Over the last few weeks it has been hard to avoid coming across one of the many articles written about marketing and technology predictions for 2014.
My role as Digital Marketing Manager at IMS Marketing is to stay on top of the latest strategies and techniques for Online Marketing. As we are B2B agency with a broad range of clients here at IMS Marketing, some of these lists are void for the specialist work we do. However, I have mulled over these and taken out the top 5 trends we are standing by for 2014.
Of course the online world changes by the day, Google may update another algorithm, Facebook may change other rule, and LinkedIn may add another feature and so on. For the purpose of this article I will take a broader look at Digital Marketing trends, taking out the top 5 trends to look at for 2014 and why.
1) Location Based Marketing
According to Google one-third of searches in 2013 were location based. In addition to that 94% of smartphone users have searched for local information.
With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones worldwide, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. Location-Based Marketing (LBM) is defined as the use of mobile marketing to target mobile users within certain geographic area. Location based marketing can offer targeted marketing messages to its audiences.
Location based optimisation through claiming your business listing can also aid in SEO and page rank. For example, by claiming your business on Google Places for Business, you will benefit from a higher page rank within the Google Places section on the search page. In addition, encouraging reviews on your Google+ page will boost your page rank within Google Places as well.
Overall, utilising location-based marketing, as well as claiming and optimising your business listings across the web will enrich your company’s web presence; increase your brand awareness and your company’s credibility. With a little research your company could benefit from integrating location-based into your marketing strategy.
2) Content Marketing
The most influential voices in the industry appear to agree: 2013 was a big year for content marketing and 2014 does not look like it is set to change.
The Content Marketing Institute released a report recently comparing content marketing strategies to previous years: ‘73% of B2B content marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago’ – and their confidence is increasing, which only means they will be more likely to be creative and take risks in their content marketing strategies.
Creating unique content and thought leadership material for B2B marketers is a must. Integrating this content marketing into your overall online marketing strategy is something that needs careful attention. Choosing the right platforms to distribute content, when to distribute and to whom will also play an integral part of the implementation.
Leveraging your organisations blog /news section will mean amplifying the message with platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
With more than 259 million members and 142 million unique visitors a month, LinkedIn is a worthy news site. Likewise the reach that both Twitter and Facebook can offer when used correctly is invaluable if used for the correct target market.
Creating content for You Tube, the second biggest search engine in the world and slideshare are all examples of elements that can be contained within your Content Marketing plan.
3) Mobile Marketing
With the adoption rate of smartphones reaching high levels and the fact that this year tablet sales are set to outsell PCs by the end of 2014 we cannot neglect location based marketing.
To put this in perspective lets look at the statistics for Ireland alone, over half (53%) of the Irish population now owns a smartphone, equal to 1.7 million people, compared to 39 percent twelve months ago. Meanwhile, one in four now have access to a tablet, with another 450,000 Irish people likely to purchase a tablet by the end of the year, according to the latest consumer survey by Eircom.
Responsive design that optimises your website’s layout depending on what device your prospect is using is rapidly moving from the ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ category. Not only do search engines look on responsive design favourably, responsive design also allows the visitors to your website have a better user experience which in return should result in more conversions.
4) Google+ Authorship
The hidden gem, Google +. Yes you might think it is a ghost town however Google+ is the fourth largest social network in terms of unique monthly visitors (Facebook 800 million, Twitter 250 million, LinkedIn 200 million and Google+ 150 million).
The number of contributors who have registered Google authorship will more than double according to Googles Head Of Search, Matt Cutts. In addition to that Matt Cutts also has said Google’s search teams are putting further resources into author rank in the future.
So look into setting up Google+ Authorship for your blog posts. You will need to access your webmaster tools to do this. If like most of our clients you don’t have time, contact us and we can work with you for your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) efforts.
5) Marketing Automation
It is not unusual to have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system these days, what we will see pick up momenutm for 2014 is Marketing Automation Systems.
This basically is the missing link between a company’s marketing efforts and the CRM system. Marketing automation will move from being just automated email platforms and evolve to include running and tracking campaigns that view user activity from a 360 perspective and involves process, people, platform, content and data management.
Marketing Automation works at targeting your message as much as possible, using marketing automation tools alongside your CRM can greatly enhance conversion rates.
Finally, one last point- EMAIL MARKETING lives on. Email Marketing is a somewhat automated process, in recent years many other platforms overshadowed email marketing and its benefits were often questioned. Still to this day partnered with the right strategy, email marketing is still one of the highest yielding returns on investments.
If you are interested in exploring your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2014 talk to IMS Marketing today and take advantage of our in house expertise in Digital Marketing, New Product Development, Branding and Export Marketing. Contact the team at IMS Marketing for more information on [email protected].