Digital marketing can be cost-effective, but to make it really efficient, consider these trends that are likely to dominate.
Marketing in this era is a brutal dog-eat-dog world, but there just isn’t any dearth of opportunities. There are many vistas and glittering stars for consumers to turn their eyes to. So how do you get them hooked to yours or even glance at what you’re presenting? Tons of smart thinking and keeping abreast of current and future technologies and platforms is the key to successfully market your or your client’s products and expertise.
Digital marketing has no boundaries. It encompasses devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, televisions, digital billboards, and media such as social media, SEO (search engine optimization), videos, content, email and lots more. Digital marketing can be cost-effective, but to make it really efficient here are five trends that are likely to rule the roost in 2014.
1. Location-based Marketing
If there’s one dominating trend to pinpoint in 2014, it almost surely is location-based marketing. This makes use of GPS technology to deliver multimedia content tailored to the geographical location straight to the potential customer’s mobile device. This helps to cater more specifically to users’ needs, and both marketers and consumers are expecting more of this in 2014. Already there are social apps including Ban.jo, Path, and Foursquare that provide vital consumer data.
91 percent of adult mobile phone owners have their devices within arm's reach 24/7 and location-based marketing could exploit this massively. Furthermore, tools such as Google Wallet are being perfected, which will enable people to buy with their credit card right from their smartphone. The NFC (near field communication) technology in Google Wallet, which allows users to make secure payments, is only set to get more popular and better. Businesses are sure to capitalize on this.
2. Social Media Diversification
It’s no longer only Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Though these are the most popular, networks such as Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram are on the surge too. While 93 percent of marketers have claimed that social media is an integral part of their marketing in 2013, the number of visitors to these social networks will increase further next year. This means more and more marketers are capitalizing on this and will focus more on in 2014. They will seek to establish a significant presence for themselves in the aforementioned networks to build their brand and connect with potential customers.
Paid advertising will also increase, particularly on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Social signals have proved to be important for search rankings and building reputation, so it’s only a matter of time before businesses think of not only Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ but also Instagram, Pinterest and smaller networks such as these that are each carving a unique niche for themselves.
3. Content Curation
There are many content discovery apps available including Flipboard, Pulse, Foodspotting, and Fancy that help users to tweak the feeds by merchants and businesses according to their contexts and interests. Data is filtered and customized information platforms are curated by users according to their needs. This is set to become another important trend in 2014 and provide potential customers with greater engagement with the business. Marketers can increase the relevancy of their marketing since users can arrange the posted content according to what suits them. Pinterest is the one website that comes to mind, considering its amazing curation possibilities. But it isn’t the only one – List.ly and Quora are the other websites that help users arrange and aggregate data.
4. More Video Marketing
Videos can convey a message ten times more powerfully than text content, though persuasive content is in a much higher league. Video marketing is already popular but it will get more so in 2014. Vine is a service that allows marketers six seconds of time within which they need to market their product through a video. Vine is set to grow massively in popularity among marketers next year. You’ve got YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to capitalize on and Instagram and Snapchat also have video options in their app. Videos are also increasingly being watched on mobile devices and that’s a potent competition, able to instantly alter user behavior.
5. Remarketing or Ad Re-targeting
Marketers looking to convert web traffic are turning to remarketing. First time visitors to business websites mostly do not become customers. It’s estimated that first visits only result in 2 percent of the conversions. Retargeting is therefore emerging as a very essential element of digital marketing. Remarketing basically helps marketers target potential customers who visited their site but failed to convert. It helps them display their products or services on websites they may potentially visit. AdRoll is a remarketing service and its popularity is proved by the fact that it has received the accolade of being one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. Marketers could also begin using Google Remarketing. This is a great way to attract potential buyers. Visits that do not end up being converted don’t need to be forgotten. You can target them again.
There you go! These are the most probable trends 2014 will witness in digital marketing, but by no means the only ones. This is a dynamic field and new trends keep developing every now and then.
The rising importance of Google+ is something really worth watching out for. Google has been trying everything in the book to make its social network a household name. Though it hasn’t got to the level of Facebook, it’s being embraced by more and more marketers and consumers. Marketing messages too need to get smarter and more simplistic and is something we’re sure to see being employed by businesses in 2014. This works because it takes into account the fact that consumers are overloaded with information. Digital marketing can only succeed when it freely accommodates new technologies and approaches and, most importantly, puts the priority on user needs.
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Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic. A leading search engine strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. He has helped value-conscious businesses build site traffic, increase the user base, boost web sales and bolster customer satisfaction. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies in Asia. PageTraffic's solid results and acclaimed process has earned it a place in Red Herring Asia Top 100 and Topseos's global top 30. He is also an expert panelist on various forums including TFM&A India, 42inception and more.
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