As always, things are changing fast in the online marketing world. 2014 has gotten off with a bang, and there are four major trends that promise to shake things up more than ever. These trends are where it’s at, and you’ll want to get in on the action before your competitors do.
Paid Social Ads
While many consumers view social media as the last safe haven from aggressive marketers, nothing could be further from the truth. Publicly-held social media networks like Facebook exist to gather data on their users and then to monetize that data.
Indeed, Facebook’s ad platform offers a dazzling array of targeting options, and consumers should expect to see an ever-increasing number of ads in 2014. Facebook pulls in around $1 billion in ad revenue per quarter, mostly from big hitters such as Ford, McDonald’s, and Visa. However, the platform is affordable enough for marketers of any size to try out.
According to retargeting firm AdRoll, Facebook news feed ads generate 49 times more clicks than standard right-hand side ads. Users may view this as an intrusion, but many accept it as the price of using the social network. It’s only a matter of time before Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are serving ads of their own.
2011 was the first year that mobile devices outpaced desktop computers for the first time. This sent a strong signal to marketers. According to global marketing intelligence firm IDC, by 2017, over 85% of connected devices sold will be smartphones or tablets. If you’re still avoiding mobile, you do so at your own peril. Your competitors have already embraced it.
The first order of business is to make your website mobile friendly. After that, you’ll want to look into creating a custom mobile app. A mobile app is a stellar marketing tool that generates brand loyalty and recognition at the same time. In response to the growing demand, Google has released Enhanced Campaigns for AdWords, which delivers ads to mobile devices.
Despite heavy resistance from consumers, cookies are becoming more pervasive. Marketers can now effectively follow consumers from site to site on the Internet. Retargeting absolutely improves conversion rates, and consumers will encounter it more in 2014 than ever before. Mobile devices will play an important role here as well.
Because mobile devices know exactly where consumers are at all times, marketers can combine shopping habits with location, providing customers with tantalizing limited-time offers as they approach stores. Cookies themselves, however, are on the way out. They’ll soon be replaced by device-matching schemes that are far more accurate.
It’s no surprise that video content generates more engagement than text-based content. With Internet speeds ever increasing and mobile devices becoming more prevalent, this trend isn’t likely to reverse any time soon.
Video-centric sites like YouTube have dominated for years, but now, online education sites like Udemy are cutting into traditional text-based tutorial sites as well. Not surprisingly, images still hold audiences captive as well. Pinterest boards now outperform tweets and Facebook posts in terms of sheer revenue generating power.
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