I would argue that most people are born with what seems to be a certain sixth sense. You know when you get a bad feeling and you just know something is going to happen but you just cant put your finger on it. The hairs start to stand on the back of your neck and you feel like there is someone watching you as you stop to assess the situation around you. I think this is what is happening in the digital marketing space. It feels like after being rocked by updates throughout the year, marketers across the globe are stopping occasionally to listen for the proverbial stalker in the woods. Our spider senses are tingling and we all can feel it but we just don’t know exactly what is coming in 2014. So that is what I am going to cover in this blog- The few things that I feel are coming.
Given the topic, I feel that you should know up front these are just some of the things we can expect in digital marketing moving from this moment on. I have been wrong many times before and in no way say this is exactly where the industry is moving. But, maybe this can start a healthy conversation that will lead to change in the form of preparations. That being said lets get this rumor-mill speculation-fest going!
Get your sites moving and mobile
Get it? I did a play on word for the title. Because mobile is just another… never mind. This may seem obvious with Google even dropping hints week after week about mobility but I want you the reader to ask yourself “Have I prepared my site to go mobile?” Chances are you might be lacking in this department. I know I could do better with this but it is so easy to just be reactive instead of proactive. I just feel that this will play a bigger roll as time goes on seeing as mobile shopping has caught up with shopping on a desktop.
Accept that Google+ is here to stay
Yeah, yeah. None of us want to accept it but the truth of the matter is that it would be wise for you to spend a little less time on Facebook and a little more time on Google’s social network. We have already seen that it has more to do with ranking and backlinks than ever and I don’t think this is going to take a step back at all. I too am an offender of this but the undeniable truth is that Google is not going to let this go the way of MySpace. Get your companies Google+ accounts up to date with current info, address, Google Maps location, authorization or whatever else you can add. There is plenty that you can do right now to your companies Google+ page to get ahead of the competition which you will not regret in the ling run as Google plays favorites.
Get creatively social
As far as social post scheduling sites and tools go, I would suggest that you stop relying on them so much. We have already been warned of Google’s distaste for these sites and I sense a disturbance in the social force. I believe that there are powers at work this very moment, waiting to be released on all those who rely on these post scheduling programs. This is a very speculative claim but I feel it in my bones. It would make sense that Google would encourage site admins to be active in social interactions because these are the hardest to fake. “Encourage” admins to not use these scheduled posts and tweets in the social space and suddenly you have more person-to-person interaction (just with two screens between them). The good news about this one is that there are many different ways for someone to really reach their audience like live hangouts, live chats, video streams, and good ole’ active responses to comments, tweets, questions, and everything in between.
Make it personal
Right now many companies have taken to the online space but it kinda feels like they are sending out massive blasts of information. And a message designed to reach out to an individual can have a profound impact on that customer’s relationship with that company for a lifetime. One of my marketing idols, Gary Vaynerchuk, says that the future of marketing is turning back from corporate level announcements and advertising, to adopting a ma-and-pa shop attitude. With social outlets you can reach out to your customers in a personal fashion faster and easier than before. Best of all, these customers whom you reach on a personal level by thanking them by name or replying to a question, will remember that experience when a buying decision is to be made for years to come.
In the end, be flexible
When it comes down to it we all just need to be a bit more flexible. Things will change as they always have and we will recover… or retreat back into another slower paced career. Either way you will survive! You site might not but you will and that is what matters right? If you have an idea of what changes are to come in the next few months let me know in the comments. I would love to hear what you are holding your breath for.
By Adam Figgat