I am sure you will agree that we all start the year with a new found enthusiasm, we are motivated, focused and raring to go but this is often short lived as we get bogged down with traditional day to day tasks.

As a result it is good to start the year by identifying your short and long term digital marketing objectives. The focus needs to not only be on the one year goals and the three year digital marketing plan. It is always a good idea to follow this up with a briefing, which can simply be a bullet point list outlining your key digital objectives which can then be prioritised and shared with all members of your organisation.

It is important that you identify the key areas where major financial and time investment will be required. At all stages of this strategy you need to focus on cause and effect and how this can influence business development in the form of growth, lead generation, conversation etc. But at the core of your digital marketing plan will be your customers and their wants and needs.

Digital Marketing Trends for 2014

 

Persona Development

Customer experience is not only focused on the initial touch point but the complete life cycle which includes after sales support.  This is important to make sure you continue to provide and offer the best customer experience across all channels.

At engage we are advocates of persona development and no project enters the design or functional requirements stage without focusing on the end user and their primary reason for visiting your website.

The fundamental objective of persona development is to make life simpler for the user, presenting them with the right information at the right time with a clear conversation path.

Social Media

2014 will see more brands embracing social media as an integral part of their content marketing strategy. There will be a race for engagement on social across all channels. Brands that delight and reward their followers and those that harness user generated content will be the most successful. Great examples of social campaigns to emulate from 2013 have been seen from big brands like Virgin Atlantic virtual postcards, which is a personal favourite!

Content

Increased competition, boring repetitive descriptions and uninspiring images will only guarantee you increase bounce rates, low conversion rates and failure.

2014 is all about improving the user experience. Creating high quality, engaging content in the form of personalisation, landing page optimisation, images, videos, social and user generated content will help drive people to your site and increase conversion.

A content marketing strategy should be at the core your digital marketing strategy during 2014. Identifying key content gaps and remaining true to your OVP will increase brand loyalty, user engagement and conversation.

Customer satisfaction feedback will become a key contributor in 2014. Feedback tools provide digital marketers to give strategic feedback to management on the user experience. Tools such as User Testing will give you real time recordings on how the user interacts with your content and their feedback to provide a case for change or development. Where as tools such as FeeFo will allow users to give their feedback on their experience of dealing with your service and brand. Tools such as FeeFo can be integrated with your ad words campaign providing users with reassurance and trust in your brand, product and service.

Big Data

Being focused on content and social will not be enough as the fascination with content marketing begins to wear off as marketers start to question how this impacts conversion. It will no longer be about the last click and more about the actual conversion funnel. Marketers will become obsessed with new innovative ways to analyse digital and social data to understand what customers actually do over time on their way to purchase, repurchase and their journey to becoming brand advocates.

Brands will map out real and typical paths to purchase and design their content marketing programmes to complement this journey.

Mobile Marketing

Spend in mobile marketing continues rise and influence marketing budgets.  Mobile contributes to 26% of all organic search visits. As a result users will expect to land on a responsive experience. This is also supported by Google who have suggested the sites which do not offer a responsive experience will get penalised.

SEO Trends

Focus will no longer be on links and optimising links, the focus will be on content which will require depth and detail as suggested above. On page marketing tactics will not be high up on the priority list, content will be the main focus and how it integrates with traditional channels.

Marketing Automation

Automated emails will become a significant growth area in 2014. This will include optimisation of emails, responsive design, campaign timing, frequency, content and CTAs. The overall objective will be improving and reducing the lag time to conversion.

Conversation Optimisation

If your website is the main route to market then it will need constant refinement. Conversation Optimisation will become a strategic strategy focused on small bite sized chunks. For digital marketers the biggest barrier will be justifying spend.  As result creating manageable bite sized strategic actions will see marketers relying on attribution metrics to create strategic change.

Conclusion

Although we believe the afore mentioned points will be key digital marketing trends during 2014, we also believe the platform in which supports your digital marketing strategy will have a vital role to play.

For example information overload will become a thing of the past as we see a shift toward personalisation and targeting but this can only be achieved if your CMS platform offers you this functionality. This is primary example as to why we are passionate about EpiServer CMS as it provides marketers with the foundation to create personal and more effective campaigns. The digital marketing system alone in EpiServer CMS lets you promote, personalise and measure content across all channels allowing marketers to respond quicker to change, run rapid campaigns and be one step ahead of the competition.

Get in touch with us if you would like more information on how to implement your digital marketing strategy using EpiServer CMS. Together we can nurture your customers to increase conversion with measurable results.

 

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