It’s time to start preparing for 2017. What will internet marketing bring over the next year? Where should you be putting your money? Forbes.com describes marketing as a “field dominated by those with the foresight to plan ahead.” Understanding the current trends and the state of the industry is important if you want to prepare for the near future.
Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Review your customer personas – Like them or not, personas aren’t going away anytime soon. If you don’t already have one, it’s time to get started. A marketing persona is essentially a composite sketch of a key segment of your targeted audience. For marketing purposes, personas help you to deliver content that will be most useful and relevant to your audience. A post on Shopify gives a good tutorial on how to make them. Review every persona to make sure it’s up-to-date and ready to go for the new year.
Gather and evaluate conversion data – Which of your current marketing channels is bringing in the most conversions and money? If your PPC campaign hasn’t been effective lately, it may be time to either discontinue it or make some changes. If your content marketing efforts have been successful, continue with whatever it is you have been doing.
Continue focusing on mobile experience – If your development team has yet to learn coding for mobile UX, it’s time to invest in their training. The number of people who get their information on smartphones is continuing to grow every year. More people are making purchases over their mobile devices than ever before. Your internet marketing plan MUST include a focus on mobile website and app development in 2017.
Don’t forget that email campaigns are still crucial to internet marketing – In spite of the fact that email marketing is still considered a high ROI channel (if not THE highest) of all digital marketing tactics, many companies spend the least amount of money on it. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating email marketing.. As long as you do it correctly, it will be one of the most important investments you can make in the coming months. A recent post on Inc.com explains why email marketing “still works”.
Assess your SEO strategy – SEO is always important for internet marketing, even though it is constantly evolving. Both on-page and offpage optimization are different from what they were eight or nine years ago. Conduct tests to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Are you getting high rankings and conversions from a particular keyword? Are on-site factors contributing to your bounce rate? When planning your budget, decide if your current SEO strategy should be completely scrapped or if just a few minor adjustments need to be made.
Consider video marketing – Consumers like to watch videos, and the vast majority of internet users have fast Wi-Fi speeds and devices that can easily run videos. However, not just any video will do; consumers want to be informed, not blatantly advertised to. Make interesting videos that offer the viewer advice and information.If you are already using video marketing, work on making improvements. Video content is expected to play an important role in digital marketing in 2017.
Consider app development to help you build your brand – Most businesses – including small ones – have their own app now. This trend is going to still be around in 2017. Whether it’s a game, shopping widget, useful tool, etc…, it’s a good idea to learn to code and develop an app or two.
Sometimes the unexpected happens in the world of online marketing. A trend could pop up that none of us could have ever imagined. If you can afford to do so, make room in your budgeting and planning for those unexpected events.
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.