The New Year is here, which usually means in with the new habits and out with the old. Many trends that first made their appearance in 2013 will soon become the norm, while other trends will die off and join history. So what marketing tactics will flourish in 2014 and which will fall into extinction? Let’s examine some that you should pursue and others you should avoid.
Do This: Focus on Engagement. Not That: Links and Clicks
In 2014, planning for clicks to your link alone won’t get the job done. Why settle for clicks when you can increase engagement with your audience? Don’t get me wrong, clicks mean traffic so you shouldn’t cut them out cold turkey, but a link tucked into the intro or byline won’t cut it. Clicks can only take you so far and they don’t give your audience a voice. Enter engagement.
Engagement may be one of the most important keys to the success in a campaign, but many marketers overlook this in their strategy. Now more than ever it’s easy to get your audience involved. With the combination of social media and smartphones, consumers are becoming more involved than ever. This year marketers should focus their efforts at creating engaging content like interactive infographics or discussion-based blog articles to bring their audiences out of their shells.
This also has the added bonus of letting you listen to what your audience needs so you can create even more content that they’ll love.
Do This: Native Advertising. Not That: Guest Posting
One trend that we’re happy to see fall out of vogue is guest posting. In the past few months, Google has been making a push to punish sites that abuse this tactic in hopes of protecting Internet users. Crappy content hidden with links helps no one, and an Internet renaissance of quality content is about to begin.
Leading this renaissance is Native Advertising. Native advertising gained massive popularity towards the end of the year, and don’t expect that to change. More and more marketers are looking to capitalize on Native advertising and learn how to utilize it to deliver valuable content in a natural way.
Major Websites like Yahoo and the New York Times are revamping their systems to better host the Native ad push. Expect more marketers and publishers alike to focus their efforts on creating more native ads but also on understanding its benefits.
With the growth of native ads, regulations will soon follow. It’s still a very new field and 2014 will be an important year for it.
Do This: Video. Not That: Listicles
Dear Internet, have we seen enough listicles? Sure it’s fun to kill an afternoon on Buzzfeed watching pages of reaction gifs, but people are expecting much more than that for your marketing efforts in 2014. Are lists something that will get your audience excited? Melissa Fach made some guidelines for creating quality list articles, and if you content doesn’t meet them, then you should probably change your strategy. Try diversifying your content and jump on the video bandwagon.
Video marketing, specifically short video marketing, will be something all marketers should look to do more. It’s entertaining content that will get your views paying attention. Even signing up for Vine or playing with Instagram video is a step in the right direction. With the emergence of smartphones everyone has a screen in front of them that will allow them to view your content.
Do This: Mobile-Friendly. Not That: Mobile-Challenged
Do not ignore the mobile revolution. I cannot stress this enough. Mobile optimization has slowly but consistently been making its way into the common eye of many marketers, and it’s not difficult to see why. More than half of Americans own a smartphone and that number is steadily increasing. Smartphones are portable computers that give marketers a way to consistently reach their audiences, what else could you ask for?
Mobile is becoming a high priority for marketers as 47% of claim it is vital to their organization to incorporate mobile platforms in 2014. Let’s look back at the point before this: do video, not listicles. Video tends to be easier for companies because most users have YouTube, Instagram and Vine on their phones. Not everyone has a mobile-friendly site and no one wants to load a page 15 times to click through a slideshow. Make it easy for you fans to get to your content.
These are just some of the dos and don’ts of 2014. Technology and trends change consistently so always keep an open eye and an open mind. Don’t be stuck in the past or feel nervous when trying the latest tactics. We are in a cutting edge world that changes daily but understanding how to utilize these trends to reach your marketing plan will yield beneficial results.