Today, the line between online and offline shopping is disappearing – fast. Consumers shop anytime, everywhere, and on any available devices.
It is no surprise that the internet marketing industry is becoming more and more competitive every day. Thus it is very important that we, as marketers, stay on top of the trends within the digital space. Below is a recap of Google’s Top Ten trends to follow within today’s digital space.
Be “Always On”
It is important that you are always on and always available for your online audience. Flighting your online marketing campaigns is not an effective strategy anymore. You cannot effectively decide to target your online consumer in January and not in February. Your consumer is online 24/7! If you are ever curious to see search trends/volume for a particular keyword, visit- www.google.com/trends
Be Ready Online for What’s Happening Offline
Offline news, events, and media drive what happens in the online world. Visit www.google.com/trends/hottrends to confirm. If you take August 2nd for example- the most popular keywords that day (a.k.a “hottrends”) were terms related to “bridge” and lyrics to songs. If you look back to what was going on in the “Offline World” that day, you will discover that it was the day the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis and the day that the show “The Singing Bee” launched — hence all of the words related to “bridge” and song lyrics. You can’t always prepare for what happens in the “Offline World”, so be ready Online for what happens Offline to as large a degree as possible. You never know when it can be related to your industry.
Don’t Build it & hope they come…Atomize & Distribute
Building out a great site and expecting people to come to it is not realistic anymore. You have to segment it out into the marketplace- “Atomize & Distribute”. Consumers are too busy to surf an entire site to find everything that would be useful for them. Make different parts of your site available. One way to do this is through Google’s Open Social. Open Social allows you to build applications that work across many websites.
Big Portals are Important, but so are Niche Sites
I think we all know and appreciate this fact, but engagement exceeds clutter- which then in turn presents opportunity. With many niche/vertical specific sights, there may not be a lot of eyeballs available, but your ad will most likely be one of the only ones seen. At this point there is not a lot of competition across the vertical engines so it is a great time to act on them.
Make Video the Centerpiece of your Online Strategy
Online video is becoming more widely accepted and utilized across the digital media space. YouTube is a great example of a portal for online videos. One of the most common misunderstandings is that the younger demographic is the only demographic that participates with online video. YouTube not just for teenagers anymore. 51 million unique visitors visit YouTube every month. Average age on YouTube is 33 and over half of their audience is married. YouTube is currently the 8th largest site in the world. If you have a lot of video at your disposal, I encourage you to put it somewhere. It doesn’t have to be YouTube, but somewhere. The Navy recently put all of their Video on YouTube so that it would be readily available and viewable for anyone who wants to see it. It is a great way to expand your target reach and get people involved with your product enough to share it with others.
RSS-feeds provide both choice and control
Allow users to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that’s easier than checking them manually. It gives your target audience the opportunity to choose you. Utilize RSS feeds!
Tap into the Wisdom of Crowds to Drive Innovation & Creativity
Give your consumers a way to provide their feedback. It is their feedback that will be most beneficial for you in the long run. For example, Fiat gave consumers the chance to design a car on http://www.designboom.com/ and vote on the best design. Fiat then created that car and is now selling it in Europe. It was an easy way to listen to what the consumer wanted.
Implement what the consumer wants. and dramatically increase sales as a result. Dell is now doing something similar with Idea Storm. Mastercard is doing this with their “Enthusiastic community” which allows consumers to submit their “priceless” stories for the chance to become a commercial, etc.
Be where your consumers are at the moment of relevance
Straight forward demographic targeting does not work anymore. As mentioned before, offline drives online. You have to reach your consumer at the moment of relevancy.
Keep your eye on how computer architecture is changing
There is an ongoing durability and share-ability issue with computers today. For example, if I were to create a 2008 marketing budget in Excel and sent it to a co-worker in Nashville- they might not know what version to open it with, etc. However, if you could put a file, photo, etc in a “cloud” (per say) for others to “grab” when they wanted it, that would solve a lot of issues. It is important to keep your eye on how computer architecture is changing- even if you are not tech savvy or a developer. For example, there is buzz about a new “Cool Christmas idea” that relates to how technology is changing. It’s a new GPS digital camera that pinpoints the exact coordinates of where the picture is taken. This will allow you to always know exactly where you were when the picture was taken. Pretty cool!
Data Beats Opinion
As marketers we get so caught up in our opinions and our “knowledge”, that we often forget how powerful data is. You can predict the behavior of your target audience through mathematical methods. It is very important to keep you mathematicians available as a resource to plan a marketing campaign. Google referenced the article, “Knowing What to Sell, When, & to Whom” by Harvard Business Review.
As marketers, we can all be overwhelmed and consumed with our day-to-day work load. Yet, it is important to remember to stay on top of the media trends within the digital industry. Take some time to learn what is out there!