Top 5 trends to look out for online in 2014

16-01-2014
The digital landscape for all marketers is in a constant state of flux.

A keen eye is needed to identify what trends are appearing on a monthly and weekly basis but most importantly which of these important industry updates will impact the way businesses communicate in the long-term.

A report from EMARKETER states that the US retail industry will spend over $9.42 billion this year on paid digital media alone. By 2017 that number is expected to grow to $3.5 billion. The question is what marketing channels and campaigns should your business be spending on to ensure a measurable impact on your bottom line?

Here are some of the most important online marketing trends to date that will have a long-term impact on the growth of businesses in the future.

You should monitor developments in these key areas throughout 2014:
1) Connected Devices create an ecosystem of devices You could call it the Internet of Things.

internet of things *820

It’s quite obvious that mobile devices heavily impact the way the world communicates and uses the web in day-to-day activities. This impact will continue to be seen in how our ecosystem of devices interacts with one another providing utility to consumers and offering businesses a whole new way to reach those users.

There is expected to be 24 BILLION CONNECTED DEVICES ACROSS THE WORLD by 2020 in every market and consumer category.

These devices represent an opportunity for marketers to better tie in their brand’s products and services with relevant moments a consumer is experiencing throughout their day.

 

2) Content marketing will continue to remain supreme even as a buzzword.

Content-Marketing-cycle

Content marketing is nothing new but in recent years has jumped to the forefront of the minds of marketers and business owners alike looking to create real connections with relevant people. Storytelling has always been a part of a marketer’s role but never before has it been so crucial to the ongoing success of a company.

The web has become social based which changed the entire marketing industry dramatically which now requires a two-way dialogue with consumers across every touch point of their experience with your business. It is no longer enough to write press releases and buy billboards to sell your products. In order to stand out among the right audience you have to talk to your customers cater for your shared interests and most importantly listen.

3) Sponsored Content will grow in importance for brands to reach fans and publications to drive revenue.

Network*820

There are many ways to create and distribute compelling content to your audience one of which is by creating sponsored content or sponsoring existing content. There are a few different variations of sponsored content available but overall any form of sponsorship on content will allow that message to reach a much larger audience.

Consider the investment in sponsored content to drive greater visibility to your business among interested audiences that may or may not be familiar with your company’s offerings to date.

 

4) Simple mobile apps will continue to captivate like Instagram Snapchat WhatsApp and WeChat

Chat Snow Monster*820

INSTAGRAM is quickly becoming one of the most utilised apps for businesses to communicate with their audience of over 150 MILLIONS USERS SHARING 16 BILLION PHOTOS A DAY, while Chinese mobile social network WECHAT HAS GROWN TO 400 MILLION USERS TO DATE. With the continued growth of INSTAGRAM, WECHAT and other mobile apps with a specific purpose like SNAPCHAT and WHATSAPP, it’s extremely apparent that there is a continuing trend in the usage of apps on mobile devices across many demographics, especially the younger generation of users.

These apps succeeded because they took communication to another level. There’s an opportunity for businesses to increasingly integrate with such ecosystems and get closer to their customers.

5) A blur of social signals in search: AuthorRank and Google Authorship.

google-ranking-factors *820

Google Authorship will continue to have importance for businesses, as AuthorRank becomes a stronger part of the algorithm, matching keyword searches to relevant quality content. Authorship allows any content creator to connect their published articles and other online content with their Google+ profile, which will also appear in the search engines listed with the result. The writer’s photo, name and Google+ profile URL are all present in the search result to help drive more credibility to the piece of content by highlighting its author and how you can continue to follow their work in the future.

AUTHORRANK is Google’s latest approach to ensure that all search engine results are as credible as possible. Google will continue to review who the author of a publication is as an indicator of the content’s quality in the future, especially if this person continues to gain traction on social media from their own content.