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Four Marketing Trends To Be Aware Of

Marketing is changing and shifting once again. Here are four marketing trends for 2013 and some concrete ways you can build them into your businesses own marketing plan.

Gamification – From the virtual farms of Farmville to geosocial strategies on FourSquare, companies will be turning their marketing strategies into a game. Companies can encourage social sharing, return visits and brand awareness by providing perks, like badges or coupons, a social community online to connect consumers and let them “compete” against one another, or an app that gives your customers a fun way to track progress (like Starbucks and their VIP club app that gives customers virtual stars in a Starbucks cup to track progress.) There are many companies, like Nike and the History Channel, using gamification successfully. Today’s consumers are surrounded by social games and are motivated by tracking progress against other customers.

Inbound marketing – Google for Business recently reported that 97 percent of customers find businesses and information about businesses they need through an online search, and to boost your SEO, a big part of the equation is inbound marketing, which is a way customers can bring customers to their site organically through fresh, relevant content. For instance, a blog about products and services from an informational point of view can be shared on social media, which helps in two ways: building out a website with new content and providing organically derived social links, both helping SEO. In 2013, expect businesses to spend more on creating fresh content and managing social communities.

Social Influencers – For brands who have worked hard to craft a vibrant, engaged social media community, influence marketing is the next logical step for promotional and marketing campaign 2013. Social influence marketing programs are all about building relationships with individuals who are influential in their own social networks and who have a positive opinion of your business or products. Business who participate in influence marketing let strategically chosen individuals do much of their world-of-mouth marketing for them (sort of like the “street teams” of marketing past.) Programs range from asking followers who love your product for endorsements to gifting social influencers with products or discounts in exchange for reviews. Here are some more great ideas on how to create successful influence marketing programs.

Local marketing – Not long ago, companies were focused on extending the reach of their product and expanding their marketing across the country. With recent changes in Google Places (business pages with Google Places often have higher rankings on Google) and the increase in sites like GetListed, which give small businesses affordable local marketing that’s easy to track and manage, local marketing is making a comeback.  Location marketing makes the most of the customers within a business’s’ local area, allowing messages to become more personalized and for customers to be treated as brand advocates and authorities on the local marketplace. Location marketing embeds the businesses in the community, offering monetary support (like sponsoring local sports teams) or product donations (providing extra resource to the community for a discounted rate.) Location marketing can be extremely valuable to smaller businesses with a limited budget, and can work hand-in-hand with contextual, social and inbound marketing for a low-cost marketing plan.

About this Author: when Mary isn’t busy reviewing guidelines for Facebook promos in and around the Chicagoland area, she is covering a wide range of marketing topics to keep her readers happy and informed! Outside of work, she is an avid reader and enjoys spending time on the lakefront!

About Mark Masters

My focus is to encourage businesses to adopt an owned media mindset to build leads, visitors and sales. Companies can now have total control of the spaces that they have ownership of. It's time to make a stand and create content that makes a deeper connection with your audience! Author of The Content Revolution. Check out my Google + profile: Mark Masters