It’s true that nobody has a crystal ball. However, we identified current trends in digital marketing and gave some serious thought to where things are headed in the future. There are entire books on this topic, so it’s safe to say that the following list merely scrapes the surface. One thing’s for sure – exciting times lie ahead.
How To Build Your Brand In A Digital World
The key to building your brand in an ever-increasing digital world is consistency. Users will interact with your brand in ways we never thought possible 10 years ago. As we move into the brave new world of wearable technology, it’s obvious this is only the beginning of the mobile movement. Your brand will need to communicate the same promise and use the same voice across all touchpoints. Consumers are becoming savvier and won’t fall for tricks or gimmicks that may have worked in the past. Your brand needs to be authentic to gain their trust and build long-term loyalty. These concepts aren’t exactly new but are continually proven time and time again. In today’s world, we must monitor an infinite amount of touch points to ensure a consistent brand message is being communicated.
Web Design Is, And Always Will Be, Evolving
It’s been exciting to watch the Web grow up. Spend some time on the Way Back Machine and it becomes very obvious just how far the world has come. Over the past few years, flat design, long-scroll storytelling pages, and mobile-friendly experiences have caused an enormous shift in the way sites look, operate and engage users. These trends are solid and here to stay, but web design won’t stay still long. Web design is, after all, still just a form of design. Whether you’re talking about fashion, home decor or automotive design, change is the only constant.
We see the flat design trend morphing to make use of more gradients, shadows, and realistic effects, without returning to true skeuomorphic design that was so popular in the past. It’s quite possible that the pendulum swung too far in the direction of flat design and some correction was inevitable. You can expect to see rich, dynamic color palettes paired with clean, simple typography to create minimal user interfaces that are anything but boring.
By now, you’re certainly well acquainted with the “internet of things”, and we expect to see web design to continue to expand and diversify from websites and apps, to smart TVs and automotive infotainment systems, and much, much more.
SEO: Past, Present, And Future
Competition for coveted “page one” listings is as fierce as ever. Although there are only a limited number of spots, there are a seemingly unlimited amount of companies vying for top position. While PPC campaigns are a sound strategy to compliment organic listings, paying for clicks can be cost prohibitive. There are several basic techniques that worked well in the past and will continue to work well in the future:
Have a Solid Content Strategy
If you’re thorough and comprehensive when describing your company’s mission, products, and services, and tag your content with relevant keywords, your rankings will improve. If you try to trick the system, it might work for a short while, but it won’t provide lasting results and if anything can hurt your listing.
Build External Links
Having great content on your site is priority number one, but having great off-site content and the resulting “backlinks” to your site is equally if not more important.
“Long-tailed” keywords reduce competition and often result in better qualified, targeted leads that are more likely to convert. If you create your pages with specific content and build your SEO strategy around specific long-tail keywords, better SEO rankings are in your future.
Have you ever noticed how Google likes to serve up videos when you perform a search? YouTube is the #2 search engine and as video continues to rise in popularity, this engaging media is going to continue to play an important role in any comprehensive SEO strategy.
Oh, and if you haven’t heard by now, Google is penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. So if you’ve been delaying upgrading your site to a responsive interface design, the time is now.
When It Comes To Social Media, There’s No End In Sight
Everybody already knows that social media is expanding at light speed. Seemingly overnight, social media went from the “new kid on the block” to one of the world’s most powerful marketing tools. Perhaps your company has been slow to adopt social media into your marketing plan, or perhaps you’ve set up some social media accounts but they remain mostly dormant. Simply dabbling in social media is not advised as it can result in pages that look like ghost towns. The lack of activity can make your company seem boring and cause damage to your brand image. Now is the time to forge a social media strategy and stick to it. When it comes to social media marketing, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram will remain key players (for now), but keep an eye on Snapchat, Blab, and Periscope, as they are rising stars in the social media landscape. The key is to identify the best platforms for your business and not overwhelm yourself with the rest. The number of options will continue to grow and it’s best to dominate a few rather than give a half-hearted effort to be visible across all channels. You’ll want to establish a budget and commit resources based around the platforms that are most likely to provide you the most return on investment.
Video: The Ultimate Storyteller
By now, you’ve heard the term storytelling associated with many forms of digital marketing. While most certainly overused, the term is a buzzword for good reason. Consumers have become bored with an overload of dry content and are much more likely to engage with brands which have an interesting story to tell. And when it comes to communicating your brand’s story, video is king.
Thankfully, the days of fuzzy, pixelated internet video are over. Increased bandwidth allows for longer, higher-quality video than ever before. Have you tried streaming a 4k video from YouTube to your shiny new 4k TV? You should. That said, it’s always been best practice to keep your videos short, engaging and on-point. In the age of micro-attention spans, your consumers can only commit their attention for so long, so make your point, and make it quickly.
Video has moved from our TVs to our desktops, our tablets, and our phones. We expect mobile video to continue to skyrocket for the foreseeable future. Don’t be left behind.
Let’s face it. Technology has always moved quickly and the rate of change is accelerating. It can be quite overwhelming at times, even for seasoned professionals. When it comes to digital marketing, technology is at the forefront and it’s imperative to keep an eye peeled to the future. If you sit on the sidelines for too long, you may rise just in time to find that the game has already changed yet again.
Hope you enjoyed our “Seven Steps to Digital Marketing Success”!
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