Since the advent of social media and smart phones, we don’t simply have access to information; we are bombarded with it. It can be a huge challenge for businesses to stand out from all the “noise” online and reach potential clients, so it is important to know that your clients won’t waste time with poor content. With so much choice in terms of information, consumers are becoming extremely selective about the quality of content with which they will engage.
It can therefore be deduced that the nature of the content you provide online will largely determine your success. Your business needs to market to clients using the most appealing, up-to-date, and reliable information they can find.
Considering this, I've got 5 predictions for the future of digital marketing:
Prediction #1: Complete Exodus from Traditional SEO Agencies
During the early days of search engines it didn’t take people long to figure out how to manipulate Google to their advantage. By utilizing a few sneaky tactics it was quite easy to get to the top of the organic search pile. Keyword stuffing and bad linking were the names of the game. SEO agencies cropped up all over the place and made a mint off customers because they knew how to get results quickly.
However, Google is responsible for the quality of information their consumers access. So, to make sure that not just anybody with the right cheat sheets could come first in place, Google introduced Pandas and Penguins to the information zoo.
Panda and Penguin updates disqualify poor SEO practices. Sites guilty of these practices are hit with a penalty, which could be the undoing of a company’s digital marketing campaign for a very long time.
Businesses are catching onto this problem. In the very near future everyone will have ditched their traditional SEO agency for a more sustainable and ethical digital marketing solution.
Prediction #2: Continued Development of Inbound Methodology
Once businesses have realized that it is now impossible to trick Google and that they can no longer get away with poor marketing tactics, they will realize that they can either:
- develop a strong inbound marketing campaign OR
- allow themselves to be overtaken by their competitors who do have a strong inbound marketing campaign.
Seeing as no one is in it to lose, it is easy to assume that the savvy business will go with the first option and start focusing on attracting, converting, and retaining customers through careful inbound marketing methods and powerful, useful content.
Heads up: Wise companies will make blogs a core part of their digital marketing.
Prediction #3: Massive Shift from Old-School Email Marketing to Lead Nurturing
If your inbox is flooded with irritating emails from companies who are soliciting sales, then you know all about old-school email marketing.
If your business is guilty of doing this, you need to stop. Untargeted mass email marketing will hurt you in the long run.
Instead, start thinking about putting a quality strategy together and focus on targeted lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is, as its name suggests, the practice of nurturing and building relationships with a potential client. How is this done? You build your online profile with useful, authoritative information and create a strong brand for yourself. Then, when your potential client is ready to buy a service or product the one you offer, they will be more likely to trust and choose your company.
Basically, lead nurturing looks at the big picture. Rather than making a small quick sale, lead nurturing allows you to grow a strong presence and position that will later bring in a strong yield.
Companies like Infusionsoft, HubSpot, and Marketo have caught the vision of carefully positioning your business online. These companies provide content marketing services and applications that will help you find and nurture leads to grow your business exponentially.
Prediction #4: Development of New Core Ranking Metrics
Keywords in the URL or the domain have lost a lot of traction. What does Google deem more important? What will now help you to rank higher?
If you’re catching on, you have probably guessed that Google cares more about the following:
- social interaction
- website interaction
- frequency and quality of new content
Google strives to provide the best search engine results. As such, Google considers the above factors as more accurate ways to determine the most deserving websites for an organic query.
Prediction #5: Increased Focus on Targeted Landing Pages & Website Design
The design of your website and targeted landing pages is of utmost importance when it comes to creating a powerful and lasting impression of your brand. With all the tools and services out there that have been created to help you develop and optimize your website, there is NO excuse for poor website design.
Soon customers will make absolutely zero allowances for sloppy websites. Failing to keep current with design trends will send a message to your customers that you provide a product or service that is subpar.
To combat this problem, companies will pay increased attention to their online image.
Much has changed in the digital marketing world during the past several years, especially with the introduction of Panda and Penguin updates. If you are prepared to focus on quality inbound marketing techniques and offer meaningful content to your clients, then the future of your business is bright and promising.
However, if you are still utilizing ancient SEO techniques and presenting a low standard of information and design to your clients, then beware: you are branding yourself as retrograde and unreliable. You will be pushed aside by your competitors who are willing to evolve their digital marketing techniques.
Inbound marketing is the future of successful digital marketing. Change or be left in the dust.