Sometimes it seems that in the world of internet marketing, trends are coming and going so quickly that it’s difficult to determine which ones are here to stay and which ones are merely fads.  Some internet marketing trends are indeed forgettable; remember in the early days of the web how many people added soundtracks to their websites as if they were creating the next major motion picture? Today, we know that most people prefer fast loading, low bandwidth sites that are also accessible on mobile devices.

To help you sort useful internet marketing trends from the hype, we’ve compiled this list of our top three emerging trends of 2013, and included tips on how to take advantage of them for your small to mid-sized business marketing. Of course this list isn’t a comprehensive “to do” list of internet marketing, but it does point to areas of growth for most small and medium sized businesses.

Can you customers – and your business – benefit from any of these?

Trend #1: Social Media Is Here to Stay!

Remember when folks used to roll their eyes and sigh sarcastically when you mentioned you wanted to set up a Facebook page for your business? Or how people used to ask what a “tweet” is? Well, those days are gone. Social media marketing is here to stay. Today, customers turn to your Facebook page for real-time updates just as they turn to your website for information about products and services.  It’s no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must have.

Social media marketing has also become more sophisticated. Digital marketers are increasingly turning to statistics related to engagement, or how frequently people interact with social media posts by commenting, like or sharing them, to determine how well an internet marketing campaign is performing. Social media scores are also thought to add to a website’s overall quality score for search engine optimization.

Small and medium-sized businesses would do well to consider adding a professional social media marketing strategy and plan to their internet marketing program. Monitoring statistics and data from your social media channels, updating them regularly, and engaging with your customers online are also important ways to add value to your social media marketing efforts.

Trend #2: The Growth of Mobile Internet Marketing

Chief Marketing Officer’s 2013 Trend Report cites mobile marketing as critically important for most businesses. If you’re not investing in mobile marketing or paying attention to your website’s mobile marketing presence, you could be missing valuable business opportunities. Sites must not be optimized not just for desktop computers but for iPhones, iPads and a bevy of mobile devices.

This is where it pays to hire a professional. Optimizing a website for mobile devices isn’t always easy, especially if you have an older site that needs to be retrofitted. Having a team of seasoned pros to work on your site can take the worry and hassle off of your shoulders and get better results than try to do it alone.

With mobile devices accessing the web at twice the rate in 2013 as in 2012, mobile websites and mobile internet marketing is one trend that’s here to stay.

Trend #3: Data-Based Marketing

Data-based marketing is a third trend that is here to stay, and we say “Thank goodness!”  Instead of guessing at what your customers want and need or how they are searching for your brand and products online, data-based marketing helps you make smart decisions based on facts.  Data comes from multiple sources: website data, email marketing programs, content marketing and many other sources. Analyzing all of these reports takes time, but the conclusions you can draw from consistently reviewing data from your marketing campaigns yields important clues for future its future direction. When you have data demonstrating what is working well and what isn’t working, you can put more time and marketing dollars into campaigns and channels that bring in the most business. Data based marketing is here to stay, and its value cannot be underestimated.

Time to Take Action

Call Dashboard Internet Marketing for advice, strategies and assistance enacting these or any other digital and traditional marketing campaigns. We have over 100 years of combined experience working with small to medium sized businesses and can help you reach new customers and develop long-term relationships with your current customers through smart internet marketing choices.  Call 800-807-1852 for a consultation today.

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