As 2013 comes to an end, marketers alike are given the opportunity to reflect on past strategies and begin to ramp up for the upcoming year. The overarching goal, define the latest marketing techniques to help grow your business. