It’s hard to believe that the internet has only been a part of our lives for a couple of decades, but it’s true. Just a few short years ago, there was no social media, we looked in the Yellow Pages rather than on Google, and our phones were large, monochromatic chunks of technology that made calls, sent texts, and allowed you to play simple games.
Whether you miss those times or you’ve embraced the advances in technology, there’s no denying that the internet has changed the way we live, work, and market. That momentum is only likely to continue, and if you haven’t already made online and inbound marketing a big part of your marketing plan, there’s never been a better time. Here’s what you can expect from inbound and digital marketing between now and 2020.
Mobile Will Continue to Be Critical
The mobile web will be more and more important as phones get smarter and data plans bigger. Already, shoppers are viewing products in store, and comparing pricing online, in store aisles. Expect proximity searching to become more popular, and make sure that your local SEO game is strong, so you can take advantage of that!
Social Media Is Still Where You Reach Customers
As baby boomers and their aged parents give way more and more to millennials and Gen Xers online, expect social media marketing to become even more important. Your target customers connect with family and friends on Facebook. They share thoughts on Twitter, and they find new jobs on LinkedIn. They’re Snapchatting and Instagramming up a storm, and they’re pinning their dreams.
Instead of spending your marketing dollars on billboards and print ads, you need to be finding ways to reach your customers in their personal spaces online, and that means getting social!
Content Will Always Be King
Once upon a time, there were ways to game the system and get your site to the top of the rankings on Google. Those days are over.
Thanks to changes like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird (and similar changes on other search engines), link farming, SEO tricks and other black hat strategies are pointless. The companies that are winning the internet are the ones who create valuable information, share useful content, and keep their visitors engaged and interested.
Lights, Camera, Marketing!
The fact that YouTube stars like Pewdiepie are millionaires, thanks to nothing more than being entertaining while they film themselves playing games online should be a big red flag to smart marketers. Video is where it’s at, and if things like “unboxing videos” can be such a huge cultural movement, if you’re not already making your own, you need to be. Now.
Ever Improving ROI
The best news for companies looking to increase their inbound marketing spending, or get started, between now and 2020 is that the return on investment continues to get better and better. Improved targeting for PPC advertising on search engines and social networks, cheap and free tools to create DIY marketing materials and more all add up to more bang for your marketing buck.
Since the things you put on the internet are there forever too, the money you spend on digital marketing today will keep working for you, year after year. There’s no other type of marketing that can come close to offering that!