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Interactive Marketing: What’s In Store For Us?

The year 2012 is synonymous with end of the world stories. Hollywood really sold the Mayan calendar well. Predictions, or forecasts in a more scientific manner, greatly affects our decisions and our thoughts.

For content writers and link builders, getting ahead of our time is important. One way of doing it (other than attempting to build a time machine) is to study forecasts. Forrester released its forecast for interactive marketing last 2011. Let’s see what’s in store for us.

What is interactive marketing?

A marketing method that focuses on the customers, on what they feel and what they want, rather than on the product. It’s name says it – it’s an interactive and personal way of marketing. Totally different from the traditional way, like print ads.

Although we still watch TV, read newspapers, and listen to radio commercials, yet we must admit it we encounter more ads in the web. How many hours do we spend everyday in front of the monitor? Not to count our browsing time using our mobile devices.

There is just a shift towards this and the marketers are adjusting to this trend. Or had adjusted already.

More spending

According to a forecast by Forrester, by 2016 advertisers will spend $ 77 billion on interactive marketing. This is equivalent to what they spend in TV ads in 2011. It will take up 35 percent of the total advertising spending.

The investments will shoot up in the next coming years. Expect to see more online video ads and more ads in your favorite social networking sites.

The rise of social media

Social media is the ultimate channel in marketing nowadays. It has just been a theory before, but now it’s already one of the main tools in online marketing and advertising.

The increase in the attention to social media is best illustrated Andy Bett’s article, which shows social media as co-equal with content marketing and technical and traditional SEO. Basically, the convergence of these three factors is already taking place.

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition, this 2012, 60% of SEOs will increase their social media budgets. These are the other increases: 60% – landing page optimization, 57% – SEO, and 41% – content marketing.

I just hope that this will not result in the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to be cluttered with more ads.

Going mobile

Mobile devices also play a major role in this industry. Mobile advertising surpassed email and social media spending last 2011. It is expected to be at $ 8.2B by 2016. This is mainly because of more relevant mobile ads, more tablet users, and increase in mobile commerce – 47% have bought stuff online using their devices.

Mobile commerce is expected to reach $ 31 billion. It is still a growing market potential because it is just 7 percent of the total for eCommerce.

Customers first

It seems like as we move towards a more internet-based marketing, the emphasis on “what the customers want” is getting more attention. Interactive marketing – the name speaks for the whole idea.

These are some of the tips that Forrester provided. Plan with the customers first in mind. Simply disregard your company’s benchmark from the previous years, if needed. Know what your customers need by knowing them in the personal level.

Remember to innovate. To be able to compete and survive in the marketing world, this should always be put in mind. Take note, taking risks in innovating something doesn’t mean that you will be reckless.

Link builders and the social media

Now, because I am into link building lately, let’s see how we can make use of the forecast – especially with the projected spending on the use of social media sites. The goal – use social media to generate  traffic to a site.

Lots of ways are already presented and discussed in most blogs and sites. Some of the things that we should always remember include:

Go beyond Facebook and Twitter. They are not the only social media sites. Explore the new ones, join communities, and find your niche.

Where you (should) belong. We can only communicate well with people and communities who belong to the same world as ours. So find sites that discusses topics you are comfortable with. These are your niche sites. Or the sites that you should target – for optimization.

Exchange ideas rather than links. First thing, to join social media sites is to exchange ideas through comments and posts, mostly in the form of question. Build relationships, improve your credibility, post relevant questions and comment.

Final Note

Looking beyond the current trend, and given all things will progress, interactive marketing will be here to stay or ever to dethrone the traditional methods of marketing. Link building, SEO, and social media optimization is re-defining marketing and advertising.

To reach this goal however, we must remember why social media blossomed in the first place. It’s because of the people, of the interaction, and the “humanization “ of the net. So connecting with people is the only thing that we should always remember to still float until 2016.

Ric is a content writer of Agents of Value, one of the pioneers of the SEO industry in the Philippines. Traditional marketing methods is already gradually being replaced by a more interactive model,  customer-oriented approach. In this article, Ric explores the rise of social media and it’s bigger role in the marketing strategies.

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