Social Media

As the digital marketing landscape becomes more competitive, the demand for marketers who can show tangible results has never been stronger.

Most of the lessons learned in 2013 will still be relevant in the year ahead, just amplified. Marketers will continue to find more efficient ways to capture customer data as they use dynamic content to reach target personas, capturing their interest with the right story at the right time at the right place.

Drawing from our experience from working as marketing consultants helping clients with their online marketing, we want to share four key marketing trends for companies planning their 2014 digital strategies.

1.     Big Data Marketing Strategies

Marketers will be tasked with helping companies to create value, generate revenue and promote retention. The need for innovative technologies such as marketing automation systems, CRM systems, social media management tools and project collaboration systems will increase as well, as marketers seek to preserve and maintain digital assets.

With the massive amounts of data required for customer insights, analysis, re-targeting and greater promotional effectiveness, marketers will spend more money on the next generation of marketing technology.

There are four big data components marketers should pay close attention to when developing their marketing strategies for 2014: volume, velocity, variety and veracity.

The volume of content created and the velocity – the speed at which it’s produced – is important as digital makes things go faster.

Variety, in terms of big data, is a constant, hence the more content marketing tactics being using the better. According to Content Marketing Institute’s third annual research report, marketers typically used twelve tactics in 2013 compared to eight tactics in 2012, and this number will probably increase in 2014.

Last, veracity is the process of identifying useful data and to minimize the biases, noise and abnormality in reports and analyses.

2.     End-User Focused Marketing Strategies

In 2014, marketers need to deeply understand the questions and concerns of their target audiences to produce content that is helpful and provides answers. Creating content to reach consumers with very specific needs and intentions will be crucial.

Additionally, to focusing less on keywords and more on quality, original content that answers specific long-tail questions will play a big role in 2014.

If “content marketing” was the buzzword in 2013, “semantics” will mark the transition into a new phase of digital marketing in 2014, where trust, reputation and authority will form the main pillars on which to build relationships with consumers.

Semantics will be used to connect consumers with what they are searching for so they not only find information that matches their query, but the context around the meaning of the words.

3. Mobile Marketing Strategies

According to a recent study from  Pew Internet & American Life Project, two-thirds of U.S. mobile phone owners use their smartphones to access the Internet and check e-mails—a number that has doubled since 2009.

In 2014, the entire world will go mobile and mobile marketing will see a revolution, especially in location-based advertising for the services marketplace.

Business Insider reports that marketers need to run geo-aware, geo-fenced and audience-based mobile campaigns to capture rich consumer profiles using straightforward data-gathering, tracking and measuring.

Location-based marketing will give marketers new ways to identify and track their target audience and, with the aid of complex algorithms, it will allow them to group their audience into behavioral and demographic segments for precise targeting.

Moreover, the dependence on mobile is not only growing in the digital marketing industry; according to IDC’s smart connected device forecast, 87% percent of Internet-connected sales will be smartphones and tablets in 2017.

That means responsive design and mobile-friendly websites, email and content are absolutely mandatory in 2014.

4.     Social Media Marketing Strategies

The social web, including social media networks and community-based marketing platforms, first emerged more than a decade ago.

Since then, social media, often referred to as a digital channel for word-of mouth, has experienced ground-breaking changes, and marketers can expect more to come in 2014.

In 2013, 72% of adult Internet users in the U.S were active on at least one social platform, a growth of 64% since 2005, and in 2014, more companies than ever will recognize that social media skills are a “must-have” asset for all departments and employees, not just marketers. More executives will see social business as an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization operates.

There are a few key points marketers need to consider when developing their social media strategy for 2014.

Social media will not only be a medium to socialize and engage ideas with others or discuss brands; it’s an opportunity to understand industry shifts, improve visibility in target markets and identify internal and external talents.

The scale of social media will increase due to a growing user base and the growth of new community-based networks. Thus, marketers have to work faster than ever before to create social media content, curate it and keep it fresh. Another explosion will take place in the advertising arena, where social media ads will prove to be much more effective than traditional forms of advertising, such as banner ads and PPC ads.

                                                                                                                                                                                               

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Why Does it Matter So much For Business?

Car Dealerships for example spent thousands of $$ every month on a Radio Slot, a TV spot, or a news ad with tiny black and white pics of vehicles that they could have posted on a social site and shared over and over again with potential consumers in market who like their brand and their dealership.   So why are they still using traditional media?  Force of habit?  Lack of Understanding?  Fear of the unknown?  Want my opinion………….. it’s all three.

Here is the best way to describe why social is such a crucial part of your media mix, if not the single most important factor today…

**Think of Traditional Media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.

I can’t tell you how many local businesses have told me that an advertising program or campaign gave them no results yet cost a fortune.

Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.  If you knew what your customers wanted, what their concerns, likes and dislikes were…if you simply had the ability to reach them via a simple network on the internet….would you do it?  If you knew it was going to bring you more business?  If your answer was NO, then you have no business running a business to be quite honest!

In Summary:

1) Know your keywords that are most profitable to your business and the ones that people are using to search for what you offer.  Begin using these keywords in the titles of your blog postings.

2) Get involved with social media.  Get active on Twitter and Facebook and start building your brand.  Talk to your customers, find out what they want.

You better know that in today’s world of content sharing, it’s more often than not your business is being discussed by someone.  And if your input isn’t out there, then you are 100% relying on what others say about your business.  If that’s the only content out there about you, it’s the only content that will be found.

In regards to that, I have recently been searching yelp discussion forums and found some great discussions where random people were literally just talkin about your business.

You see, this is something you have direct control over, so start creating content for your brand, and start getting involved on the web!

Social media 2013 from Ethinos Digital Marketing