It's that time of year to reflect on 2013 and predict what's to come in 2014. As a full-service agency, AMP knows a lot about a lot of things. We asked the experts to share their predictions for 2014. Read their insights below.
Content Marketing: Content Strategy
We've known for years that content is king, but it looks like the landscape is shifting from a bunch of 'cowboys'? (bad poker reference) at the forefront of content development to a full house of brands saddling up to jump into the content marketing mix. Recent data from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketingprofs shows that 90% of B2C marketers are already using content marketing in some form with 72% producing more content than they did one year ago.
The scary/exciting part of the story? Only 39% have a documented content strategy. As Content Marketing budgets continue to rise (see below chart), 2014 will be the year that content marketing strategies become core to a brand's overall marketing approach.
Key to this evolution will be an increased focus on leveraging audience insights to identify relevant content themes, delivery channels and formats.
Search: Content Creation
In 2014, search marketers will work even closer with content creators, video producers, and infographic designers in order to help brands grow their library of interesting, shareable content. Content will be focused on answering questions that consumers care about while helping brands gain additional visibility within search engine results. Search marketers will utilize measurement tools such as Google Analytics to measure:
- Site search: to see what searchers want to learn about when they're on the site
- Landing page visits: to see what types of content drive the most traffic
- Social shares: to see what types of content leads users to sharing on social media
In addition, search marketers will be focused on creating tactical content sharing campaigns which utilize Social, PR outreach, and perhaps even Email, to expand the reach of new content. In 2014 brands will have to ask themselves ' what is the most exciting content for my industry?
Display: Programmatic Buying
Due to its cost efficiencies, targeting capabilities, and transparency, Programmatic spending is estimated to grow year over year to $4.66 billion in 2014 (38% growth over 2013) and up to $9 billion by 2017 according to an eMarketer study (eMarketer, Dec. 2013). Some challenges with programmatic spending in 2014 include:
- Continued education to advertisers and publishers
- Cross device targeting
- Cookie deletion and the affect on first and third party data points
- Inventory quality and viewability
Social: Mobile. Visual. Content.
The three words of 2014. Mobile. Visual. Content.
Social Media has evolved into an inherent part of the marketing mix. While most brands have adopted social in some form, the challenge in the coming year will be how brands can reach the right audience and make an impact. The answer lies in providing content that's accessible and contextually adds value to consumers lives. Quick-hitting ,highly-visual, mobile content will be what resonates with consumers and provides positive brand experiences.
Measurement & Analytics: Integrating the Data
Measurement will continue to move towards integrating different data sources, both offline and online. We have seen this with the two web analytics leaders, Google Analytics and Adobe Marketing Cloud, being no longer just limited to website behavior. Where ever there is a consumer touch point, these solutions will seek to integrate that data as marketers try to make sense of the digital ecosystem.
Additionally, there has been an increasing push to acquire offline data to deliver a complete picture of product research and purchase cycle. For example, Google has stated that they will be moving users from the old ga.js Google Analytics code in favor of the new Universal Analytics code, which enables integration of offline data including point of sales data at the user level. This has big implications considering that over 62% of the top 10K sites on the web utilize Google Analytics in some form.
All these tools will become more user friendly as analytics vendors make their products more accessible and less technical skill intensive. Tag management tools, which allow the capturing of data across touch points, are becoming less tech intensive and more user friendly - empowering marketers to edit tracking on the fly without the need to edit code. All these advances will allow analysts to spend less time gathering data and more time analyzing data.
Keep checking back to our blog in 2014 to see our analysis of these predictions as they come to fruition.
Blog Post Contributors include: Michelle Gilbert, Christina Wong, Andrew Ricker, Rachel Lawton and Matt Jacobs.