Online marketing in 2013 was an exciting roller-coaster ride that sped through the tracks at breakneck speed. With so many new platforms to use and radical shifts in the way people consume and use content, your company can’t afford to get comfortable and cozy with your digital strategies. To get past the competition, you need to be dedicated to innovation and be able to adapt to disruptive changes in the industry. Here are five digital marketing trends you should be paying attention to in 2014.
1. FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES THE END OF ORGANIC REACH
For many years, businesses could set up Facebook pages and get great traffic from their audience using engaging content alone. But Facebook marketing is no longer free, thanks to a major news feed algorithm change released in December 2013.
According to the official Facebook blog, the changes were made to promote “high quality content” and discourage the spread of shallow, meme-type images. However, it was soon made clear to marketers that the real reason behind the new news feed algorithm is to cut down the organic reach of a brand page’s content.
Since Facebook announced the change, marketers immediately observed that their organic page views plummet by as much as 88%! This means that less than 16% of your brand page’s audience will see and engage with your posts unless you pay for Sponsored Stories and other news feed ads. Make the most out of your budget by treating Facebook like an advertising channel, and use conversion optimization and other strategies that will help you achieve your your marketing goals.
2. THE FUTURE OF MARKETING IS A MULTI-SCREEN ENDEAVOR
The days of reaching your customers through a single device are over. 90% media consumption is done in front of a screen, and time spent online is usually split between four media devices – television, laptops/PCs, tablets, and smart-phones. Bring your brand’s message in front of your customers with a multi screen marketing campaign. Optimizing advertising and content distribution across devices enhances your company’s ability to communicate with your audience no matter where they are or what they are doing.
To do this successfully, you need to understand how your customers interact with each screen for your brands, and target the appropriate device for every point on the path to purchase. For instance, one of the main behaviors of smartphone users is searching for information while on the go, so consider mobile search strategy if you are aiming for brand discovery.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GOOGLE+ PAGE
Many marketing strategies consider a Google+ presence as a “nice-to-have” rather than a “must-have”, but in 2014, ignoring this platform could mean missing out on opportunities to optimize your content for search engines and it’s growing user base. As seen by the prominence of Google Authorship in ranking and search CTR, the Hummingbird algorithm change, and the evolution of Google Hangout as a standalone application, and the ability to email people via their Google+ pages, it’s clear that there is an aggressive push to make the platform a central part of everyone’s online experience.
4. LOCATION-BASED MARKETING IS YOUR MOBILE STRATEGY’S MISSING LINK
smartphone in hand, a person’s location is the new cookie in 2014. Through mobile, you can track people throughout the day, across devices, media types, and places. Instead of letting potential customers walk past your brick-and-mortar store, use location-based marketing to send tempting offers to their mobile phones and encourage walk-ins.
One way to do this is to develop a mobile application that lets users access your products through their devices. Then use geo-fencing technology to set up a virtual perimeter around your store. So when your customer steps through the perimeter, he or she will automatically receive push notifications on new offers, events, and other special content that encourages a store visit.
If you don’t have the budget for this, then Foursquare is a good alternative to provide tips and offers when people check-in to your location or nearby.
As early as now, start making an effort to reach Google+’s growing platform and make your presence felt. Don’t have time to manage one more social media platform? Start by cross-posting content from Facebook to your Google+ page, and slowly transition to creating unique content for it as your audience grows.
5. VISUAL AND VIDEO CONTENT CONTINUES TO EXPLODE
A picture says a thousand words, and with the way consumers respond to images online, those pictures tell stories that make them want to buy buy buy. Videos in particular continue their rapid ascent in the content marketing hierarchy with the popularity of mobile applications like Vine, and Instagram’s new 15-second video capabilities.
THE BOTTOM LINE
2014 is the year to invest in content strategies that put photos and videos in the front and center. But it’s not enough to just have pretty images; marketers will be challenged to come up with a good narrative and make it digestible in a matter of seconds. Your visual content must tell a beautiful story using concise messaging and play on people’s emotions. The copywriters, graphic designers, and video ninjas on your team will become central to your marketing strategy, resulting in a flood of brilliantly-told stories in new mediums.
This article was also on: https://www.afdigital.com/here-are-5-unignorable-digital-marketing-trends-2014/