Fortune Teller

In any conversation about the inbound marketing space, forecasting or predicting the future is usually at the forefront. This is largely due to the fact that as inbound marketers we can’t afford to guess. Our marketing campaigns rely on our ability to see what’s around the corner so we can ensure more effective marketing campaigns. Beyond that, forecasting the future of inbound marketing impacts users and customers just as much as the marketer. Savvy customers and users should understand just this is changing and how that affects them.

Whether you view yourself as a doomsday marketing prophet, or an eager inbound marketer, here are five major predictions for inbound marketing that you can use to educate both your organization and your future site visitors.

1. Google will still be number one in search

As popular organizations like Facebook, Apple, Bing and DuckDuckGo gain their share of the market with their own offerings there is much talk about how Google will fare with these new search resources rising up. While the uprising of these new search platforms make for a more dynamic search experience for the user, Google has nothing to worry about. The truth is that in the search world Google is no longer a mere search engine, it is an institution (and a verb, i.e. “I just Googled that new barber shop up the street”). In fact, it remains the default search engine for just about any potential search engine user.

2. Conversely, organizations will move away from Google Analytics

However, in the months and years to come companies and users may move away from Google on a different front – in analytics. This is largely due to the fact the Google Analytics is not the be-all/end-all analytics resource anymore. With marketing automation software now supplying closed loop analytics that integrates into your customer relationship management software, the days of Google Analytics being the go to programme could be numbered.

3. Social media tools will move towards consolidation

It’s not a huge secret that the world of social media is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage. As a result, on the marketing data side of things, social media platforms will simplify and consolidate their data collection and metrics dashboards and tools in a way that makes life easier for the average social media marketer.

4. Co-occurrence will have greater impact

While there has been much debate surrounding things like co-citation (having to do with the similarities of two sites mentioned by a third-party site) and co-occurrence (the relation between keywords and a specific brand within web content), and their inherent value in the search game, some predict that co-occurrence will establish its impact in the coming months. In other words, don’t be surprised if co-occurrence and co-citation become game-changing ranking factors in the near future.

5. Google+ will finally become a thing

Will Google Plus will finally become a viable inbound marketing tool? Some analysts say yes. In late 2012, Google+ reported upwards of 130 million active daily users, and roughly 500 million total users. Less than a year earlier in January 2012, Google+ boasted just 90 million active daily users. This means that in less than 12 months, Google+ grew by roughly five times on overall usership. The bottom line is that Google+ has grown some sea legs in the social media growth category. Don’t be surprised at all if you see some massive growth from Google Plus in both overall size and user engagement in the future.

Now it’s your turn

What do you think the future holds for inbound marketing?

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