One of the best aspects of working for a marketing firm is adjusting to all of the changes. Google is constantly tweaking their algorithm, Facebook is making updates and there’s all sorts of new marketing avenues coming to light. That’s why we’ve got to be on top of the game to make sure we’re adjusting with everything else.
We’re five months into the year 2014 and as landscape continues to change, we’ve observed a noticeable adjustment in clients’ demands. Backing up what we’ve seen, some numbers from Moz indicate the same thing. The demand for certain services has shifted with needs like content creation on the rise (71% percent in 2013, according to one survey) as well as analytics (65% increase in 2013). Link building (21%), e-mail marketing (12%) and keyword research (11%) are also climbing.
Here’s a breakdown of how the needs of our customers have changed in 2014:
Judging from a couple of surveys done by sites like Moz and ExactTarget, it looks like SEO spending is on the rise. The numbers show that budgets are making more and more room for SEO services as more companies realize the competitive landscape.
According to a survey conducted by ExactTarget, 73% of people were currently using SEO or SEM in their marketing efforts and 71% were using it in some form of content management platform. That means if you’re in the 27% that’s not focusing on SEO, you’re getting left behind fairly quickly.
Everyone recognizes that content is king but the question is how to you produce the content? That’s the biggest challenge for companies these days, according to an online survey. There are brands who focus on real estate or apparel or whatever, but that’s their niche. Not writing articles. On top of that, they now have to figure out how to write content that’s SEO friendly.
The survey showed that more companies are making budgets for content this year – more than ever before – but there is still room for plenty of room for improvement. Numbers from CMI show that 49.5% of marketers don’t have a content strategy and have a tough time producing engaging content. While knowing what to write is a hurdle, the other main issue that companies are faced with is finding the time to do it. That’s why our demand in this realm has increased.
Social services is one of our most common requests. Although the social sites like Facebook and Twitter are flooded with personal users, business are still only getting their feet wet. It can be a challenge to figure out how to leverage these big crowds of people to work in your favor, which is what we get asked about all the time.
Facebook is still the preeminent place you want to be. Not only is it the most populated and highest-frequented social network, its users are the most engaged. But there are many different types of social networks out there and each one has a different way of benefiting your business. Companies with eye candy like restaurants do great on Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, while companies with lots of news and updates, like a fantasy sports magazine or a deals site like Groupon, do great on Twitter. The key is to examine which networks suit your brand best and then devote the time to it.
It’s no secret that mobile is a rapidly growing realm. We’ve noticed mobile-related requests on the rise for the last four years. It’s not so surprising: more people are getting smartphones and tablets, and desktop PC’s are losing ground. According to IDC, first quarter 2014 tablet sales outpaced PC’s and laptops. In terms of smartphones, Pew Research Center recently enlightened us that 90% of all Americans own a mobile phone and 58% are smartphones. 63% of those people use the phone mostly to access the web.
So what does that mean for you and your brand? In short, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile users, you’re likely losing revenue. That means your website needs to be responsive to fit a Samsung Galaxy S5 just as much as it is to fit an iPad mini, it has to be optimized for touch and it has to look good no matter what the user is using to browse.
SEO has been a big part of Dash Media from the get-go but nowadays, we’ve noticed a greater focus on local SEO. That’s somewhat tied into the growth in mobile because phones typically have GPS and with GPS, we can determine where the user is. So local SEO focuses on popping up as an early result when the user is nearby.
For example: a group of guys go downtown but the restaurant they wanted to eat at has a one-hour wait. They’ll immediately whip out their phones and start searching to see what’s nearby. Or someone just moved to the neighborhood and they want to find the best mechanic. LocalVox did a study that showed that 88% of local mobile searchers convert into a phone call or visit within 24 hours. These are some examples where local has come into play. If you don’t invest in this, your competitors will literally be taking your business.
E-mail marketing is not new on the scene but the difference nowadays is finding a way to execute it efficiently. We often hear about e-mails getting lost in the shuffle and companies are trying to find a way to look less spammy and to offer good value to their readers. We all go through a million e-mails per day. Users don’t have e-mail fatigue but they don’t have much patience either. We’re talking about having five seconds of the reader’s attention span before they click ‘delete’ or move on. That’s why the efficiency has become important.
It’s one of the lowest cost-per-lead options for marketers and it can produce a high quantity of leads. The key is to fine-tune the message, make it more personal opposed to one-size-fits-all and include some fun elements like video and photos.
Well-written newsletters still work just fine. It’s the boring, generic stuff that doesn’t get the time of day anymore.