Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014
Digital Marketing is evolving at a rapid speed; it is changing every second simply because there is no thumb rule to do marketing. Consumer behavior, which is the foundation of Digital Marketing is so unpredictable, that Marketing is no longer a subject – It has become a Science and an Art.
Few years back, it was the search which dominated the landscape, then social media started calling the rules meanwhile video, blogs and images continued to hold their fort. What will happen in 2014 in Digital Marketing?
Here are top 5 trends which can dominate 2014, as observed by an Online Marketer, working full time in the industry. Watch out:
The Term Social Media Will Be Used Less and Less
There are several so called gurus of Social Media who have managed to create a false hype with regards to this term. Social Media can be compared to another world, and no rule can bind it.
Yes, social media marketing or social media optimization is a nice strategy for Digital Marketers, but it’s usage will be less and less. As more people join different social networks, they are becoming aware of the tactics used by marketers to lure them, and they will avoid us.
On the contrary, it will evolve into much bigger pie, as a digital platform to ‘influence’ and ‘inspire’ users. Questions about ROI in Social Media Marketing will almost vanish as click-through rates of the biggest Facebook fanpages are hovering at .01% to .7%!
SEO As We Know Has Expired
When I entered the Online Marketing industry, SEO was the in-thing. You create few pages, do some on-page changes, create few backlinks and voila! Your site is on top of Google search results. This is over now.
Google makes over 300 changes to it’s algorithms a year , and everyday they are trying to stop artificial SEO to come up. Yes, ‘creating’ backlinks for ranking is artificial, and it is over!
Last year when Google encrypted all searches, it had changed SEO for ever. Keywords and links are no longer an important factor, and this makes SEO dead. People search Google to get information and if your website is not providing that, you are simply out of SEO.
We should always remember that Google is a search engine first and a marketing medium second. So, what is the future?
Content based Marketing is the future of both Social Media and SEO.
A comprehensive approach, taking into consideration social, search and content is the trend which is being witnessed. Social Media, if handled separately, will make no sense so will SEO handled separately fuelled by worthless content stuffed with keywords.
Brands and businesses need to implement a solid Content Marketing approach, taking in view the exact audience needs and not which search terms they are searching or how many ‘likes’ your Facebook fan page has.
Social Media will be used more like an in-house editorial, informing its existing users about the brand rather than a marketing tool to increase sales.
Google will be used more like an Online Reputation Management tool rather than a marketing strategy to increase traffic and sales. More and more interesting topics and subjects within a niche shall be picked up, and content would be created based on that. The long tail of search will be dominant.
If you are still trying to figure out how to rank for few keywords, then your business is over. Create superb content, because you never know which keywords a user may type and which page becomes their gateway to your website.
In place of link building, marketers will build relationships with fellow webmasters and share content with one another. The creation of link would just be a side-effect, not the purpose. Overall, it shall be an integrated approach to Digital Marketing, using content.
Digital Marketing Will Level The Playing Field
Never in the history of business, have the playing field been leveled like it is today. With the assistance of Digital Marketing, small business owners can now effectively compete against large corporations with huge marketing budgets. And this trend will fortunately continue in 2014.
The base of modern day Digital Marketing is not money but ideas: interesting, viral ideas which can cause disruption. And large corporations don’t have the flexibility to create such viral content.
It is the small business owners, entrepreneurs and artists who can do it, and the smart ones have already started the new wave. Digital Marketing in 2014 will help such small players to compete and thrive against big players, and the trend should continue.
The Big Data: Integration of Mobile With Mainstream Digital Marketing
Mobile has been in news since last 5 years, and the online transactions using mobiles have also increased manifold. Today, there are more mobiles powered with Internet compared to PC and Desktop. But there is something new and exciting happening today, which will change the entire landscape of marketing.
First, some facts:
- 25% of US citizens use their smartphones and tablets while watching TV
- 51% of those who post their status updates on social media while watching TV do so to connect with others who are also watching the same show
- 24% of all movie goers post update about the movie while watching it inside the theater
Now, what does this suggest?
Everyone is now connected using the web. Only the devices are changing!
A typical urban Internet user has a smartphone, a laptop and a tablet. Now, whenever he is encountering interesting content, he is sharing it and saving it. Even if the person is doing some offline exercise like shopping in a mall or watching TV or movie in a theater, he is always connected and the data is being shared. Marketers in 2014 will use this to a greater advantage.
Using big data, today’s digital marketer can target the exact audience profile he needs and present before him the exact stuff he may buy. For example, if I know that Ashok is right now in a shopping mall, about to buy a pair of jeans, I will instantly showcase him a better deal and ship it within 24 hours.
Welcome to the new age of Digital Marketing; combining mobile, desktop and the big data!
What are your predictions for Digital Marketing in 2014?
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