2012 is set to be a giant year. This of course brings with it a whole range of questions; How will social media change the face of online purchases? will this be the year of the mobile? What does “the year of the mobile actually mean”!?
Last year I wrote a 2011 wrap up article, looking back at the changes within Digital Marketing throughout the year, and as I was writing it I realised how much has changed in just a year. The speed of development is only going to quicken over the next 12 months, so the first thing we are likely to see this year is lot more change, and a lot faster! The implication: Don’t forget to keep up with it. Not all of it will benefit your customers, so the key is to know what they want, need, and use the latest technologies to deliver it to them.
Social – Don’t underestimate its reach and impact! Not only from a customer point of view but also from a Search Engine ranking point of view. The search engine algorithms have been factoring social signals for a while now, and the prediction is that this is set to continue. The implication: Ensure that you have a plan for your social media strategy, and that it is done within the context of search engine marketing as this will be the only way you can leverage it to its full effect.
All joking aside is does appear that this will be the year of the mobile, or at least the year of the “device”. Apparently Apple are set to release 2 versions of the iPad every year, which releats to my earlier point about the speed of change in 2012. The implications for this are again, if your customers are adopting devices and using them to access your service or product online, then can you target them with mobile advertising, and can they view your site on a mobile device.
PPC – Paid search
Within the paid search arena I am sure we are going see more and more tests and trials with the search engine results page by Google. We have recently seen an example of one of these from last year, where by Google display the advert at the bottom of the page, under the SEO results. There is no doubt going to be more emphasis given to Google+ and an advantage given to the advertisers who integrate this into their online marketing efforts. We have not yet seen the peak of the online advertising market, so there is likely to be increasing competition within the space. The implications of all of this.. You will need to keep your eyes and ears open for new ways to differentiate your digital marketing efforts. Things will get more expensive if you don’t evolve with the changing platforms and markets. To keep these costs down you have to be more creative with your application of the technology.
2012 is set to be an exciting year for digital. The key take away to help you through 2012 is to embrace social, integrate it with your other digital channels, particularly SEO and PPC. Watch for new technologies that may benefit your customer, if they will, get on that band wagon as it is a fast moving one and if you miss it, you may not catch up!