It’s December folks and you know what that means.
Time for 2013 predictions.
We asked some real “in the trenches” online marketers where they see Internet marketing heading in 2013 – here is what they had to say!
Ruth Zive of MarketingWise, Inc.
It’s all about flipping that sales funnel – letting your stakeholders herald your message to their constituents and leveraging the powers of social media to that end.
2013 is the year of the individual influence, not just domain authority in search engines. And the targeting of audiences, not keywords. It’s also, finally, the TRUE year of mobile. We will finally see brands allocating budget to responsive design to accommodate visits from all device types.
I see more aggressive Internet marketers going for the quick sale using highly targeted traffic that they pay for. With the recent changes with Google it is going to be harder to “game” the system so they will try paid for alternatives to get the traffic they need to make their money. Traditional Internet marketers will try and leverage Social Media, Email, and especially Mobile markets heavily though.
I see brands consolidating their different outposts on social media through their own sites (bringing Pinterest into their sites, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) to build their home base or hub. I also see production values going way up, when it comes to web design, video production, and delivery of all kinds of content.
Internet Marketing in 2013 will reach beyond the desktop, will be focusing on more on mobile, tablets and other portable devices. And social will be even more engaging. Internet marketing will be all about customer centric content and customer reviews. People will be trusting reviews and social content more than company produced web content.
As businesses and marketers become better technically, the focus on analytics and ROI will continue to grow. Such a development will increase the demand for optimization skills, whether it is at the campaign level or at the landing page level. Inbound marketing strategies that focus on value creation will become the primary marketing strategy for many businesses, even for those with a huge marketing budget.
I think a growing focus in 2013 will be author authority/author rank. With Content Marketing playing a huge role in 2012, author rank is key for search engines and the end user to figure out what content rises above the rest. Utilizing a strategy that focuses on building your own author rank or your brand author rank will help tremendously to be a big player in this space.
I see 2013 as the year internet marketers stopped relying on Google and started to bring all the marketing tools together to create a better and consistent experience for their readers. 2013 will be the time to stop talking and start focusing on the clients and the value brought to them.
In 2013 websites should work harder on being a great resource for their visitors/clients. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your site other than just to buy goods or services. Of course, this involves new, helpful, entertaining content that is regularly added to your site. Haven’t quite got the hang of being a publisher during 2012? Well you need to realize you are one and work on getting good at it in the coming year.
Justin McGill of SEOrchers
I think location and mobile are going to continue to play huge roles. Now more than ever, your location is being accounted for in natural search results for just about every phrase out there. My agency has seen HUGE improvements because of this as we get plenty of traffic now for things like “SEO Services” when people from Phoenix and Scottsdale are searching. On the left hand side, change your location and see how the search results are affected. I find it fun, but maybe that’s just because I’m an SEO kind of guy.
Mobile will have an increasing important role in 2013. A new breed of SEO strategies has already started to emerge and I can see this continuing to develop and evolve over the new year.
Marketers will leverage the social graph to produce much more targeted offers.
I believe that Internet marketers will have to create REAL communities first, before coming out with their products. We are going back to the old days! Forget B2B and even B2C, our social landscape has turned us all onto the joys of P2P. Building a personal brand has never been more important than it is nowadays. And this new rule of thumb is certainly true for people that sell to other people, that they’ve likely never met, such as Internet marketers.
Internet marketing will go mobile and visual. Besides text marketers will need to learn photo editing skills, and platforms will appear to manage the many channels – apps, industry specific social networks – customers are using.
I see more localization lead by independent retailers and sellers in 2013. People will be selling more of their own products and services locally powered by SaaS services like Zaarly.
I see social media as the driving force for all types of marketing. Scaling to mobile is a vital transition, along with understanding the culture demands a higher level of reaching back to potential clients, and regular engagement.
Gwen Morrison of Endurance Marketing
I think (smart) companies will start seeing social media as part of their integrated marketing — rather than standing alone. More and more people will be viewing Facebook pages via mobile. And I think consumers will expect even faster response time from businesses. Content marketing will (finally) catch on with business owners — as they see the SEO value and expectations their target market has for quality content.
Missy Diaz of G34 Media
I see Internet marketing evolving (yet again) into a microcosm of content marketing and social evangelism. The two now are intertwined and this will come to the forefront in 2013 like never before.
Authorship will increasingly become more important to search engines more so than just the WEBSITE, while Google continues to “hit” spammy type websites from rankings. Thus the importance of Google+, and social media. Not what site is writing it but who is writing it, why, where and when?
Regina Woodard of Assisted Transition
Internet marketing will continue to grow in 2013. Businesses will start to really come around with the fact that more and more of their customers are going online and that if they aren’t there, they’re losing people.
I think – and hope – that 2013 will be the final wakeup call that you can’t successfully run a business without an Internet presence and without using it effectively.
I think, and hope, we will see clients start demanding more transparency. In Denmark, the majority of internet marketing clients do not know what they pay for. They do not require numbers, they do not require to see exactly what they’re paying for – and they get black hat SEO and no improving sales as a result of this.
