One of the greatest things about online marketing is that there is always something new to learn. Of course, learning never comes without effort. That means anything you can do to shorten the curve, is great for your business.
And so, with that in mind, here are seven things we think a lot of companies learned about the art of online marketing in 2013:
The old ideas just aren’t working anymore.
A lot of the “proven” online marketing strategies that worked for the past decade are being disproven at an alarming rate. That’s because the web has gotten big enough, and the public has gotten savvy enough, for searchers and customers to get more specific about what they’re looking for when seeking out vendors and information.
The lines between online marketing and public relations are disappearing. Fast.
Online marketing used to be about keywords and domain names, while public relations had to do with your reputation and image. Today, the old search optimization formulas don’t matter as much, and everything you do online is out there for the public to see.
Web design is getting better and faster at the same time.
Digital agencies like ours are starting to skip custom web design and embrace template-based business websites based on Content Management Systems (CMS). With templates being a lot better and more versatile than they were in the past, why wouldn’t we make a move to save time and money for our clients?
Google and the other search engines are dramatically changing their approach.
As we’ve already pointed out, having a site with lots of keywords and a handful of inbound links isn’t enough to get it done anymore. Google and the other search engines want to see fresh content, strong social profiles, and credible authors if you’re going to rank highly.
Your social followers have to do more than just ‘like’ you.
Having a lot of followers doesn’t mean much if you can’t convert them into leads. In other words, scoring social media by the raw numbers is out, but measuring social engagement is in. That’s good, because it speaks to ROI from engagement, rather than arbitrary simply counting heads.
Branding means different things than it used to.
Business leaders used to think of brands as being visual identities and slogans. Now, in the digital age, credibility, trust, and online reputations have to factor into the mix, as well. Strong online marketing and good branding have become synonymous, and a good strategy for one leads naturally into another.
Digital agencies are quickly separating themselves into two distinctly different groups.
While many are clinging to the old ideas that made them and their clients successful (or at least moderately successful) in the past, others are breaking off and taking a more “organic” approach to everything from search engine marketing to inbound lead generation. Just be sure you aren’t sinking your budget into tactics and strategies that won’t likely work going forward.
Want to make 2014 a better year for your company and website? Then one of the first steps is to learn from the year that has passed and avoid making the same kinds of mistakes that were made before, or holding onto ideas that aren’t relevant any longer.
Of course, the right online marketing partner can help you do just that. Reach out to our team via our contact page, or use the Disqus chat tool below (we’re looking forward to connecting).