It’s almost the end of the year and it is during this period when wise business owners plan ahead and lay out their Digital Marketing budget and strategies for the coming year 2014. Many would look back at what transpired during 2013, identifying what worked and what did not in their digital marketing efforts. This could be an attempt on the part of the business owner to try and re-use these strategies and get the same results they received this year.
Technically speaking, using the same digital strategies should deliver the same results, right? Apparently, that is not the case. Digital marketing trends are influenced by the rapidly changing online marketplace and the proliferation of various channels, gadgets and devices where people can access the internet even while on the go. Keeping abreast with these new digital marketing trends and strategies can help your brand, product or service get much more marketing mileage and reach even more targeted audiences – all potential customers.
As more and more businesses grow more adept and more mature in digital marketing strategies, experts predict 2014 to be a very interesting year for internet marketing. In this note, Digital Marketing Philippines would like to present the following digital marketing trends to watch out this 2014 – and beyond.
1) More Focus on Location-Based Digital Marketing
Social apps like Facebook, Ban.Jo, Path and Foursquare allow users to check in on their location anywhere in the world. Other apps with location-based or GPS features can track whether a user has gone over a geofence at a very precise moment. This trending popularity of location-based applications and the global mobile device and gadgets phenomena is triggering an upsurge of location-based marketing campaigns. This is what many experts like Nancy Bhagat, the VP for Marketing Strategy at Intel, are predicting would emerge strongly next year.
In the US, 91% of adults always have their mobile phones and devices near them or within arm’s reach. With location-based digital marketing, business owners can use this information to send them multimedia content that is relevant to their needs based on their geographical location data. The possibilities are endless, with apps like Google AdWords radius targeting and Apple’s indoor positioning system called iBeacon, you can connect much more intuitively from a geographical perspective with potential customers.
2) Visuals Will Exert Greater Influence on Consumer Trends
The emerging popularity of infographics as well as social applications and websites like Pinterest and Instagram that rely heavily on visual content, brings new life back to the old adage describing pictures as much, much more worthy than 1000 words. Even big players like Google are focusing more on visuals with the release of Authorship and linkage with Google Plus. This goes to show that image-based content would be a trending force to reckon with – that business owners should not overlook – in 2014.
Visual influencers, as Suzanne Fanning from WOMMA or Word of Mouth Marketing Association put them, will be a very strong viral tactic where brands, products and services can use image or video-based content to interact more with customers. Get 94% more attention for your text content by throwing in videos and images and make sure you fill in proper alt and meta tags to give your Search Engine Optimization campaign a boost just by including these images.
3) Mobile Marketing will Have a Greater Influence on Consumer Buying Decisions
eMarketer’s Principal Analyst, Noah Elkin, describes mobile devices like tablets and smartphones has emerged as more than a personal computer substitute, becoming the centerpiece of consumers’ daily lives and purchasing behavior – with only a tap away from making buying decisions online or off. The big players like Facebook and Google are targeting mobile users much more extensively to increase ad revenues, with other players also joining the bandwagon. With consumers crossing over to a multi-platform environment with their myriad devices and gadgets, business owners should beef up the mobile marketing attributes of their overall digital marketing campaign.
4) The Use of Paid Advertising Will Increase
New York Time’s bestselling author Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, predicts a considerable increase in the use of paid channels for digital marketing. This is already made evident with Facebook’s overhaul of their news feed algorithm that makes it harder for social media marketers to reach targeted customers through organic channels. He also said that Twitter will go the same route in its drive towards an increase in revenues, with Google Plus following suit with its introduction of paid advertising. As discussed in earlier articles from Digital Marketing Philippines, paid advertising can generate targeted visitors that convert much more readily. This should be put into great consideration by business owners during their digital marketing campaigns.
5) Custom and Branded Content Marketing Will Take Center Stage
Content is still and has always been the King in digital marketing. It is the core of any campaign efforts, with 78% of CMOs believing custom content to be digital marketing’s future according to Social Media Today. Custom content can bring in more targeted traffic and positive results as what 73.7% of Inbound Marketing Agents survey respondents confirmed. Large brands will also be taking in custom content to reach out and interact with their customers, according to Content Marketing Institute’s founder Joe Pulizzi.
6) A More Diversified Social Media Arena
Other players have joined and are getting sizable pieces of the social media pie, previously dominated by Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. New social media players like Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest are getting upward swings in popularity among online users which business owners should capitalize during their digital marketing campaigns. Experts believe this trend will continue to surge forward in 2014 and the coming years.
7) Conversion Optimization will be a Digital Marketing Buzzword
Digital marketing’s ultimate goal is to convert website traffic into business leads or paying customers through conversion optimization. Business owners and online marketers are gaining a better understanding of the significance of conversion and experts believe conversion optimization will soon become a new digital marketing buzzword in 2014. Free tools for conversion optimization are available at Google Analytics, but you can also rely on paid applications like Bounce Exchange, Crazy Egg and Optimizely.
8) Increased Live Engagements with Website Visitors
eMarketer’s new report “Key Digital Trends for 2014” talks about the importance of live engagements with consumers that are always connected. These consumers, with easy access to mobile devices they can bring anywhere, are in the demand for very quick and instant interactions for website queries or even orders. Waiting for a response within 24 to 48 hours, as what traditional media would do, will simply turn off consumers and be prompted to look for other channels who can supply their needs.
The report also states that real-time marketing can bring businesses tons of benefits as outlined in the graph below from eMarketer. Live chats, virtual events and other real-time interactions allow you to connect much more with targeted customers.
9) Deeper Social Media Integration to Websites
Social Media is still very strong in 2014 and other years to come with social media integration to websites as well as social proof, trending very well into the following year. Websites should be designed to make it easy for online users to comment or share your content through the integration of social media buttons. This new psyche has evolved as more and more users interact with brands, products or services – and with other users as well – with social proof influencing consumers’ buying behaviors.
10) Multi-Channel Strategies Integration to Digital Marketing
The digital marketing arena has become more and more competitive and complex, with various tools and channels developed that business owners can use to interact with targeted customers. Using a single digital marketing tool might not be enough to bring in results, and should transition itself into an integration of various tools into a multi-channel digital marketing campaign. The practice of integration of multi-platform channels was extensive in 2013 and will continue to do so very strongly in the coming years according to surveys conducted by Responsys and Econsultancy.
As a final note, the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve with the emergence of new technologies and techniques, including the upsurge of mobile usage, multi-channel and multi-platform environments. These are translated in greater detail with the top digital marketing trends for 2014 outlined above that business owners should watch out for – and bring their digital marketing campaigns to greater levels of success.
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