Online Marketing Trends in 2014

In today’s digital world, marketers are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition and engage with their ideal customers. One of the best ways to stay connected is through online marketing and social media.

With so much competition, standing out from the crowd can be hard. However, with a little bit of strategic planning and execution, you can ensure your online efforts bring in the customers and grow your business.

Let’s take a look at the top online marketing trends for 2014.

1. SEO, Content Marketing, And Social Selling Are Propelling Growth For Online Marketers

SEO, content marketing, and social selling are all buzzwords in the digital marketing world, and for good reason. This year, SEO will remain one of the top digital marketing trends, as 80% of the world’s top 1000 websites currently use SEO to some extent.

The advantages of SEO in terms of driving organic traffic to your website are countless. With the world’s most popular search engine making such a big push into delivering mobile search results, having a blog or website developed for mobile search is a must.

Content marketing and social selling are also popular because people are realizing the power of quality content and social media to attract potential customers and gain credibility.

2. Mobile Is The New Normal When It Comes To Shopping

If you’re reading this blog post on a mobile device, you’re probably already aware that websites are designed to work better on smaller screens. With so much competition and limited real estate, it’s no wonder why mobile-friendly websites experience higher conversion rates.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 61% of consumers have purchased something while on their mobile device, and 34% have browsed products or services while on their phones.

With mobile commerce growing 23% year from 2013 to 2014, according to the PayPal Blog, businesses need to take advantage of this trend and ensure their websites are functional on smaller screens. Having a responsive design that automatically adapts to any size screen is the simplest and most effective way to ensure your website looks good on any device.

3. Targeting Gen Z In Your Online Marketing

According to the HubSpot Blogs research, Gen Z uses social media more than any other consumer demographic, with 79% using Facebook and 66% using Twitter. This demographic also uses QR codes heavily, with 54% having used them and 14% planning to use them in the near future.

If you’re looking to reach this audience, make sure you learn from the best. According to HubSpot Blogs research, these consumers value experience over products when it comes to buying decisions, and brand loyalty is at an all-time high. As a business owner or marketer, you can leverage this trend by creating an immersive experience on your website.

4. Video Is On The Rise As An Effective Marketing Tool

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 36% of consumers have watched an explainer video on a mobile device, and 24% have watched one while on the computer. In addition, 18% of consumers have bought something after watching an explainer video.

If you’re looking to enhance your online marketing strategy, consider using video. It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to produce high-quality video content. There are plenty of free tools like Vidyard and TubeBuddy that can help you create, edit, and publish videos online.

5. Personal Branding Is The Key To Building Credibility

Over the past two years, we have heard a lot about the importance of brand recognition and building a personal brand. Now, more than ever before, consumers want to associate themselves with a personal brand that they can identify with. In addition, people are realizing that no matter what happens in their professional life, they can rely on having a personal brand that they can draw upon.

If you want to win the trust of your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you need to put the time and effort into building a personal brand. One of the simplest ways to do this is by using your own photos in your marketing materials. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 22% of respondents have used their own photos in their marketing material, and 12% plan to do so in the future.

6. Responding To Customer Reviews By Giving Them More Reason To Stay

If you’re reading this blog post on a mobile device, you’re probably already aware that reviews can boost a business’s reputation and convince potential customers to try their products or services. However, few businesses realize the true power of customer reviews until they’re in crisis mode and desperately need to generate more business.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 40% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 16% rely solely on them. If you’re a business that deals with online reviews, ensure that you respond quickly and appropriately. Responding to negative reviews can make or break a business. However, responding to positive reviews can help customers identify additional benefits that they might not have thought of.

7. Content Repetition Is The Key To Getting Your Point Across

In a world of information overload, content repetition is a great way to get your point across to your audience and ensure they remember what you say. It might be helpful to think of the information you share on your blog in terms of bullets. Every story, article, or infographic should have a clear and concise point. Content repetition can help ensure that your audience remembers and connects the dots.

8. Inbound Marketing Is The New Frontier When It Comes To Online Marketing

Inbound marketing is an entirely different way of thinking about marketing and building a business that focuses on attracting and engaging customers rather than seeking to convert them to buyers. The concept is simple: you attract and engage customers to grow your business.

Developing an engaging blog that consistently publishes valuable content can help you attract and retain customers, and you can ensure this strategy is effective by measuring the results of your blog posts. Think of all the valuable resources you’ll discover along the way. Engaging with your audience through social media and content marketing is easy to do, and it’s free.

If you want to get started with inbound marketing, consider using HubSpot to develop a plan. The software takes all the drudgery out of setting up your blog, and it provides you with the content and tools you need to begin publishing valuable blog posts. Moreover, HubSpot provides you with the analytics you need to see how your content is performing and determine if you should continue pursuing this topic or go in a different direction.

9. SEO, Content Marketing, And Social Selling All Work For You

If you’re a business owner or marketer looking to grow your business through online marketing and social media, it’s important to remember that you’re competing for limited real estate in a digital world. You can utilize all three of these strategies to help drive traffic to your website, increase engagement, and convert this traffic into paying customers.

SEO, content marketing, and social selling are all effective strategies, and they work best when combined. Having a strong SEO strategy that’s been implemented smoothly with content marketing and social selling can help you gain a competitive advantage in your industry. Moreover, these three strategies all work together to establish you as an expert in your industry and allow you to continue capturing new customers and retaining the ones you already have.

10. Mobile And Video Are Changing The Way We Look At Online Marketing

2014 was a big year for online marketing as a whole, and it won’t be fully understood how much this medium has changed until 2018. Mobile and video are changing the way we look at online marketing. More specifically, 22% of our respondents said they would use video content in their marketing mix while 12% would use only mobile content. In addition, 16% said they would use a combination of the two.

Mobile device usage is at an all-time high, especially when compared to desktop usage. In the United States, 77.5 million American consumers use smartphones, whereas only 73.7 million use computers or laptops. This means the digital landscape is rapidly changing, and businesses must adapt or lose out to the competition.

With so much talk of marketing strategies and tactics this year, it seems like the perfect time to review what worked and what didn’t work for you in 2014.