The ball has dropped, the fireworks have popped and all the champagne is gone. 2014 arrived in style, but now it’s time to get down to business.
There’s been a lot of talk about what’s going to happen in the coming year. As a Bikini Marketer, you’ve got to differentiate between the unavoidable (having a mobile presence) and the absurd (SEO is dead!).
Here’s a list of some of the most popular predictions for 2014.
Google Hummingbird will force marketers to write conversationally. The days of flooding web copy with keywords and rising to the top of the search results have been over for a while, but an even more important shift will happen in the next year. Rather than publishing a blog post about any random topic, content marketers will have to tailor their posts to their followers. Google Hummingbird made it clear that conversational writing will be rewarded, and it would be downright silly for Bikini Marketers to ignore that.
Mobile marketing will become more important than ever. MCommerce is growing 200 percent faster than eCommerce, and 63 percent of consumers say they will shop on their phone more frequently in the next few years. Still not sure if mobile marketing is for you? In Q2 of 2013, sales made on mobile phones and tablets accounted for $4.7 billion. If you haven’t already, 2014 is the year to create your mobile marketing strategy.
High quality content will separate successes and failures. Google Hummingbird made it clear that the search engine is tired of being duped by keyword-rich, poor quality content. Websites that pay for links or, even worse, steal other people’s content will surely be knocked down a few pegs if they continue trying to dupe the system.
Brick-and-mortar businesses will invest in location-based content marketing. Targeting consumers through their GPS-enabled smartphones is expected to become mainstream by the end of 2014. This content marketing strategy allows businesses to identify each shopper’s preferences and location. When a consumer is near the store, the system simply sends them a deal based on the stored demographic information. This is either the greatest marketing tool ever invented or the end of privacy as we know it. Only time will tell.
Shorter content will be in demand. From Twitter’s 140-character limit to Vine’s six-second max platform, web users are becoming more inclined to shorter content. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can churn out 100 words three or four times a week and see your ranking rise in search results. There are too many competitors waiting to take your place for you to risk disappointing your customers with poorly put together content. Remember, don’t ever sacrifice quality.
Social media will be hotter than ever. The Content Marketing Institute predicts that 87 percent of B2B content marketers will use social media in 2014. Even better, social media marketing budgets are expected to double in the next five years as more marketers realize the importance of social media.
Multi-screen content is a must. Consumers have spoken, and they want multi-platform content. Americans are on their phones or tablets for an average of 158 minutes each day, according to analytics firm Flurry. Further, video consumption on smartphones and tablets increased by 133 percent from 2012 to 2013. Why would you only create your content for one platform when consumers are on multiple?
More brands will interact with social media followers. For the most part, businesses now know that if they’re not on social media, they’re losing customers. What’s important to realize now is that having a social media profile isn’t enough. Consumers today aren’t shy about sharing reviews on social media, both good and bad. If you ignore either type of post, your brand is going to come across as uncaring or inattentive, neither of which will build your reputation.
There will be another wedding of the century. Move over, Will and Kate, there’s a new royal couple in town. SEO and social media have been going hot and heavy for the past few years, but they’re finally making things official. Google Plus and Google Authorship make it impossible to ignore the union any longer. From now on, you should think of SEO and social media hand in hand.
And one we hope isn’t true…
Earned media coverage will replace guest blogging. Google’s recent crackdown on poor-quality content means it’s on the lookout for serial spammers. Guest bloggers who mass email websites to publish their content or shop the same post around can seriously depreciate a site’s SEO rank. For some, the reward just isn’t large enough to justify the risk.