The following is a sponsored post by Commune / The Content Optimization Company™.
But in 2009, it might just make the difference between an Obama-scale
victory or a McCain-level defeat for your business. (And after all,
Barackobama.com was one of the biggest web content successes of the
With that in mind, here are some of the content trends we're seeing from the trenches.
Google Will Apply User Behavior to Rankings
To many, Google's launch of "SearchWiki" in November was yet another
sign that user behavior will soon impact search results (if it doesn't
The general consensus is that Google will soon measure user
behavior—time spent on a site, click-throughs and bounce rates—and rank
Significance? Content optimization will increasingly be about more than keyword density and external links. It will also be about engaging prospects with your content once they're on your site.
RSS Will Spread to More Business Users
As an internet marketer, you might think that everyone uses RSS. But the truth is, it has just about 11% market penetration.
In part that's because most business users are still on Internet
Explorer, which is less RSS-friendly. (IE 6 and IE 7 have a combined
47.1% share of browsers.)
With the looming launch of IE 8, however, business users will have an
RSS-friendly platform of their own. And that means you'll need to make more RSS-friendly content and post regular updates to keep your target market coming back for more.
Metrics, Analytics and Testing Will Become Essential
Here's a typical comment about analytics that we hear from business
owners and communication managers: "Of course I've set up Google
Analytics. And I look at it a lot. But I have no idea what any of those
numbers actually mean."
Sound familiar? Well, in 2009, not knowing the numbers will induce
gasps of horror. The sagging economy will force marketers to constantly
evaluate and prove their campaign's ROI. And besides just passively
watching our dashboards, we'll all need to actively test variations of ads and pages to squeeze more results from every campaign.
Significance? Learn which metrics are applicable to your business
and how to optimize your site to attain the numbers you need—or you
might be left behind in a tough new economy where every penny counts.
Mobile Marketing Will No Longer Be Optional
As 3G smartphones become more and more accessible (read: affordable),
the potential for mobile advertising has nowhere to go but into the
Successful advertising strategies will include coupons, SMS marketing
and interstitial ads (messages that display in the downtime during
Significance? Punchy, sticky content will be even more important when you've got limited space to make your message heard.
User-Generated Trust Will Rise in Influence
According to a Universal McCann study in September 2008, only 14% of
web users trust advertising, but 78% trust reviews from fellow
Significance? Give your users a chance to comment, participate and build a relationship with your offering. (And, just to be safe, tailor your content so your users don't feel like they're interacting with ads.)
And, while it's hard, try not to be a heavy-handed moderator. Nothing
gets people Twittering a brand's reputation to smithereens faster than
a cease-and-desist letter to a critical blogger.
Online Relationships Will Be Enhanced With Face-to-Face Interactions
In the spirit of the holidays, a bonus trend.
The success of sites like Jelly and Meetup prove that even hardcore internet geeks long for personal contact once in a while.
Significance? Take advantage of all the online social marketing opportunities available, but remember that the original social marketing—face-to-face contact—is still incredibly effective.
So don't just create content that gets people talking.
Get out and talk.
|Want to learn content optimization strategies to exploit the trends? Download our free Instant Content Optimization guide and discover nine proven strategies you can apply today.
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