When social media marketing first came on the scene there were concerns raised that it might not yield a return on the investment. Now, we know that those early adopters of this marketing strategy actually managed to convert friends and followers into customers. In the meantime, traditional channels of media marketing (i.e. television and newspapers) took a hit. In the ever-evolving platform of social media marketing, one thing is certain: There are always new ways to get an edge on your competition, if you act fast. That’s no different next year, in 2014, when social media marketing will continue to dominate and to reach out in innovative ways that impact a company’s bottom line.
Something Old, Something New
For 2014, you will see some oldies but goodies crop back up. Predictions for what’s hot in social media in any year aren’t as mystical as predicting the future since past performance will always predict future success. Here are the five to watch and implement in 2014.
Ad Retargeting – In the past, you could retarget your ads to people who bought your products, but that left out those that just visited your site and never self-identified. Now, you can send a cookie to their pc that allows you to not only track their movements online, but also serve up ads in other sites that will lead them back to your store. This is really effective to convert new anonymous customers, but also reminds old customers of specials they might have bought with a little more goading.
Professional Content – Prior to Google’s updates, content didn’t necessarily have to be high-quality or of a certain length to get you highly ranked in their search engines. All that has changed. Not only can bad content turn off your clients, but it becomes even more important to have longer pieces (between 800 and 1000 words) with top-quality writing to make sure you don’t ding your company’s website ranking.
Mobile Marketing – This has been warming up and is set to take over soon. Younger sales demographics are not online on pcs and laptops as much as they are on their smartphones. If you want to cater to the newest generation, you have to make sure your content is mobile-friendly. This one especially goes for ecommerce websites.
Personalization – You don’t have to buy a new Content Management System (CMS) to make use of some of the trends in personalization. Adding chat capability to a site is one form of personalization that does not require an entire overhaul of your website. It reaches the customers in a personal manner. However, other trends will try to micromanage demographic analytics with personalization trends beyond the typical income level, gender, and ethnicity data to better sell the long tail that thrives online.
Social Media and SEO Integration – In the past, the understanding was that social media was separate from SEO. Google and other search engines are now taking into account social media activity to generate search engine results, making the merger more important for small business owners. This means that more social media avenues and campaigns should yield improved SEO goals and vice-versa.
While these are just a few of the trends going forward into 2014, they are ones that can be easily ignored by the competition. They are also easy to implement and not costly. It just requires a small change in strategy and a commitment to include new technologies and old know-how into a social media marketing plan that can yield better sales in 2014.
About the Author: Ben Sawyer is the senior link builder at Paramold online marketing team, specializing in local search marketing. Mr. Sawyer enjoys guest posting and has been featured on several websites.
Photo credit: Jason Howie