Your job is on the line

No matter your level of expertise, you probably don’t know as much as you should. This is especially true in the digital marketing industry, where algorithm changes, design trends, and social media best practices are constantly in flux.

However, not knowing is not an option. Digital marketing is a popular and competitive industry, and if you’re a strategist, writer or designer, your boss expects you to stay current, if not ahead of the trends.

To bring you up to speed or to refresh the facts that you already know as a marketing professional, here are 7 current and important industry trends.

Data is everything

The big advantage of marketing online versus traditional forms of advertising is the ability to track your efforts. Analytics programs and cookies allow marketers to measure the success and failure of strategies down to the last click.

From data, we can glean volumes of information about customer needs and behavior. You can see what websites your leads visited, products they viewed, purchases they made, etc. All of this information can inform your marketing efforts, from whom you reach to how you reach them, and at what point.

Just make sure you know how to read your data. Without the ability to interpret it, raw information is useless.

Mobile is growing… and growing… and growing

Increasingly, brands are incorporating mobile websites into their digital marketing plans, which is no surprise. Mobile is an unstoppable train. More people are now using their phones and tablets to search, make purchases, and most notably, interact with their favorite brands through apps.

If your business doesn’t have an app or mobile site yet, you may be missing out on a big opportunity. Even if your particular industry doesn’t seem to have a mobile audience, trends in mobile usage suggest that it’s only a matter of time until that changes.

SEO isn’t just about keywords

Keywords remain an important part of SEO strategy, but even Google has announced that they’re starting to value semantic search over specific words and phrases.

If you’re running your company’s SEO strategy, you should be optimizing your website content for keyword density, but this is just one piece of a bigger puzzle (as Google doesn’t divulge the details of its algorithm, optimization can truly feel like a puzzle at times).

Focus on the fundamentals as well, such as title tags for your important web pages, and backlinks from legitimate websites with authority. Together, all of these things will yield better search engine results.

Social media isn’t just about Likes

Receiving a high Like count on your Facebook post can make you feel warm and fuzzy, but when it comes to acting as a barometer for engagement, this metric is somewhat ambiguous.

Likes, Favorites, and Re-Pins do imply that your content is popular, but they don’t provide you with deeper information. You don’t know if the user who liked your post checked out your website or made a purchase as a result.

Always focus on posting great content, but make sure you track other metrics including reach, shares, and perhaps most importantly, clicks as well.

Content marketing incorporates social media platforms

Social media should be used to promote products and services and inform your audience of a sale they might be interested in. But this shouldn’t comprise the bulk of your strategy.

In fact, the most effective way to use social media is as a content delivery system. Content should include relevant links, images, and video. For networks like Twitter and LinkedIn, you can use it to establish yourself as a thought leader, connect with customers, and build relationships with other people in your industry as well.

Email marketing is alive and well

For a time, it was trendy to declare that email was dead. Commentators cited instant messaging and social media interaction as the dominant way in which people connected online.

However, statistics tell a different story. According to a recent survey, email remains an easy and effective means of reaching leads and customers.

Make a purchase from a website today (or even browse it), and you’ll be asked to receive the brand’s newsletter. Email is easy to configure, short, and insanely measurable. Plus, companies like MailChimp, Constant Contact and more provide templates and analytics that anyone can figure out.

Web design trends favor easy user experience

Is your website easy to navigate?

These days, users expect to arrive on your site and find exactly what they’re looking for within seconds. You don’t necessarily have to use wide, minimalist design for your pages, but if you’re shooting for familiar, comfortable user experience, then you should follow current trends.

In addition to improving search-ability on your site, many experts speculate that simple, attractive layouts and features such as clearly emphasized headlines, fast load times, and legible typography will help boost conversions and sales.

Author's Bio: 

Stephen Moyers is digital marketer, designer, avid tech-savvy blogger. He is associated with Los Angeles Web Design Agency - SPINX Digital. He loves to write about web design, development, digital marketing, social media and much more. Apart from writing, he loves traveling & photography. Follow Stephen on Twitter & LinkedIn.