The world of marketing is constantly changing and evolving. Staying on top of the most effective digital marketing trends and tactics is often just as important as the businesses whose services and products you are promoting. As 2014 is coming to an end, let’s wrap up this exciting year in marketing by discussing which 2014 marketing predictions were right on the money and which ones were just a bit off. It is not that some of the following predictions were bad, it is that they simply did not come true.
Predictions that Did Indeed Come True:
Facebook Became Harder to Utilize
If there is one thing we were assured this year, it’s that fans and followers mean nothing if you aren’t sending helpful Facebook content to the right audience. It is crucial to your Facebook marketing campaign that your business is aware of what types of followers it has. Are they small in number yet highly engaged? Contrarily, are they numerous but relatively unengaged and potentially fake? These are the types of questions that continued to drive social media marketers crazy in 2014. Furthermore, Facebook wrapped up changes to its news feed algorithm in early 2014 to once again show users more “relevant” and less “spammy” content. The result of these changes in Facebook’s algorithm was an overall decline in organic reach for most companies.
Focus on Mobile Became More Important
This has been a growing trend for years. It is increasingly vital that businesses optimize their websites and advertisements for mobile devices. The number of consumers accessing the web via their mobile devices continued to increase this year. A recently published eMarketer report on mobile ad spending research stated that 90% of Americans own a cell phone. Two thirds of these cell phones owned by Americans are smartphones. To capitalize on the overwhelming number of mobile users, businesses must take advantage of the two hours and 51 minutes a day that Americans are spending browsing the web on their mobile device. This is approximately half an hour longer than users were spending browsing the web in 2013 (eMarketer).
Location Based Marketing Did Increase
Real time mobile marketing tactics are on the rise, and with that comes an increase in location based marketing. Microsoft took full advantage of this trend in 2014 by launching geotargeted ads in the Miami area to promote the opening of a new retail store. According to Mediapost, the result was an 89% incremental increase in store visits among those visitors who saw the advertisements.
Increased use of Content Marketing
Providing helpful content to consumers is more important than ever before. Major companies are beginning to take full advantage of this fundamental shift in marketing. In 2013 companies such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Adobe were already using effective content marketing campaigns. Miller-Coors and Marriott followed suit with strong content marketing campaigns of their own in 2014.
Predictions that Did Not Come True
Google Authorship Did Not Become More Important
Google Authorship didn’t simply fail to become more important, it was completely eliminated. Distinguished Google Engineer, Matt Cutts, stated in late 2013 that Google was “looking for a 15% reduction to ensure that the quality of the authorship is still high and relevant.” Google later decided to pull the plug on the entire operation.
Chief Content Officer (CCO) is Not a Common Position
Content Marketing Institute Founder, Joe Pulizzi, figured with the rise in content marketing’s popularity that Chief Content Officer would become a well-known title. He predicted that at least 3 Fortune 500 companies would fill such as position in 2014. Unfortunately, there is no such position to date in any of the Fortune 500 companies. Not one that Joe could find anyway. While it is most likely only a matter of time before CCO (Chief Content Officer) is a regular position in many top companies, corporate America is not quite there yet.
Google+ Has Yet to Become a Major Social Player
Maintaining a strong presence on Google+ is a must for businesses looking to have a well-rounded social media campaign. Google+ improves SEO in many ways which Facebook and Twitter cannot. The platform’s users are also almost as engaged with a brand’s posts as those who are on Facebook (Forbes). However, when it comes to the number of users who have an account on Google’s social media platform, they have a long way to go. Google+’s 343 million users puts them well behind Facebook’s 1.23 billion users.
Many of 2014’s marketing predictions did not come true, but the one’s that did may have given some marketers a jump start on the year’s trends. Follow the industry closely so your business’ marketing dollar goes further in 2015!