7 Online Marketing Predictions for 2014

Yes it’s that time of year again. Marketing campaigns up and down the country are currently being prepped for the Christmas and New Year rush – a time when marketing companies vie for consumer’s attentions and ultimately their cash.

It may seem too early to be thinking of what 2014 will bring, but before you get bogged down with the Christmas rush, it’s worth sitting down and thinking about what you and your company are looking to achieve over the next year. If you leave this task until after the Christmas and New Year rush, it’ll be mid-January before you even think about it.

So what can marketing companies expect in 2014? Here are our top marketing predictions (stay tuned for email marketing predications for 2014 coming soon).

1. Content marketing will continue to grow

Over the last couple of years, changes to Google’s algorithm and consumer’s buying habits have dramatically affected how companies are communicating. Content such as blog posts, social media, and other forms of content are now more important than hitting the sales hard. Consumers are now more savvy when it comes to buying products either online or offline. They are more likely to research the company, the product, and any other user experiences. Companies are offering value is other ways – through content – to push the consumer through the ‘traditional’ buying cycle.

2. Ad-retargeting will help your business

Ad-retargeting uses cookies on your desktop to display adverts based on your user history. For example, after landing on our site, you’ll probably notice our little Professor Ant following you around the web. This is a great way to ensure your brand is still in the user’s mind, long after they left your site. Studies have found that this can lead to an increase in brand trust and recognition, meaning the user is likely to return to you once they’ve visited you – meaning you may get a sale, even if they don’t buy from you there and then.

3. Quick fire messaging will increase in popularity

As inbound marketing continues to surge, consumers are requiring information to be displayed quickly and effectively. The majority of people will be aware that our attention spans are shortening as we become more and more used to absorbing and finding information quickly, for example, how long have you sat there and tried to think of an answer to a questions before saying ‘Oh – just Google it’? TV and radio ads are becoming less effective, and as such companies will need to make content easily viewed and quickly digestible. Social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and even popular website Buzzfeed solely relies on the popularity of images – and your company should take advantage of this too.

4. Simplicity will surge

On that same note, as consumers strive for information that is easily digestible, they will also require simplicity. Look at companies like Apple, their communication is simple, their emails are straight the point, and they let the contact do the thinking, instead of trying to sell to them with a thousand word essay. Consumers are bombarded with information everywhere they go and simplicity and straight the point messaging will stand out in a sea of marketing messaging.

5. Mobile will rule the roost

Recent studies have shown that the vast majority of your email marketing contacts, your website visitors, and your social media followers are accessing your information via mobile. And without mobile optimised content, you are pushing away your contacts. If they cannot access your site in a format they require, they are more likely to turn to another company that will support their needs. According to Forbes, 87% of connected devices by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones. Mobile optimisation will soon become as important as having a website or social media accounts.

6. Marketing channels will become interlinked

From my point of view, I think it would be really useful if we could track user’s activity through a variety of channels all in one place.  For example, let’s say we had a contact on our email marketing database; they clicked on an email, landed on our website, bounced to a number of pages, landed on our Twitter feed, followed us, and then landed on our Facebook page. At the moment, PPC, email and social signal software does exist, but they currently don’t speak to each other. Throughout 2014, and onwards, we can expect to see these channels interlinking, and perhaps even affecting a business’s SEO. If a company has a lot of social interaction and a user finds their site, and social accounts informative, Google may boost the company up the SERP. One day, maybe not in 2014 but definitely in the future, we will see the software.

7. Social media will require tailoring

Ten years ago companies used their website as their main online focus, and used traditional outbound marketing techniques to promote themselves. Five years ago companies started to use social media sites and traditional techniques, but in 2014, this will need to change. Businesses and individuals alike are beginning to understand that each social media site has a different audience, and will require different content. What works on Facebook will not work on Twitter, and we at Wired Marketing understand this from our own experience. Targeted messaging will be booming in 2014, and as such companies will need to reflect their messaging and buyer personas to engage the correct people on the correct sites – or you will risk alienating followers.

What do you think 2014 holds? And have you started to think about next year’s targets and goals yet? Let us know what you think below, or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.

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