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2014 Social Media/Online Marketing Trends: What’s Coming Down the Pike

Posted by Neal Leavitt on September 25th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Pundits/prognosticators/mavens/gurus – call them what you like – are now popping up more frequently now as we get closer to punting 2013 and welcoming in 2014.

So what’s on tap? What’s hot, what’s not for next year?

Forbes recently outlined a number of online marketing trends that they believe will be integral to companies/marketers in 2014.

A handful of examples:

Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute says top B2B content marketing strategies are articles on a company’s website, social media, e-newsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites. Marketing to the masses is becoming passé – it’s more effective to produce engaging content designed for specific audiences.

Image-Centric Content on the Rise

Buzzfeed and PinterestForbes says these are just two examples of how image-based content can help a company’s product or service go viral. “Successful blog posts that receive the most social shares also usually have a common characteristic – they pepper in some well-placed pictures to break content up and emphasize certain points,” notes Forbes.

Mobile-Friendly Content Absolutely Essential

Get with it – the shift from boxy PCs and laptops to mobile devices is accelerating – your business won’t remain competitive unless you create content that’s accessible to mobile users. In fact, Forbes predicts that by 2017, an astounding 87% of connected devices sales will be tablets and smartphones.

Ad Retargeting Becoming More Popular

Only two percent of web traffic converts on the first visit; ad retargeting can help increase conversion rates by reminding consumers what product or service they saw online. Browser cookies are utilized to track visited websites and once a user leaves a site, those products/services will be shown to them again in ads across different websites. “This keeps the brand and product at the top of the consumer’s mind,” noted Forbes. “Due to the success that many marketers have had with ad retargeting, there’s a good chance that it will become more mainstream in 2014.”

Ajay Prasad, reporting in New Canaan Patch, added that author ranking will play a pivotal role, e.g., creating engaging and regular content on various social media platforms will result in more people responding, commenting, sharing whatever the author’s waxing eloquent on, e.g., a product, service, etc.

And Neil Asher, who heads up ROARLocal, a UK digital marketing agency, says we’ll see the rise of video monetization next year. Asher said online video advertising is starting to compete with traditional TV advertising.

“Although the format isn’t as forgiving, with the average ad lasting 15 seconds, it’s time to take this venue seriously,” said Asher. “From creating original content as part of a content marketing plan, to actively using video ads to promote your services, video is where it’s at.”

And social media is now a game changer on the political front and will continue to do so.

Indonesia, for instance, has 64 million Facebook users and about 30 million Twitter users. Social media, according to the Jakarta Globe, is playing a key role in disseminating information and educating people on political issues in advance of the July 9, 2014 presidential election.

And India, with 778 million eligible voters, has 82 million Facebook users. The April-May 2014 general election for the16th Lok Sabha (the lower house of India’s parliament) is already generating a lot of buzz in the social media world. Many key candidates have created extensive Twitter and Facebook profiles/pages operated by various parties to help influence voters.

Social media, noted Indian Affairs, is becoming an essential tool for politicians since India’s population is very young – 50% are below age 28 and the young population is becoming increasingly tech savvy/literate.

“Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and text messages are all now enabled for Indian languages. Not knowing English is no longer a constraint,” added Indian Affairs .

The publication also succinctly summed up what lies ahead in 2014:

“Social media will influence the mainstream media, set the agenda for television, and will be a source for spotting the ‘buzz’ that will function like TV debates of the new age in which citizens are now participants.”

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