MUMBAI, INDIA: Taking a proverbial cue, even, then one can say that Gone are the days when ‘digital’ primarily meant in Technological terminology as ‘email’ while ‘social’ was being synonymous with platforms as , viz, Facebook and Twitter. An alliance of digital and social podiums has created a much more complex virtual world, which is also seeing a plethora of devices that permit consumers to tap into this virtual extravaganza and extended use.
Advertisers and marketers and therefore small businesses, are leveraging this evolution to target consumers with greater success. As the curtain rings down on the business year of 2013, stakes and thrusts are looking back at what worked for them and what did not. Worthwhile noting would be thus the fact that one of the most critical changes in marketing strategy has been in the digital realm over the last few years.
Here’s taking a gaze at some of the big trends that will go on to mark 2014, to decide whether it’s worthwhile incorporating them into your marketing plan, viz:-
Targeted online content will further drive branding –
Statistics drive home the fact that 92 per cent companies that blog multiple times a day gain more customers via their blogs. Companies have been increasingly engaging with consumers, gaining their trust and establishing their brands by generating valuable marketing content and disseminating it through various forms of media at the offing.
This process involves relevant industry information provided at regular intervals, and content that is interesting and genuinely useful or informative. This lets the company to build a strong relationship with the consumer and also ensure loyalty to the brand. Email is still big in India and email marketing is likely to dominate the online marketing mix.
Blogging, newsletters, case studies and educational videos are other very popular tools. On developing consistent, positive content, a company is able to build a steady reputation and perception within the industry module. In addition, online content gives a better targeted reach to the marketer compared to TV or for that matter, radio, which are not only more expensive but also less effective.
Mobile marketing on the rise –
India in many ways than one has overtaken Japan as the third-largest smart phone market in the world. This indicates the weightage mobile marketing should carry in the marketing mix. Another interesting statistic to consider is that 70 per cent consumers use their smart phone for social networking and most of the users are under the age of 35 years. With so much information at the fingertips and that too so readily available, it is not only essential but relatively easy to tap the market. Also, mobile marketing is far more cost-effective for the advertiser than buying television slots or other conventional forms of media.
Companies should increasingly make their websites and other content platforms responsive, to facilitate easy reading on smart phones. Moreover, it pays to remember that mobile consumer analytics is not limited to consumers who have high-end smart phones. Today, the majority of regular feature phones have GPS apps that can transmit location data.
Increase in geo-targeting and location-based services –
Geo-targeting and location-based consumer services will see a rise in digital marketing in 2014. If the client in question dwells in the realm that involves the business of retail, then this is an inexpensive result-oriented option. The simple point that a user is within a two-mile radius of a business significantly increases click-through rates on mobile banner ads. Geo-targeting is going beyond consumer-facing apps like ‘checking-in’ through Foursquare.
Advertisers can now reach a much larger audience, with much more relevant messages. They can use location patterns with existing customer data to deliver prospects custom messages simultaneously courtesy, serving unique, relevant, time-targeted offers based on shopping patterns, consumer segmentations and travel patterns.
Through tools like Google AdWords, the targeting data has become richer, layered and more nuanced, for that matter. This is especially true in stores, where higher footfalls can be achieved through simple location targeting. Businesses can get actionable insights that aid consumers make more informed brand decisions.
Image-centric social media sites will dominate-
Online content will go beyond Facebook and Twitter and explore new social media sites like Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Google+ comprises nearly 360 million monthly users already and is the second-largest network after Facebook. There are video services too beyond YouTube, like Vine and Instagram Video that are idyllic for short and crisp content and happens to be a very inexpensive way of sharing. Images engage better coupled with increasing mobile bandwidth. This will aid targeted communication.
The mounting rise of micro-video –
The task of writing 140 characters and taking 3-minute long videos is becoming too tedious for the clientele. It is here, that, the writing on the wall reads thus: – ‘’ Micro video to the rescue!’’ With the arrival of micro video apps as for instance, Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, one is able to witness even more movement toward real-time video sharing.
And, not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones. It will be interesting to see if and how these bite-sized pieces of content will change the playing turf when it comes to video-based social media.
Data will get bigger, but as cliquishly said: less is more –
The amount of data brands collect from various channels together with social media, email and mobile platforms is enormous. And companies can easily lose their way trying to sort through this mind-boggling amount of information and pay colossal sums to interpret the data at hand. Most of the time, they use very little of what is deciphered to study consumer habits.
While the debate about privacy invasion rages and ensues, the big data is a reality and is here to stay. As it is often said, the devil is in the detail and so sometimes it pays to keep the devil at bay. Use only what you need and disregard the rest. Less is always more.
Hashtags will grow into a leading search tool –
Everybody knows what a hashtag is and it has become a part of contemporary culture. Hashtags are an efficient way to find content relating to specific topics, as well as the people talking about those topics. Just as searches are conducted on platforms other than Google, Bing and Yahoo, search also materializes on social platforms.
Every day of one’s schedule, people search their way to glory on Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube and other social platforms using words and hashtags with success. As a sign of things that are to come one’s path, Google has increased the visibility of hashtag searches on its search engine as well.