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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Paid Search is Saturated: So What’s Next?

For the past five years, paid search has been the top sales driver for many online retailers. And, as many marketing agencies will point out, paid search involves much more than just choosing the right keywords. Paid search requires constant optimization and testing, from the ad text grabbing the customer’s eye to the landing page introducing or reaffirming your brand’s offerings.

Most importantly, and as many have realized, paid search can only work when your site is optimized with the latest and best in usability and site stickiness tactics. Meaning: You need marketers to get people to your site, but you need top usability experts to make sure those visitors convert to customers once they’ve landed there.

Today, more and more people have discovered the ins and outs of paid search, but… what’s the next big thing taking the online marketing community by storm? Two types of media – video and social media marketing – are leading this year’s hottest marketing trends.

Website Videos

Retailers especially will benefit from using videos on their websites and in their marketing campaigns to increase online conversion rates. Why? Videos bring the customer one step closer to that true in-storm experience. Although they can’t touch an item of clothing, for example, or try it on, a video allows them a true snapshot of the item, bringing it to life better than a series of photographs ever could.

Videos also bring a sense of credibility to your website, and – if done right – a sense of class as well. Meta Media, Inc. partner Quadras Integrated has been an expert in photography and now videography for over 30 years.

QI experts recommend that your website videos:

  • Compel users without overwhelming them with too much information.
  • Be very focused; showcase individual products or services rather than a variety.
  • Be short and to the point; videos that are too long will lose the audience.
  • Play in all browsers; testing is crucial when launching a new website video.

Video SEO

You can even take advantage of Video SEO by including transcriptions and captions of your videos on your site. Post them to YouTube as well for additional external links, bound to raise your overall rankings on Google especially.

Video Advertising

Video advertising is on the rise and should be tested, in addition to adding website videos to your site. As a recent eMarketer article pointed out:

“[S]pending on online video advertising will grow to $4.6 billion in 2013, representing a more than sevenfold increase from the $587 million spent on the format in 2008” (1/9/09).

Marketers love video advertising for the sole reason that it allows you to convey so much (ideas, emotions, sensibilities) in a quick and charismatic format. It is also ideal for communicating to younger audiences who would much rather watch than read.

Social Media Marketing

Finally, we have social media marketing, defined as the collaboration and communication of online content across a variety of different verticals. From clothing & accessories to health & beauty to home services, people are taking advantage of social media marketing to share ideas, comments, coupons and more. The growth of social media marketing has proved it’s not a short-lived trend, but the latest way to get audiences interested in your product, service or brand.

- Social Media Resources: From Facebook to Myspace to Twitter, your audiences are discovering new ways to interact with each other and create “Consumer-Generated Media” (CGM). It’s important to locate those resources that have the most potential for your business, and test and track the results.

  • Widgets: Social media widgets for Facebook, Twitter and others keep you constantly connected with your audience. Just a simple application added to your site can make a big difference in how you interact with visitors and keep them updated on your business.
  • Blogging: How can a blog impact your sales? Is it essential for your business growth? With so much saturation in blogs today (there are about 80+ million blogs online and active), you need to find your voice and continually update and enhance your content to make sure your audience sticks around.

For more on the latest trends in online marketing, contact Meta Media Inc. today.

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