In the past, articles about ‘Top Trends’ were really about which latest and greatest technology would take off in the coming year. With the rise of social media, the next great thing would be part of the conversation.
Guess what? Everything’s different this time. Yes, we’re looking at the influence of technology on internet marketing trends, but after years of living with a pandemic.
The switch to all things digital for marketing isn’t new—it’s been happening for years! But now, businesses are taking an overall approach towards rapid digital transformation.
How people do things has changed, and includes everything from shopping to connecting to seeing your doctor. Businesses need to have the technical foundations to manage this when it comes to their marketing (and their business as a whole).
Think about the changes in consumer behavior in 2020 that were completely unpredictable, like runs on toilet paper and hand sanitizer one month, and then masks and face shields the next. If you have a business that people can physically visit, having a way to provide hand sanitizer and control the number of people in your space wasn’t even on your radar at the beginning of 2020.
Businesses must be flexible to survive. With internet marketing, that might mean something as small as switching which social media channels you advertise on, or as large as re-doing your entire website to make sure you’re showing up on searches and customers can buy directly from your site.
That’s exactly what one of our clients did in 2020: hire us to build a brand new website so they could get found online and sell everywhere in the world. You can check out the Maddex Turbine Services website for yourself!
Does anyone long for the good ol’ days when a local business could thrive on just having a radio ad or a roadside sign on the outskirts of town? Now, multi-channel marketing is crucial for success. For many of our clients, this includes social media, traditional media, SEO campaigns, and non-traditional methods like working with an influencer.
We are huge fans of data-driven campaigns. In fact, we’re fans of anything that involves data! Data empowers you to know when customer behavior is changing; what search terms people are using, how they’re responding to your CTA (call to action), what products and services are popular, and which ones are losing money.
When it comes to SEO campaigns (something we do a lot of at Saltmedia), we couldn’t survive without data that identifies which keywords are relevant to a business, where those searches are coming from, and how the campaigns are generating a return on investment.
All our web design clients get set up with Google Analytics. This really is an invaluable tool for receiving data about a website. It gives user history, how users interact with the website, and how many users they get—among other data. But the most valuable data from a marketing point of view is how the website is found by the users who interact with it. We then use this data to drive more successful marketing campaigns.
Saltmedia also conducts advanced research into target market segments. We offer a full research plan into the target market, and build the website according to facts.
Knowing your audience allows Saltmedia to write content that speaks to your audience, and we are able to remove all guesswork and base an entire project on facts backed up by reliable sources.
If you do one marketing thing this year, learn about the data that’s relevant to your marketing, and learn how your marketing activities impact that data.
Initially, many businesses planned temporary measures to stay engaged with customers when the pandemic hit, with the plan of maintaining some semblance of business and income. By this point, we’re realizing that some things will never go back to the way they were. That includes the way we plan some (or in some cases, all) of our marketing and outreach.
With the shift to permanent solutions—and the understanding that everything permanent must remain agile—we’re actually kind of excited about the opportunities for our clients! Businesses that once relied on local customers can literally have global reach now!
Almost everyone is using social media for advertising. But now, social media is becoming increasingly popular for sales. Consumers like being able to click on a post, pin, tweet, or video and buy whatever product they’ve just seen. This ‘social commerce’ will grow new rules to adapt, and companies will have to keep up on their marketing to remain compliant.
Take a look at whether social commerce is right for your business.
We went from suddenly all being virtual to all worrying about security. With the rise in online activity came a rise in all sorts of fraudulent and criminal activity. Website owners need to make sure their sites are secure, their transactions are secure, they’re only collecting data they need from their customers, and they’re holding that data securely.
You might question whether privacy concerns are a marketing trend. Absolutely. Providing your customers with security when they interact with you is essential to building trust, maintaining relationships, and closing transactions.
We can further evaluate your business security risks with our brother company IT Horizons. Services include testing your staff know-how to see if they can identify fraudulent emails, and training for those critical thinking technology skills to help keep them and your business safe.
IT Horizons also evaluates technology security risks and will recommend and implement solutions.
Consumers aren’t just looking for companies to put up some appropriately diverse images. They’re looking for authentic, genuine inclusivity in advertising and marketing, in hiring, and in the way customers are treated.
As Indigenous business owners, we couldn’t agree more. Let’s create marketing centered around the world we actually live in so everyone—all ages, abilities, genders, ethnicities, orientations, and beliefs—can see themselves included in our businesses and our brands.
We’re super proud of our ability to help clients reach that coveted #1 spot in organic search results—and we’ll continue to do so. But there’s a new-ish kid in the search engine town that will be getting more and more attention. Meet “position zero”.
This is where Google decides to use a piece from your website in a “featured snippet” box that sits on the top of search pages like a big ‘ol beacon drawing the masses in. It very often gives searchers everything they need to answer their query without having to click further. Some people call this a “no-click search” and it’s a big deal for marketing.
Featured snippets show up most frequently for long tail keyword searches (like “why do I need a responsive website” or “how do I set my microwave clock”), and while they don’t really lead to conversions yet (the whole ‘no click’ thing), they do a fantastic job of establishing your credibility as a business, and for playing nice with Google. Plus, they’re often used with virtual assistants when people do voice searches.
Along with the aforementioned voice searches, image and video searches are becoming more popular, which means image and video SEO is becoming more popular. For starters, you’re going to need relevant and professional images and videos on your website (we’ve got some tips on how to do that without slowing loading speeds here).
To benefit from visual searches, always include alt text in your image descriptions, add images to your sitemap, include SEO keywords in your image names, and install all of that on your website in a way that the images and videos load quickly enough to capture attention.
We’re starting to get used to this new world where the most bizarre and unexpected thing could happen next week that impacts everyone from the shoe repair guy down the street to the multinational oil and gas company where your sister works. Perhaps the biggest marketing trend should be expecting the unexpected and being ready to respond in a way we’ve never responded before.
It certainly makes running a business more interesting! And if you’re looking for marketing solutions for your business, organization, municipality, or First Nation, give us a call, send us an email, or fire off a contact request. We’re ready to partner with you to make every unexpected thing/event work in your favor!
Saltmedia Inc operates on the traditional territory of Treaty 8 in what is now known as Grande Prairie. We value the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who lived and cared for this land long before Canada was founded, and we recognize that it is a privilege to operate our business here.
Our Prince George site operates on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.
We are grateful to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are with us today, and those who’ve gone before us.