Let's have a look at some of the most promising trends in the marketing world to look out for or try.
Search Marketing Trends
- You should stop using recent keyword data trends as they are becoming more and more unreliable.
- Optimize your website for mobile as more users take to using mobile over the more traditional computer or laptop. Also, users are already accessing your site via different other channels than before.
- We are noticing a more pregnant shift towards providing predictive search answers as well as visual answers from Google (in the form of graphs, for example).
- Improve your company's branding because in a sea of search results, your brand is what will help your company stand out in your field.
- The use of social media to market will expand; so if your company isn't in on the social media scene yet, hop on it fast!
- Content is still king, and writing long, informative posts is seen as the best approach to working with/around Google's shift towards Knowledge Graph and instant answers. Create quality content because in SEO, it's all about how trustworthy your website is.
- Invest in visibility. To stay on top of the search results, one has to invest primarily in one's visibility, especially on mobile media. Advertising on social media sites is your best bet at the moment, however learn to do it right or you might find yourself digging a hole that's hard to get out of.
- Break up text-heavy pages with videos, as video consumption has increased. Just make sure that the loading speed of these pages and videos are as fast as possible as slow to load pages are a turn-off and a sure way to lose clients.
- Newer distribution channels like TV streaming are gaining a nice foothold. If you have something that would be a good fit, be sure to give them a try.
- It's all about the individual consumer now, and companies should invest in marketing to individual consumers instead of talking to a massive consumer base. In relation to this, hyper-targeted marketing will continue to grow, helping sell to individuals instead of a random massive consumer base.
- Purchasing is made easier through social media, with Twitter integrating a "buy" button in certain tweets the ones that will use this first will definitely have a lot to gain.
- QR codes, texting campaigns and spam are predicted to fade away, so in case you're still using them find an alternate solution fast.
- Smart technology will affect search marketing and people's lifestyles. It's here already and it's not going anywhere, find a way to use it for yourself.
- Google will continue to limit companies' access to analytics and tools, and other companies are predicted to create their own versions of these tools. Should you still be using Google analytics or find something better?
Why Use Google+
So, in case you still need me to say it, social media is a valuable marketing tool and will continue to be so. In fact, according to statistics, up to 90% of consumers prefer learning about brands through articles, instead of advertisements. This was supplemented by the use of social media, which either encouraged or discouraged potential customers to choose a brand or a product.
Besides Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, Google+ is one of the top social media platforms. It can be an amazing source of traffic and new leads. By dismissing it without trying it out you would miss out on a great opportunity.
Here's more about why and how you should start using Google + in your marketing strategy. Let's start first with the why part:
- Google+ has more than 300 million in-stream active users.
- 70 of the top 100 brands are on Google+, having chosen this platform to help users interact with them.
- Google+ brand engagement is on a par with Facebook and double that of Twitter
- Brands have more followers on Google+ than on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram combined 
- Google+ is great for streaming conferences. Use this to your advantage, more visibility and more potential traffic equals more clients.
- Google+ communities let users share blog posts in order to increase their own website traffic. By building trust and personalizing the content you share in these communities (which are similar to, and can even be better than, Facebook groups for some niches), you can reach out to a lot of new and potential customers. Be sure not to spam communities - instead, share in order to add something worthwhile to the conversation.
- Maximize the use of social signals. Search engines use social signals along with technical SEO in order to rank websites. The more users interact with a website (by accessing it, talking about it, sharing it, etc.), the higher it ranks on the search results page.
- Google Hangouts. Video searching and video SEO are just as important as textual SEO nowadays, since YouTube is the second largest search engine it would be a really bad idea not to use it. Users want video content to break up the monotony of text! Using Google Hangouts, you can livestream to YouTube, which can help improve the ranking of your videos.
Starting Google+ Success
- Choose a good profile and cover photo. Make sure your bio reflects your brand identity, as this is what will come up in the search results. Make your online self convincing and authoritative. Take ownership of the websites you own or have created.
- In order to maximize the reach of your posts, make sure you always select the "Public" option for your posts.
- Provide quality content, even in your comments to other posts. Stick to posts or users related to your field so that people will be directed to your profile and website when checking you out.
- Be enthusiastic in your posts and comments. Be engaging, interesting and entertaining. Only 20% of your posts should be promotional, according to Martin Shervington of Plus Your Business (http://www.plusyourbusiness.com/google-plus-marketing/).
- Connect. This is one of the most important things on all social media platforms. People are usually friendly and want to talk to you, give them the chance - be friendly, talk to everybody, respond positively and help them out. In no time you will see a lot of helping hands pushing you to the top.
The fast growth of Google+ and its link to the 2 largest search engines are the main reasons you should start using it. Reach out to your audience via as many channels as you can, and aim to provide engaging, quality content in order to make the most out of social media marketing.
* Leader image with photo by BdwayDiva1