Marketing is evolving every single day. The way our clients speak to and are perceived by their customers is on a constant shift and this should be top-of-mind as they solidify and build their strategic marketing plans for 2014.
As we arm our clients with the knowledge for battle, here’s a look at four trends that marketers in any industry should be on the lookout for in 2014.
1. Content Marketing
The importance of content isn’t changing and will be bigger than ever in 2014. Just doing SEO isn’t going to cut it next year, with updates like Penguin and Hummingbird even more value is being placed on new fresh and relevant content by the search engines. According to Social Media B2B, companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those who don’t. Expect it to continue to be the one of the most effective ways of establishing authority and gaining trust with customers. Marketers should create continuous valuable content through a variety of channels.
2. Monetizing Fans (especially in social media)
In 2014, the best digital marketers will be taking advantage of revenue-generating opportunities as they relate to the fan or the consumer. Fan monetization will be the basis of ROI. Until now, the value of a fan has been simple: how much money did they spend on a brand and its product(s). In 2014, the use of multiple engagement channels and digital marketing mediums will provide a new currency impacting the value of a fan: their influence on others. Brands will begin to embrace the idea that the value of a fan is calculated not just by the money invested in products, but by their ability to encourage more fans to become customers.
The most valuable fan for a brand may not actually be a customer. A fan may be supportive of philanthropically issues, social practices, customer service and other non-sales related efforts and, though they do not buy a single product, social media provides them with the ability to become advocates of the brand, driving sales just as a television advertisement or email offer may achieve. While a company may always evaluate success and performance by the bottom line of a balance sheet, the value of a fan and the fan’s fans, will determine the new standard of ROI.
3. Industry-Specific Ad Formats
More industry-specific ad formats are likely to emerge. The meteoric rise in Price Listing Ads or PLA adoption by retail advertisers and shoppers provides evidence that richer and more relevant ad formats are the future of paid search. These should be a part of an SEM strategy for any retailers with eCommerce websites.
Google’s Hotel Price Ads (HPAs), though still in beta, are a prime example of a new ad format geared towards a specific industry: travel and leisure. Similar to PLAs, the new HPA format enables marketers to deliver highly relevant ads, including price, for accommodations that appeal to travelers. Consequently, we expect to see more ad formats emerge across industries like automotive and finance, where rich content such as pricing and rates are likely to increase ad relevance and engagement.
4. Location-based Marketing
This type makes use of GPS technology to deliver multimedia content tailored to the geographical location straight to the potential customer’s mobile device. This helps to cater more specifically to users’ needs, and both marketers and consumers are expecting more of this in 2014. Already there are social apps, including Ban.jo, Path and Foursquare that provide vital consumer data.
91 percent of adult mobile phone owners have their devices within arm’s reach 24/7, and location-based marketing could exploit this massively. Furthermore, tools such as Google Wallet are being perfected, which will enable people to buy with their credit card right from their smartphone.
Paid advertising will also increase, particularly on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Social signals have proved to be important for search rankings and building reputation. 2014 will be an epic year for new digital marketing opportunities. There is more opportunity than ever to engage customers and advocates for our client’s brands. It’s all very exciting!
Find out how TN Media can help you grow your business in 2014. Contact us today!
Sources: Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, 2013