Now that 2013 is here, there's a lot to think about to help you kick your marketing year off strong. So many new concepts, ideas, trends, and technologies have emerged over the last year and are becoming more and more important for marketers today.
But coming up with your marketing strategy for the year is easier said than done. So we'd like to help you put on that thinking cap and hit the ground running! That's why the offer still stands for our marketing community members and devoted blog readers to sign up for a free marketing consultation with a HubSpot expert about strategizing and planning for the year ahead.
Additionally, these top marketing stories of the week will provide some insight into the future of marketing and help you decide where to focus your efforts this year. Let's get those thinking caps on, and start strategizing!
16 Smart Resolutions for Better Marketing in 2013
It’s really important to set goals for yourself ... and for your company. Personal goals will help you improve some critical skills and habits that could also advance your marketing career and make you an even stronger contributor to your company's success. And team goals will help you see those visitors, leads, and revenue graphs go up and to the right. So to help you out, we've published a list of 16 resolutions to help you become a better marketer in 2013.
Before I go on, you should know that content creation is going to be huge in 2013 -- especially in the form of compelling visuals. Since this is the case, I’d like to call out one marketing resolution from this list of 16 in particular: “I will work to enhance my and/or my team’s design skills.” The trend toward visual content is only growing in importance. In fact, a recent HubSpot study found that photos on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than text.
Investing in design skills will be crucial for your team in 2013, and a great place to start developing those skills -- believe it or not -- is with PowerPoint. In fact, we can even give you a 3-point checklist to help you master design using this tool you all probably already have installed on your computers. First, use this tutorial to create professional-looking calls-to-action (CTAs) for your website. Once you’ve mastered this skill, try creating these 3 different types of infographics to post on your blog and in your social media accounts. When you feel you’re ready to move on to the next step of your PowerPoint design training, take a stab at creating your very own ebook to help you generate leads and draw in more customers. There are a lot of ways to become a better designer, and 2013 is a great time to take advantage of them! If you’d like to check out all 16 marketing resolutions, read the full post here.
It's Time For an Image Strategy, From MediaPost
Do you remember that image of President Obama hugging first lady Michelle Obama? You know, the one that became the most popular image EVER posted on both Facebook and Twitter? Well, if you can’t recall it, we included this image in our infographic that highlights 20 of the most memorable marketing moments in 2012. And there’s a reason this image was so shareable. MediaPost, for one, says it’s because the image “had a strong emotional impact” and showcased a “profound contentedness only a photo could convey.” It’s true. Visual content is completely dominating social networks because of this “a picture is worth 1,000 words” element. And according to MediaPost, 70% of all interactions on social media sites now involve pictures. These pictures are interactive, and they create an experience for fans and followers. Marketers can even gamify these images to spice up their marketing and further that experience -- just something to think about in 2013. If you’d like to learn more, read the full story from MediaPost here.
Facebook Pages Manager Launches on Android in Select Countries, From AllFacebook
Earlier this week, Facebook tested a concept for ‘social voicemail’ on its mobile messenger app. Users have always been able to send private text updates to friends, but with this update, users can now also send audio recordings and voice messages. This is an interesting update from Facebook, considering how most people prefer text-based messages over voice messages nowadays -- but it’s something to keep an eye on. Do you think Facebook will apply this audio component to its next business page update? If this existed, would you use it to send audio messages to your fans?
Although audio messages are only available on a user-to-user basis, Facebook also launched an exciting update for business page owners this week. The Pages app is now available on Android! Previously, this was only available for Facebook users on iOS devices. The app is only fully available to users in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand at the moment, but it will be available to users in the U.S. and the U.K. soon. This is an exciting update for Android-loving marketers! Now, you can post and respond to messages as your brand and check your Facebook Insights on the go. If you’d like to learn more about the new Pages app for Android devices, read the full story here.
Website Redesign Planning & Progress Kit
Strategize, plan, design, build, optimize, test, deliver, launch, promote, measure, analyze. Yikes -- that’s a lot to think about when redesigning your website! It’s a long and tedious process, but if you nail all of these elements, a redesign can be a huge success. However, if you're not following the right guidelines and you fall short on your planning process, your redesign could fail miserably. That’s where this website redesign planning kit can make your job a whole lot easier. And whether you’re working with an agency or redesigning in house, this guide can serve as your step blueprint to successfully strategizing your next website redesign. With this kit, you’ll also receive a tracking worksheet, which will help you lay out your plan and track your progress as you move forward. Ready to get started? Download the free ebook and worksheet here.
Keys to an Effective Mobile Local Search Strategy, From Search Engine Watch
So we’re seeing updates to Facebook’s Pages and Messenger apps, and just a few weeks ago, the network made an update to include business pages in local mobile search results. Looks like Facebook is realizing the importance of mobile for both users and marketers! It’s a smart move on Facebook’s part because, according to Search Engine Watch, “Approximately 40% of all mobile searches on Google have local intent, and that number is only growing.”
Think about it: If you’re searching for a cup of coffee on your smartphone, you want to grab one right down the street, not 6,000 miles away, right? Understanding mobile local search is important for all marketers, but it presents an especially large opportunity for small businesses hoping to draw in more customers. Some tips for leveraging mobile local search include having a mobile-optimized website, investing in local SEO, and also local PPC. Have you considered this for your 2013 marketing resolutions list? To see more mobile local search strategy tips, read the full story from Search Engine Watch here.
If 2012 Was “The Year of Mobile,” 2013 Will Be “The Year of the Tablet,” From Marketing Land
Okay, so visual content and mobile optimization have been added to the marketing resolutions list for 2013. Great! Now I’ll give you another concept to mull over and add to the list -- learning how to optimize for not just mobile devices, but tablets too. Marketing Land reports that growth and adoption of the iPad has actually been much faster than the iPod or the iPhone, and 33% of U.S. adults now own a tablet or an eReader such as the Kindle or Nook. Wow. One-third of U.S. adults?! As a marketer, there’s no way you can ignore such a large slice of the media consuming pie.
Just think: Tablets will soon be as important as PCs and smartphones for marketing and may emerge as the most important platform for ecommerce. You shouldn’t rely on your PC-optimized website for your tablet audience. Keep this in mind when planning the next steps for your website. If you’d like to see more data about tablet optimization in 2013, read the full story here.
What other marketing stories have inspired you this week? Share them in the comments below!
Image credit: Carlos Varela