2013 Online Marketing Trends: The Year Of The Consumer

Trend #1: Let Consumers Be Your Marketers

More consumers are being vocal about their product and service experiences. From Angie’s List and Yelp to Twitter and Facebook, consumers are sounding off about their good and more often than not, their bad product and service experiences with businesses. Businesses need to capture and communicate effectively with their consumer base in 2013 if it wants to succeed. Bad customer reviews can cripple a business. 2013 will be a “culture shock” for businesses that don’t take social media and consumer reviews seriously.

Trend #2: Online Reputation Management

In 2013, proactive businesses will be dedicating significant time on a periodic basis for monitoring and controlling their online reputation. Businesses who disregard their online reputation will feel the impact of a loss of revenue to businesses that take online reputation management seriously. Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Merchant Circle are a good place to start.

Trend #3: Business, Service, and Product Validation

With increasing competition in the marketplace, businesses need to find a way to differentiate their products and services. Companies in 2013 will spend more money on public relations and online press releases in order to get the “word out” to their target demographic. With more people taking to the search engines to conduct research prior to making a buying decision, a business’ track record weighs heavily on the overall consumer decision buying process. Sculpting consumer sentiment is crucial in swaying the buying decision in their favor. Businesses who make themselves seem like a subject matter expert or industry leader will win the consumer buying decision in 2013.

Trend #4: Deals, Deals, and More Deals.

With more people flocking to online deal websites like Groupon, Living Social, and others, it is no wonder that people are looking for deals on the Internet. Incentives and deals are only good if consumers can find them. Leveraging social media to announce deals will be crucial in 2013.

Trend #5: Go Mobile

Tired of hearing about the smartphone wars between Samsung and Apple? Well, it just started. Smartphones are extremely popular and mobile search traffic is increasing each year. Does your business have a mobile-friendly website? Chances are, your competition does.

Trend #6: Online Advertising

Cancel your Yellow pages and newspaper-advertising contract when it comes due in 2013. Online adverting is not only more cost-effective but also trackable. You can learn from analytics who your client is and their buying process. Newspaper advertising cannot tell you that. There is a reason why Google’s stock price is over $600. Businesses are realizing that they must embrace online advertising in a positive way.

Trend #7: Go Local or Go Home

Search engines are designed to serve up local search results to users who search in order to give the user a better “end-user experience”. Search engines have become smarter, so should your local online marketing strategy. Target local consumers online. Look at Google AdWords Express for starters. Geo-target your web pages to attract local search results.