Rants and Data
The Rise of Content Marketing
According to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report, 93% of B2B marketers said they used content marketing in 2014, and 42% said they considered their strategy effective (up from 36% last year). Marketers know that in order to make a sale customers must trust you and your product knowledge. One of the most effective methods is to create content that speaks to your customer in a way they find interesting and nurturing. 2. Marketing Analytics Will Boom
Big data is making its way to businesses big and small. We have come to the point where information technology is the responsibility of every individual, not just the IT staff. Today’s marketers have powerful data mining, structuring and visualization tools at their fingertips. 3. Usability Testing Advances
The pricing of high tech tools, like heatmapping and personalized testing, have made their way to the point where it makes sense for small and medium sized businesses to use tools outside of Google Analytics to get a feel for how their website is performing. Crazyegg.com has a low priced heatmapping tool and usertesting.com offers limited free use of their network of website reviewers. 4. More Videos Than Ever
The volume of Americans consuming information from YouTube is growing quickly. The following numbers come from YouTube.com https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
- YouTube has more than 1 billion users
- Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views
- The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- ~60% of a creator’s views comes from outside their home country
- YouTube is localized in 75 countries and available in 61 languages
- Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices
- Mobile revenue on YouTube is up over 100% y/y
5. Getting Personalized
A trend that started a couple of years ago, but is continuing to pick up momentum is the use of Customer Relationship Management software to organize and segment your customers and your leads. Nimble businesses are using tools like Pardot and Hubspot to systematically communicate with their leads and customers based on self defining rules. For a review of the top 10 CRM services click here http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/11/top-10-crm-services/6. The Explosion of the “Explainer Video”
An “Explainer Video” is a video that demonstrates what a company does and its mission statement in 1 minute or less. These videos usually live on the homepage of a website or the about us page. The number of potential customers who visit a webpage and look for a video to learn about the company is growing quickly. Many people don’t even read the text on a website until after they watch the “Explainer Video”. Youtube has taught people that the internet is not just static pages, but a place to be entertained with music and video. This has forced websites to quickly adopt the use of “Explainer Videos”. Many sites have demonstrated conversion rates of first time visitors up to three times greater when they display an explainer video that when than do not.
7. Social Media Marketing Spend Will Increase
Social Media has become the largest entity on the Internet as far as content creation and time spent. 74% of all Internet users connect via social media sites. For more stats about social media follow this link: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/
With the ability to target new customers and retarget old leads the marketing spend in Social Media is exploding and will continue throughout the year.
8. The boundaries between Social Media, SEO, & content marketing will blur. Google became successful by utilizing a system of ranking important sites and it did so by creating something called “Page Rank”. This system looked at how many sites linked to a page and in essence gave that page it’s vote. Google used this data to learn what sites were the authority on a specific topic. Today, Google understands that 74% of the users and content is now living on social outlets and has been working feverishly to restructure its ranking system to include social indicators such as Facebook likes, shares and Twitter mentions to help rank its listings in order to give their customers the best user experience. This trend will continue and most likely take over as the most important ranking indicator and bypassing the long term standard “Page Rank”. 9. More Money Allocated in Online Ads
Internet users and customers have become more sensitive to online ads. The can easily skim over them or click on them as needed. The average Internet user is starting to make some very interesting trends clearer to the online marketer. Internet users click on the natural SEO links to a greater extent when they are researching a topic, but use the paid links when they are ready to buy. This type of action usually gives the user their best experience and gives the online marketer a much greater reason to bid up their paid links. According to the Moz.com article, PPC links convert 2x as much as SEO links and I have found this number has grown since this article was published. https://moz.com/ugc/true-or-false-organic-traffic-converts-better-than-ppc
10. Mobile Optimization will become more important than ever
Google is already penalizing sites for not being mobile friendly and this trend will continue. While most people still do not place orders with their mobile device they do spend a lot of time researching and deciding what companies they plan to build relationships with in the future. A well constructed mobile site will build the trust needed for a long term relationship.