There has been a lot of discussions about the future of search and search marketing over the past 3 years. The industry has been moving toward quality-focused solutions that aim at improving user experience. In laymen terms, content is still king, social media is queen, big data is prince and SEO is the grand vizier. All are essential to develop successful (and integrated) online search strategies, increase traffic and, eventually, improve ROI for your marketing dollars.
So the question is, how are you planning to spend your marketing budget in 2014?
According to a SMB Internet Marketing Survey by BrightLocal published in November 2013, small and medium businesses are not too involved in online search marketing and basically ignoring the amazing possibilities that search can offer them. Of the 668 businesses who responded to the survey, only 46% said they were engaged in internet and mobile marketing, with the majority spending less than half their budget on these channels.
Well, if you’re not on it already, you should. Search is becoming one of the most essential tools in our lives and it offers countless opportunities to get found, build your brand and increase your customer base. Another of BrightLocal’s surveys shows the frequency to which people use the internet to find local businesses. Not surprisingly, it’s drastically increasing. Maybe that’s why Google receives more than 5 billion searches every day!
Finally, a survey by StrongView released in December gives us some very interesting insights into marketing spending for 2014 and which channels are considered the most effective across marketers. From these results, we can see that email is still the #1 channel (and one might say it’s the most traditional among digital marketing solutions), while internet marketing consistently gains ground and is progressively becoming the #1 marketing resource. Well this is surely a sign that they work, isn’t it?
Another interesting, if not surprising, result from this survey is that the great majority of marketers believe that social media and search (including both search engine optimization and paid search advertising) are the most efficient marketing channels with over 40% planning to increase their spending for each of these.
Mobile marketing is also becoming a real concern in the industry especially with the fast adoption of mobile and smartphones on a global level. Mobile marketing comes with a whole new set of cross-channel marketing solutions that are very different from traditional digital marketing, particularly because of the very specific user experience provided by smartphones (smaller screens, smaller keyboards, etc). SO for those planning to get more involved in it, take some time to do your research and strategize appropriately for desktop, tablets and mobile experiences.