Top 6 Online Marketing Trends For 2012

The Web is constantly evolving at an explosive pace. It’s a fact that people can’t deny. From the static Web 1.0 era, we are now moving into a period where the Web is more dynamic, more social and more effective in responding to people’s needs.

It comes to no surprise that keeping up with trends in online marketing has become quite a herculean feat. It takes considerable skill and a huge amount of foresight just to be able to adapt to the ever changing Web landscape.

With that in mind, this article will give online marketers a heads up on the best online marketing trends for 2012. Here are some of the things you need to watch out for:

User Generated Curation

User generated curation means that the marketing and branding process will be placed in the hands of the consumers themselves. Pinterest, the poster boy of user generated curation, is a prime example of how this marketing model can be used. Pulse, Foodspotting, and Flipboard also have content discovery features like being able to freely filter data according to one’s likes, dislikes, and interests.

By utilizing user generated curation, you get your content out infront of people who would not otherwise see it. With user generated curation, your content finds them, rather than them having to find you. Also, consumers tend to trust recommendations from friends and family over anyone else. By sharing your content with others, users are saying, “I think this content is good. You should check it out,” and chances are, their followers will click. This spreads word of mouth, as well as boosts your SEO and traffic to your site.

Location Based Services

Foursquare is, unarguably, the most famous player in the location-based services field. Other providers of note are Facebook Places, Gowalla and SCVNGR. These platforms work by providing content and services that are based upon a person’s current location. For example, someone can log on to an app on his or her smartphone and have it figure out the nearest restaurants around that person’s area, and at same time, pull up a list of reviews that other people have written about these restaurants. These location-based services apps offer very ingenious methods of targeting consumers.

Location-based services are another example of customers finding you, without you having to put in a whole lot of effort, and also helps to build foot traffic to your business. Simply by being on Foursquare, people who are searching for your services or products and are in your area at the exact moment they are searching, will find your business and will most likely come to your physical store soon after.

Content Marketing

“Content marketing is king.” And for 2012, it still reigns as a force to be reckoned with in online marketing. More and more businesses are churning out high quality content that delivers extra value to their consumers. This content is more than mere promotional or sales advertisements. It actually aims to entertain, teach, and inform people about a wide variety of topics that are related to a particular business or brand. This type of content usually takes the form of text, pictures, infographics and videos.

When you include valuable content on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts, it is more likely to be shared than advertisement or product pitches. The more people share your content, the more visibility your business gets.

Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Businesses and brands have taken to social media to build better relationships with their consumers. Social networking sites have largely contributed to the success of social CRM, and top businesses have already incorporated it into their marketing strategies. The main concept that drives CRM forward is customer engagement. Customers need to feel that their voices, opinions, and issues are being heard. Social CRM is a great marketing trend that puts customers in the spotlight.

CRM also helps to not only get customers, but to retain them. Customers who are thoroughly engaged will feel more connected to your business, which results in brand loyalty and your business gaining customers for life. These customers will also become your advocates to other potential customers, and since people are most likely to accept a recommendation of a friend or family member, when your advocates suggest your business to others, they are likely to accept and visit your business.

Rise of Mobile Browsing

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are slowly gaining popularity. People are now surfing the Internet on these mobile devices instead of their old, clunky desktop PCs. Marketers should make the effort to optimize their websites and ads for mobile browsers to obtain the best results out of their online marketing campaigns.

Mobile browsing also offers the consumer the chance to visit your website or make a purchase at the exact moment that they are thinking of your business or brand, no matter where they are. By optimizing your site for mobile browsers, you give your customers another way to visit your site and buy products at their own convenience.

What are your favorite online trends of 2012?There are undoubtedly thousands of websites, applications, and tactics to help make the most out of your business and increase your visibility and sales. Be sure to share your tips in the comments section, and let us know whether or not the above mentioned trends have helped your business this year!

David Kendall writes on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com. David is a freelance writer with a penchant for internet marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights on various marketing blogs.

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2 Responses to Top 6 Online Marketing Trends For 2012

  1. Complex Visuals says:

    Great post! I’ve seen more and more brands adopt these tools into their social media strategy tool box for marketing. User-generated content is crucial in creating context within social media content as part of efforts to connect with your audience. A great tool for User-Generation Curation and Content Marketing is a social media aggregator called Postano. Here’s a few great articles that talk about user-generated content and content marketing:
    http://www.postano.com/blog/5-best-social-media-campaigns-with-user-generated-content

    http://www.postano.com/blog/winning-the-context-war-with-user-generated-content

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