Top 5 online marketing opportunities for 2013

Online marketing expenditure in Australia has seen a steady increase over the past 5 years.   Next year, for the first time ever, the amount of money spent on online advertising in Australia is expected to overtake that spent advertising on either newspapers or free-to-air television.

Online marketing is not reinventing the way we market to people.  The same principles of marketing apply.  It’s just that now we have the ability to ensure we are marketing to people, wherever they are, in the places they spend the most time, when they are making purchase buying decisions, and have the ability to track and measure these results.   Diversification of your strategy is important to gaining maximum reach and distribution of your brand and marketing message.

So what should you be looking out for 2013? Here are our top 5 opportunities for this year:

  1. Mobile marketing:  This year we will see access to websites by mobile devices rival and surpass access by desktop and laptop environments.  Marketers are already taking advantage of this – $22 million was spent on mobile advertising alone for the three months to September quarter in 2012, representing a 190 per cent year on year increase, and a 24 per cent increase on the June 2012 quarter.  It’s no longer enough to have a website that “looks ok” in a mobile environment – your website should be responsive and targeted towards what people may want to see on the go.  Utilising search for mobile advertising and developing unique campaigns for these environments is crucial.
  2. Facebook marketing: Facebook released its promoted posts and offers last year.  These allow marketing within the mobile environment, which is where the majority of users are accessing Facebook.    Promoted posts provide businesses with the ability to push a post out to not only fans, but likers of fans, increasing the reach dramatically. Offers allow businesses to present advertised offers which spread virally as people “accept” the offer acting as brand advocates for your brand by pushing this to their friends.  This is really only the tip of the iceberg.  As Facebook ramps up its revenue generating activities, we will no doubt see more in this space.
  3. Pinterest: Pinterest has seen massive growth – Pinterest now drives more traffic to business websites than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google + combined.  It’s been a quiet achiever when it comes to businesses, as businesses discover ways they can harness this opportunity. For ecommerce sites, the opportunity is obvious – posting images of products, listing prices and including a URL to the site works well.  For other businesses, it’s about thinking strategically with regards to imagery that could help support the brand e.g. home builders showing interior shots of their homes, restaurants posting food images and so on.
  4. SEO and social signals: A diversification strategy is the most important when it comes to SEO.   Putting all your eggs in one basket means you are at the mercy of a Google algorithm shift that could see you drop in your rankings.  Ensuring you have a solid spread across your social media activities, and driving comments, likers, retweets and so on, helps to show Google you are a legitimate business, and adds to your SEO profile.  We see the importance of this shifting dramatically in 2013.
  5. Brand reputation management: Do you know what people are saying about your business? With the growth of review sites, and of course our friend social media, there could be conversations about your brand right now that you don’t know about. Brand reputation management is increasingly important, and technically challenging. It’s about tracking what people are saying about you using a range of tools (e.g. Hootsuite), and having strategies in place to shift negative reviews down on the search engines, and increase the proportion of positive reviews using your clients as brand ambassadors. The bigger your brand the more likely you will need a strong strategy in place.

Don’t forget it’s all about strategy, and all online marketing is interconnected.  Ensure you have a top level strategy that drives each activity and then track, measure and improve.  And be prepared to change tack at any moment – the landscape is ever evolving, and the fun part is moving your business with it.