There are many articles on the subject, including a top ten list on online marketing trends for 2013 on Entrepreneur.com (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225392) and on other credible sites. But what do marketers need to be aware of in the coming year when building our their brand and corporate PR and marketing plans?
First, they need to be mindful of the industries that are in growth mode, such as video game publishing, voice over IP, sustainable building materials, green building construction and others. Moreover, they need to effectively integrate traditional and online marketing efforts to ensure cross-utilization of marketing materials/activities, effective search optimization and full ROI measurement.
When it comes to integrating online and traditional marketing disciplines, one example is content development and syndication. When a PR agency or person at a corporation creates and places content (e.g., a pitch letter or news release that results in an article running on the Huffington Post), make sure your online marketing firm or in-house team synopsizes and optimizes that content, then promotes it through link building and sharing it on social channels. This streamlines efforts and creates greater bang for the buck – beyond the original Post placement. It expands the reach of your news.
Using the Internet to gauge ROI of a traditional marketing campaign is nothing new. But smart marketers are taking this to a new level in 2013. These activities should, at a minimum, include measuring:
- Traffic driven to client website from specific blogs and social sites
- Rate of consumer responsiveness to placements (conversion rates). This may require the call to action (CTA) on your site be modified
- Sales growth (i.e., overall, in targeted regions, among certain audiences, etc.)
- Cross-selling numbers with social followings, opt-in email and mobile lists, etc.
- Number of web searches for a brand or company pre and post campaign
- “Pay-per-click” activity growth; margins of profitability (becoming more and more difficult to ensure profitability with CPC costs on the rise, particularly with Google)
- Number of social media followers
- Correlation of web traffic to media placements
- Number of inbound links built from powerful, credible media sites
- Number of comments or shares of articles through social media channels
(e.g., Facebook shares, re-tweets, etc.)
- Other indicators
So, when finalizing your marketing plan for 2013, consider economic shifts, online and traditional marketing trends, effective integration, and infusing fresh measurement tools to ensure your hard work pays off.