With the start of the new year, it’s time to make some bold predictions about where digital marketing is headed in 2014. The truth is, the list of things that will change over the course of the next 12 months will be impossibly long. And we can all debate their relative importance until we’re blue in the face. Keeping this in mind, I’ve narrowed down my list to what I believe will be the top 3 heavy lifters.
Prospects are becoming increasingly inundated with information online. The game is changing and it’s no longer simply about reaching a target audience. You must reach that audience with timely and relevant information. This being said, neither the concept nor the tech for enhanced retargeting is new. The Travelocity case study, below, in which an enhanced ad received 6.5x better CTR than its generic counterpart, was conducted in 2012. But 2014 will be the year enhanced retargeting takes off with mainstream marketers.
The “socialization” of SEO.
When it comes down to it, SEO has just a few major components: the technical audit, content creation, and link building. Those last two parts have never been more closely intertwined, as, with every new algorithm update, Google places increasing importance on social signals and authorship authority. Google’s “Hummingbird” update this past October was the biggest sweeping change the search engine giant has implemented in over a decade, and some of its primary objectives were to put increased emphasis on Google+ Authorship, and to impart more page authority to content with more social media shares & likes. If there was ever any doubt as to the SEO value of maintaining social media profiles for your business, it should be erased in 2014. SEO means not just great content, but great content that gets shared.
The rise of mobile.
For the past few years, optimizing your business’s marketing strategy for mobile seemed trendy, or up-and-coming at best. In 2014, marketers can no longer afford to ignore it, as half of all Americans own smartphones and at least one-third own tablets. Mobile is the fastest-growing segment in the digital world; just half of all businesses are currently optimized for it, but 75% say they plan to invest in it this year.
These are but a few of the trends I believe will emerge in 2014 as new prominent areas of digital marketing. Keep your eyes peeled as I’m sure many more exciting changes are to come this year!