Technology and innovation can seem to come at you in a constant stream – so fast that it can be difficult to separate what’s important from the bravado.
For businesses that are not on the bleeding edge of technology and marketing innovation, but want to understand how to stay current with their customers, online behaviours and interactive comfort zones, H2 has published its annual 2011 Top 10 Trends of Interactive Marketing.
This list is THE list that business people need to pay attention, as it is having an impact on businesses today. This is not a crystal ball exercise – it’s fact-based and current.
2011 – The Year of Hieroglyphics
It’s been happening for a while now, but 2011 is the year it comes to your business – communications must be shorter, faster and more visual than ever before. Your audiences are moving fast, jumping between tasks, and viewing things on small, mobile screens with touch/swipe control. Take the metaphor of hieroglyphics to heart and cut that copy down!
See why H2 Central Marketing calls 2011 the “Year of Hieroglyphics,” as exemplified by these Top 10 Trends.
Check out our Top 10 Interactive Trends in this fun video!
1. Social media cannot be ignored
If you’re still neglecting the power of social media, it’s time to change your mind. This activity, formerly only for ‘tweens, has finally grown up and is ready for business prime time. In fact, 41% of Facebook’s population is over the age of 45. Integrating Twitter and Facebook into your marketing campaigns is an absolute must – social media matters for EVERYONE.
2. Social media’s ROI – The bottom line
The stats are in: the marketing industry is now developing benchmarks for social media, what it’s worth and the impact it has on their bottom line. Business cases can be made more convincing than ever. For instance, in packaged goods, clear revenue generation tracking is a must: did you know that the average North American Facebook fan spends $71.84 more than a non-fan? How many fans do you have?
3. Smartphones and mobile browsers
By 2013, more than 67% of all mobile browsing will take place on smartphones. This fundamental change in the way we view content means that businesses must begin preparing and thinking about ways to take their content online – short, fast and visual.
4. Flash will give way to HTML5
Perhaps you haven’t heard that HTML5 is here! HTML5 is the latest structure for coding web pages in rich, dynamic presentations. HTML5 makes it easier for consumers and developers to both view and integrate media on the web – even major media moguls, such as Apple, have begun adopting it. Check out H2’s blog post on HTML5 for more info and to help you decide whether you should integrate or not!
5. 3G will give way to 4G speed – The information autobahn
Cellphone technology is taking another jump in performance. It hasn’t happened just yet, but very soon, cellphones will transition to 4G technology. 4G is four times faster than 3G. Get ready to send your rich, visual content to the new smartphones!
6. To app or not to app
Popular and trendy, almost 60% of smartphone users prefer apps to access information But speed, mobility and data must drive the business case. They aren’t cheap, but they can be very powerful.
7. Google previews – The new beauty contest
In late 2010, Google launched instant previews, which allow users to view your site before even visiting it. Can your site stand up to the scrutiny of the Google preview? This trend is definitely driving online content to be more visual!
8. Search engine optimization – dating Google
The significance of SEO has dramatically increased within recent years. SEO is the process of improving your web ranking among search results. This is extremely important, as 60% of people conduct more than six searches per day. Be fast and flexible in order to maintain a high ranking on Google and you will have more success within your marketing campaign!
9. You have 30 seconds to read
Are you a copy junkie? Most people who visit a web page only read for 25 seconds and they only read 28% of the content! Paragraphs are great, but only once your audience is interested. Until then, keep it short, fast and visual to get your point across.
10. Accessibility counts – Not all people are created the same
One important subject regarding interactive marketing that is not widely known is the issue of online accessibility. Online accessibility refers to the issue of disabled people not being able to access online content. In late 2010, the Ontario government passed a new law that made it mandatory for businesses to be online accessible by 2012. Businesses in Ontario that are not online accessible by 2012 may face stiff fines of up to $100,000 per day. Beware!
Take an assessment of what your customers’ needs are. Many of these ideas can be tailored to fit your company and can have a great impact on your bottom line.