Emercury Analysis: Marketing Trends for 2014

Now that we’re at the last few months of 2014, it’s a good time to review the marketing trends that dominated the year. Granted that big things could still happen in two months time, but it’s safe to say that we’ve already seen the most significant splashes in the industry, such as:

Companies Struggle with Content Marketing

Emercury has always emphasized the importance of quality content, and we have always recommended content marketing as one of the best strategies for attracting new customers and clients while gaining trust and authority. However, 2014 had companies struggling with content marketing, as they struggled to find ways to tie their overall business goals with their content marketing. In many cases, this is due to lack of personnel with experience or training in content marketing.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Still Dominate Social Media

New social networks are coming out all the time, and existing but small ones are gaining some ground but the market is still dominated by Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The big three also manage to co-exist without eating away at each other’s userbase, mainly because they are geared towards different purposes – Twitter is still the go-to for microstatus updates, Facebook still the general purpose social media, and LinkedIn still the professional networking-oriented service.

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Visual Content is Booming

While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn still occupy the top of the food chain, various image-oriented social networking sites are experiencing a surge in popularity, which points to people starting to gravitate more towards visual content. Image sites like tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and various infographics and meme-sites are seeing growth in traffic as people start to embrace the visual web.

Mobile-Friendly Content is Still Important

It’s been parroted everywhere – mobile users have already overtaken the number of desktop users, and despite many companies still failing to follow suit, mobile-friendly content is still important to have in 2014, as more and more users are accessing sites via a mobile device. What’s changed is that instead of creating a separate mobile-friendly version of the site, developers instead need mobile-responsive layouts, where a single version of the site adjusts to the device it is being viewed on.

The Correlation Between SEO and Social Signals Revealed

It’s common knowledge that Google doesn’t like black hat SEO and has taken steps to curb them, leading to many marketers to seek other strategies. One of the replacements that they have found is social sharing – this, unfortunately, lead many people to believe that Google gives weight to social signals. However, Google’s Matt Cutts has revealed this year that Google doesn’t really include social signals in its algorithm. Instead, the effects of social shares in people’s rankings are more correlation than causation – the sites that have stronger social signals tend to be the sites that rank well on Google because they’re the kind of sites that people tend to visit more.

Conclusion

There have been no major surprises for this year as far as marketing is concerned. Minor twists like the rise of mobile-responsive sites are not surprising as what marketers have been predicting for 2014 all point towards it anyway.

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