The world of marketing has changed irreversibly since the Internet has become the main channel of communication with customers. Even if your business has the budget for TV ads, you still have to be an expert Internet marketer to compete with other businesses in your industry. The top 10 trends in marketing are all ways to accelerate your Web traffic, bring customers to your landing page and convert them to sales.
1. Inbound Marketing
If you’re not using inbound marketing, you’re missing out on the most important promotional tool in the industry. As opposed to outbound marketing, which uses older sales techniques to attract customers, inbound marketing attracts customers with information they’re already looking for on the Internet. Direct customers to your blog with targeted keywords, then present them with a call to action.
2. Website Analytics
As with inbound marketing, if you’re not using site analytics to refine the design and message of your website, you’re not staying competitive with other businesses in your industry. Google analytics offers free tools, and paid services like HubSpot and Unbounce offer more comprehensive packages.
3. Interactive Web Design
This topic is quite broad, and it applies to any design element that encourages site visitors to volunteer information about themselves. For example, a website could ask a user’s age and gender, then present him or her with targeted content based on those answers.
4. The Internet of Things
The IoT is one of the biggest marketing trends among suppliers of home appliances, car accessories and other personal electronics. If your company offers a network-enabled device, you can send customer usage data back to your website as your customers use the device. To develop your own IoT technology, you can take out a business loan from a bank, or if you don’t qualify for a loan, approach a service such as Advanced Funds Network, which lends capital to small businesses.
5. Customer Usage Data
Your business doesn’t need to produce a microwave or coffee maker to collect usage statistics; you can gather data as your customers use your website. There are many valuable pieces of information that aren’t offered with Google Analytics or HubSpot.
6. Responsive Web Design
Small businesses use this Web design tool to customize the user experience for each visitor. It’s a slightly different concept than adaptive Web design in that it typically costs less and isn’t quite as obvious to users.
7. Adaptive Web Design
If your company has the budget, invest in adaptive Web design to attract a broader audience and keep them on your site longer. This strategy essentially involves designing separate websites for all the various devices your customers might be using, from smartphones to big screen TVs.
8. UX Design
User experience design is another Web design concept that encourages customers to stay on your website longer. As with inbound marketing, if you’re not using UX design philosophy in your website, you’re missing opportunities every day.
9. Free Information
Giving away information to your customers is part of what inbound marketing is all about. For example, keep customers interested in your products by giving away e-books on the subjects they’re interested in.
10. Social Media
This strategy can be used with interactive websites as well as inbound marketing channels. Encouraging your customers to write about your business on Facebook, Twitter and blogs gives you free, natural backlinks that Google definitely appreciates.