To celebrate the start of the New Year, the experts at Nina Hale, Inc. identified the biggest and most anticipated digital marketing predictions for 2014. From the rise of channel integration to shifts in social strategy, here is what NHI envisions taking center stage in 2014.
Using more than keywords.
Extreme changes that limited accessibility to keyword data in 2013 was initially a shock, however the shift will ultimately open the door for new targeting opportunities in 2014. This year it will be more important than ever to listen to and gather all available audience information. Further, focusing on metrics such as location, device, previous purchasing behavior, and browsing history data will help marketers and businesses paint a fuller picture of their customers.
Multi-purpose content wins.
With social apps such as Snapchat gaining popularity in 2013, content marketing became more short-lived than ever. However, because long-form legacy content is still valuable for search engines like Google, in 2014 it will be crucial to create multi-purpose, adaptable content. To maximize resources this year, businesses will begin to create content that is flexible in length, purpose and lifespan.
Further integration of earned and owned media.
The relationship between earned and owned media grew stronger in 2013 as the strategic integration of social media increasingly impacted a website’s SEO. In 2014, social data should be used to inform content strategy, further heightening the impact of social on overall marketing efforts. Because social data sheds insight into audience behavior both on and off a company’s website, this will help marketers position meaningful content when and where customers want to see it.
Social media becomes a “pay-to-play” channel.
Social media platforms across the board stormed into the realm of paid advertising in 2013, and as a result have transformed the social space into a ‘pay-to-play’ channel in 2014. For marketers, this means that while paid social media was previously an optional addition to a marketing mix, it is quickly becoming an essential component of a company’s digital marketing strategy.
With searches on mobile devices expected to surpass 27 billion search queries by 2016 and smartphones and tablets already comprising over 60% of online devices, it is clear why mobile marketing is perhaps the biggest buzzword of 2014. Developing a mobile device-focused digital strategy will be non-negotiable this year, and it will be critically important to understand the intricacies of how SEO and paid media function in a mobile context.
Paid and organic co-optimization.
Similar to the ever-growing integration between earned and owned media, in 2014 the line between paid and owned media will continue to blur. For marketers, this means reporting on the paid versus organic click ratio will not be enough, and it will be more important than ever to understand the entirety of the consumer journey. It also means that 2014 will be the year advanced tools such as attribution modeling and multi-channel funnels become a necessity for marketers to get to the bottom of user intent.