Top 7 Marketing Trends in 2014

marketing trendsThis list was compiled by Jayson DeMers for Forbes magazine.  It is interesting to see where the marketing is going for business and then to apply it to your own small business.

Content marketing will be bigger than ever

If you do not know what this is, it is time to learn.  ‘Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.’   Traditional marketing involves an ad of some sort.  Many people no longer pay attention to ads.  They ignore banners on the Internet and skip commercials on their TV.  However, providing valuable information free for the taking on a regular basis gets you more fans and followers, and potentially more customers.  People want value, not an ad.  According to DeMers, this will be more important in 2014, so start planning to include more of this into your marketing strategy.  More on content marketing will be included in a new post very soon specific for soap and cosmetic makers.

Social media marketing will require more diversity

Sure, you’re on Facebook and Twitter, but are you keeping up with other social media trends, such as those on Pinterest, Google+, and Tumbler?  While I recommend that you only try juggling a few social media platforms, you should try a number of them to see what works best for your business.  For me, Pinterest is the number one platform for me, with Facebook following.  You’ll need to play around and find the top 2-4 platforms that work for your business and keep up with them.  If you don’t check out other avenues, you could be missing out on great opportunities to promote your business.

Image-centric content will rule

This should be obvious.  You like pictures and images and so does everyone else.  Make it easy for customers to digest information by including quality images that attract attention and convey what you are trying to promote.

Less will be more

People want you to keep it simple, uncluttered and to the point.  If you are trying to get a message or ad to your customers, make it short and meaningful.

Mobile friendly content will become necessary

According to Forbes, 87% of connected devices sales will come from smartphones and tablets by 2017.  Consider making an alternative mobile friendly version of your website to allow for customers to shop with ease while mobile.

Ad retargeting will grow with effectiveness

I’m not sure how much of this can be done for a very small business, but retargeting is when a customer visits your site, looks around and leaves.  They then get ads for the specific products that they have looked at in ads on another site.  I am sure you have found that your most recent searches on a website will show up in the sidebar ads of another.  For example, if I was looking at lamps on Pottery Barn, then later that day or even week, I find lamp ads from Pottery Barn while on a prominent news website.  This is done often by very large brands, and it is my understanding that Google is involved in some of this data gathering.  The idea is that seeing these products again will get you to either buy them or at least establish themselves as a trusted brand since you will see these ads repeatedly cropping up in various places.

SEO and social signals will become even more intertwined

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a technique that sets up your site in the most positive manner to get found through search engines.  A lot is involved in this and some of it is very technical, so I won’t go into this too deeply.  There are 3 pillars to SEO – content, links, and social media.  Content is quality information that is valuable to others.   The more value that a search engine views your content, the higher the rankings it will have. Links are inbound links from elsewhere, either someone mentions your site or you have backlinks posted in comments of blogs and such, etc.  The more there are the better for your SEO, however, you need to beware of tactics frowned upon by search engines as this will backfire on you.  Finally, there is social media,  The more your content is shared, the more value a search engine places on it.  This last pillar will become more important in 2014.

Think about what you can apply in your business and plan for this in the new year.