Once again, it’s time for B&B inns, dude ranches, distinctive lodging providers and destinations to say “out with the old” and ring in the new year with cutting edge internet marketing strategies and tactics. Online marketing is a huge, intricate and always evolving marketplace. Our “2017 Internet Marketing Trends to Watch” feature will define which factors will be the most important to monitor for the new year.
Brands Will Increase Their Targeting of Niche Online Markets
The rate of growth for competition in traditional, broadly focused internet marketing in the lodging and destination markets is outpacing the growth of its consumer base. The areas of online marketing most affected by this are search advertising and content & social media marketing.
The “big boys” of brand names have learned that they need to offer more personalized marketing in the search and social media outlets in order to grow their consumer base. This will increase competition for visibility for the truly unique providers such as bed & breakfasts and guest ranches.
If you’re you’re engaged in niche marketing (as you should be) with blogging, landing pages, CPC advertising, and/or social media marketing, be aware that your efforts will face new and potentially stiffer competition with deeper pockets to fund their efforts in the coming year
Agility, authenticity of voice, best SEO practices and more will be needed for smaller businesses to fight back in the increasing competitive market.
Video Advertising Will Be the Fastest Growing Platform
You’ll find video ads just about everywhere you want to look online and this trend will continue until it stops being effective. Video advertising for dude ranches, boutique hotels and B&B inns are far less saturated than other markets, so now’s a good time to look at what’s available. Look for omnidirectional 360 videos to break out big in 2017.
Video Ads for Google Search Results Are Close
Google is constantly exploring new revenue streams from online advertising. It’s a safe bet that Google is developing video advertising for search results to keep up with the likes of Facebook. Video ads in Google search have been on the radar for a couple of years and 2017 looks like it may well be the year it finally debuts.
“Immersive Experience” Will Be on the Rise
In addition to video advertising, other emerging technologies will start to play into internet marketing trends, especially:
Augmented Reality (AR)
Interactive AR to reach the emerging Millennial customer market got a huge push in the form of Pokémon Go. B&B inns and dude ranches don’t need to worry about developing game apps, yet. For now, they can take advantage of free resources like custom Google Maps to build an interactive aspect for their content marketing in the form of visit itineraries, geocaching challenges and the like.
The “Concentrated Content” Trend Makes Effective SEO More Important than Ever
Let’s face it. Internet users don’t have much in the way of attention span now and what they do have is on a downward trend.
Internet marketing efforts are increasingly focused on creating densely packed content, but that tactic turns off both search engines and the shrinking, but still very important, group of in-depth readers out there. Typical “dense content” creation simply removes article content, rather than re-prioritizing how it’s served up to users (and, just as importantly, search engines).
What’s important to the goldfish-level attention span internet users are the headlines. A recent study shows nearly 60% of Twitter users only read a headline before they share an article. Effective SEO means prioritizing your focus keyword phrase in your content title, heading 1 and heading 2 level text. The thing to add to this is to follow your title/heading 1 with a short, punchy summary of the article’s point.
For search engines and folks that still like to read, be sure you continue (or start, if you aren’t already) writing full, well organized and topic-comprehensive articles. 300 words should be the minimum for a blog article published for the purpose of content marketing in search engines.
Where Condensing Content Really Counts
The real key for condensing a message is to be found in your video marketing efforts. This is where it pays to keep things short and to the point.
Whatever Your Internet Marketing Plans, Be Prepared to Change Them
Nothing stands still in internet marketing trends (other than folks participating in the Mannequin Challenge, I suppose). Google’s search algorithm will change. The effectiveness of today’s popular tactics will turn on a dime. Social media platforms will alter their business listing standards.
Keeping ahead of the curve means you either need to learn to do it yourself or to partner with providers you can trust. InsideOut Solutions has been serving the internet marketing needs of its client for over 20 years. For clients, we’ll be here throughout 2017 to help you make sense of your online marketing efforts. If you aren’t a client, but know you need a change please contact us to discuss ways to improve your ROI from web marketing.