So 2012 is finally here, it’s been year of much speculation, with London set to host the Olympic games, the Queens Golden Jubilee, and the Euro championships all to look forward to. Then of course there is the predicted ‘end of the world’ this year on December 21st according to the Mayan calendar, which has already seen films and ad campaigns produced in its honour- but what will 2012 mean for digital marketing?
Digital is rapidly replacing old media models, leading the new media age into 2012, and quickly becoming essential for all companies. As we all know we’ve entered into the New Year in recession, however, it seems that the digital world will benefit from this, as companies must utilize social media marketing to increase customers in 2012. Here are 5 digital predictions from us here at BeeLiked for 2012:
1. Rise of Mobile
Mobile marketing seems ready to really take off this year, more and more brands are seeking mobile advancements to their companies, to ensure to capitalise on the rise of smart phones and tablet devices. This year more brands will utilize mobile, to ensure they are effectively engaging and building brand relationships with consumers.
The app industry is coming of age, but currently we are still seeing more brands using them in a general manner, rather than creating strategic, engaging apps that appeal to consumers. It seems this year that is going to change; we’ll see brands developing apps for both customers, and employees. Which means increased experiences for customers, and well-equipped staff with the ability to work on the go!
Gamification is a method of creating a ‘real life’ game within social apps in your browser, or your smart phone, which allows consumers to take part and compete for certain rewards, badges or points. This new trend seemed to spark some interest in 2011, with the rise of Foursquare, that now receives over 2 million check-ins a week, and will continue to be implemented by a number of brands this year.
A number of companies will also start to execute this feature into their campaigns, as another method to grab and hook the consumer – you will engage and ‘play’ with a brand, all the time building your loyalty and relationship them.
Primarily this method has purely been used in the consumer environment, but this year, expect to see it in other areas from human resources, healthcare, government, and potentially business management – this year at work your targets and rewards could be based on how well your doing on the business digital leaderboard!
3. Engagement & Relevance Marketing
2012 will be all about relevant marketing; companies will no longer have the luxury to waste time and effort on ‘nice to have’ mass communications, instead, they will be replaced with digital concepts, that are tailored to the right audience, at the right time. Therefore it’s seems this year companies need to focus their digital marketing efforts on engagement over the amount of followers.
Most companies now are using Facebook and Twitter to give themselves a presence online focusing on how many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ they have. It’s clear that in 2012 the focus on social media will be quantity over quality with companies focussing on who is following them instead of how many.
Many businesses are in the trial and error stage of implementing social strategy; nonetheless, they will face a challenge this year, as they are driven to evolve their social media strategy to engage consumers to ensure ROI. With a recession still looming people need to justify time and money put towards digital.
This year it is essential for companies to produce innovative ideas, interactive content and great campaigns, to capture and engross followers and fans online – transforming their social audience – into profit.
4. Social Media Optimisation
Social media optimisations or SMO, is the process by which companies make their content easily sharable across the social web – leading to essential visits to their website. This can include features such as apps and widgets, which we have seen much of over the past year or so!
SMO will play an increasing part in companies search engine optimisation (SEO), with businesses using social activities, and social media marketing, to boost visits to their website. The key for companies this year is to understand the audience of each social site, and what to implement on each particular site, making sure their content is more ‘clickable’.
5. Social Influence
There has been a huge rise in the interest of ‘social influence’ online, with sites like ‘Klout’ and the new kid of the block ‘Kred’. Some people are slightly dubious to the accuracy of these scores, however; people seem to be paying a great deal of time, and effort, to improve their score.
Klout well established their platform in 2011 as they attempted to convert digital influence into business value, which will continue to develop this year. More and more businesses will begin to pay attention to Klout, and Kred this year as they attempt to increase their social influence rating, and influential topics.
This year we predict the influence trend will become less about scores, but about the technique companies use to receive and score digital influence, as well as measuring the outcome of it.