More focus on transparancy and on honest marketers. Currently, internet marketing is quite a shady business. I hope that’ll change during 2013.
Dhruv Bhagat of Grove Times
Personally I can’t wait to see what the future of search marketing has in store for us all. If you are a web marketer that takes a strong branding and business building approach to your online marketing I think you will flourish even more so. If you sit around brainstorming how to manipulate the search results I don’t think you will be around for very long.
After the Penguin hit and the EMD update, Internet marketers have started to clearly see that they will lose the “arm wrestling match” with Google if they attempt to shadily manipulate algorithms in order to rank. Of course SEO will always be around but the gray and black hat techniques won’t be as appealing to most internet marketers anymore.
The focus will be much stronger on relationship building through social media, email marketing, building a community and providing high value content to a loyal audience.
Ranking will be a consequence of a strategic marketing plan instead of a main target.
I see two major booms: trust dynamics (I.e. authenticity and transparency) and value first promotions (content marketing/SEO, sweepstakes, contests). These paradigm shifts are already in play, so we’re seeing a growing chasm between busy workers/mass marketers and those that focus on connections and being human.
Just look at all the social metric platforms out there. More and more are beginning to move away from old measures of influence and importance towards metrics that revolve around how transparent, engaging, and even compassionate we really are.
I’d say by 2016 or so, we’re going to see big business scratching their heads, wondering why social media isn’t “working” for them. Then we’re going to see a new dot com/startup boom like we saw back in the mid-to-late nineties, except the economy will focus more on sharing and trust.
I’ll go against the grain and say that we won’t see HUGE developments in visual and mobile. The technology isn’t there yet. Once we see improvements on the backbone and bottlenecks of it all, we’ll see some really crazy stuff, I’m sure.
Of course, we’re already seeing big strides in mobile and visual alike.. But I suspect 2013 will be a more of the same with some slight-edge startups one-upping more established, stale platforms.
A few folks here hit the nail right on the head: mobile is more the catalyst than the focus. Business, especially online, is becoming more and more about creating connected cultures. Whether you build tribes, communities, or networks, it is absolutely necessary to speak the language and use the tools your audience receives best (and most consistently).
What folks forget about mobile is that it’s not merely about visuals and style, it’s about access (which goes back to connectivity). It’s also about the experience. I’ve seen some really savvy developers create new experiences for mobile platforms. These things focus more on complimenting their core experience, rather than replacing it. I’d say that’s the smartest approach.
I will reiterate how crucial trust dynamics will be in 2013 and onward. Mobile, visual aids, social media.. All these things reinforce trust by giving audiences access, facilitating equivalent exchange, and “baking a bigger pie”.
We’re seeing many auction, contests, and sweepstakes sites popping up now. I reckon this trend will continue because now consumerism has become a more social event. Apps like GetGlue and Pinterest have made this fact very clear, too. Savvy consumers want to share their preferences and recommendations, directly and indirectly. It’s a great way to connect with new people and re-connect with old friends.
In short, connectivity (tighter integration, access, true social) and trust dynamics (value up-front, content marketing, lead nurturing, etc.).. That’s what I see in 2013 or, at least, that is what I hope for!
Guy Kawasaki’s theories in Enchantment will become especially pervasive. So, are you a baker or an eater?
To succeed in Internet Marketing in the future, marketers will need to learn how to focus on the warm and fuzzies of relationship building. With more focus on quality content combined with social media, it will be very hard to “game” the system the way shady marketers have done in the past.
Mobile mobile mobile! Marketers will have to focus on making content available on a variety of devices and take full advantage of what tablets and phones have to offer. That means mobile apps and responsive web design at the very least. If your site doesn’t look good on an iPad AND Android device, you’re leaving money on the table.
More mobile. Also more visual, meaning an emphasis on video and photos.
SEO will continue to evolve into something closer to what Google have been preaching for the last… how many years now? Old school algorithm chasing will be less effective. Google will get smarter at correctly identifying great content that engages. SEO will be more people focused – blatant manipulation of rankings less and less effective. Internet marketing will require all new levels of creativity.
The end of micro sites and the necessity to build huge authority sites.
I think that internet marketing will continue to become more holistic, the silos of SEO, social, CRO, content, etc. will continue to break down as the ROI on fragmented or standalone strategies continue to decline.
2013 may just be the year for Google Plus too.
Also I’ve heard some folks are using mobile phones and these tablet things for surfing the internet! Maybe that will catch on.
Content marketing is the future of internet marketing. As consumers continue to ignore ads and engage with content, the essential elements of content marketing become a necessary part of the internet marketing mix. Blogging, Guest blogging, infographics, research, social media, product reviews etc.
I think that while lots of people are writing about how everything has to be different in terms of performing quality online marketing for ourselves and customers, there are still a lot of consultants, companies, and agencies who are using outdated tactics when it comes to SEO, social media, and content. In 2013, I think these outdated tactics that are targeted by Google Penguin, Panda, and future algorithmic updates will finally become extinct along with those who refuse to start following the new rules of online marketing.
What are your thoughts on the direction of Internet marketing in 2013? Please share in the comments!