitely with you on search and social being inseparable as means of discovery.

    I’m seeing examples of that right now in my businesses.  Putting out epic quality content that people benefit from will drive any business in the black if properly shared…  Your content hub provides a good blueprint on how to share it.

  6. Definitely there are many more strategies that need to be considered compared to last couple of year. Leveraging strategy is the key to success.

  7. Gladly,I didn’t miss these trends in marketing! Thanks!

  8. Great Article with insightful tips. Alarming to see the demand in search trending for “iPad publishing software” rose 150% in the past 12 months. Here is the details http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=content%20publisher%2CPublishing%20software&date=today%2012-m&cmpt=q 

  9. Great article….its really helpfull

  10. Good share Lee.
    I like the sports analogy of “going where the ball will be.” Marketers definetly have to get in front of the play, or miss the opportunity to score.

  11. Sheila Averbuch, ENNclick says:

    Lee, the Social Business para gets me *right here*. I’m going mad trying to get a big client to skill up internally on social; I tell them they can’t outsource that kind of comprehension. But I’m not getting far!

    Sheila Averbuch — ENNclick

    • Maybe you can break it down into parts? Brown bag meetings with diff departments? See who responds best and see if they’ll join an internal task force. Build up social literacy and examples of business outcomes. Sell social biz via those success stories.

  12. Agree with all 3, but my time and effort are made try to get every one of my clients to get into mobile marketing (incl. Tablets). I think that’s where the most growth will be in the coming years.

  13. Hey Lee – I work for a marketing firm here in Houston, Texas and am always trying to keep up-to-date with the goings-on in the industry. Your Social Business insights are great! Social media marketing has become increasingly more important to our clients and the industry as a whole. I think it is important to stress that social media should be seen as a part of an overall marketing plan. Social media gives us the opportunity to interact with our customers much more directly but we need to make sure that we are sending out a clear and unified message.Thanks for sharing! – Aly

  14. Strefa ADwords says:

    Social media bringing too many important unreadable
    information. Day have to have 48 hours.  

  15. Mobile is definitely hot and we are getting lots of requests for mobile sites now. The tablet website visitation appears to be growing faster, however. And it looks like those with tablets spend more time and usually follow the sales funnel to purchase more often than the mobile pda surfers. I think they go and preview with the mobile but it seems more purchase are made with the tablets versus the mobile phones.

  16. Great points about content curation Lee! Definitely a important way for marketers (especially those in small businesses with limited resources) to generate more quality content with less.

  17.  It’s great how you put this, but it’s really hard for most of us, social media is huge and social media marketing is not an easy task not when you don’t have the time and the money to invest in this strategy. However it’s better to start slow and see how it’s growing

  18. Agree with mobile – I definitely prefer to access social sites on my mobile than on pc

  19. Do you think that the mboile trend will continue? How does this effect businesses? I think businesses will start to embrace mobile technology, but will they ever only use mobile?

    • The mobile trend will definitely continue… I don’t think there is any chance of mobile devices going away at this point. People will always have some form of electronics with them to communicate with others and access the internet on the go.

      That being said, I think there will also always be a place (within the foreseeable future anyway) for a physical keyboard, large screen, speakers, etc. Granted, I think that eventually we will get to the point where your mobile device IS your computer and merely hooks up to those things.

      I think businesses will just have to adjust to this paradigm shift and start rethinking how people consume information.

  20. Like this article. I fully agree with the mobile marketing thing. You just have to jump on that train if you wanna grow in business these days…

  21. The hub marketing platform is a great model and for sure mobile/tablets are a major game changer in the way that content is delivered. 

    What is the best way to implement this plan that make the best use of ones time?

    • Technology changes but the path to effective implementation for any internet marketing effort starts with understanding customers. What are their pain points relative to your solution? Where, how and why do they seek advice and solutions? Create a plan that focuses on attracting and engaging customers in relevant ways and you have a model that works online, on the mobile web, with information delivered via laptops or tablets.

      Define customer profile and preferences
      Develop a content plan
      Implementation & promote
      Monitor, measure, refine

      That’s it.

  22. Stratagem Gauthier says:

    With the explosion of the mobile devices, it has opened a new stream of revenue from our current customers since they need to target those areas. We love the technology!

    We’ve mentioned to our customers to really step up and interact with their customers. The ones that have done this have seen good results.

  23. There may be a fourth as well… and that’s the workforce.  Cisco just released its study on students and young graduates and the numbers are startling… online is not just a primary medium, it’s the ONLY medium for young people.  As these people grow professionally and in the workforce, we’re going to see a lot more dependence on your online authority!

  24. revisoryorchid says:

    Great article, I am just starting in the Internet Marketing field and this was very informative to me. Especially the Mobile and Tablet area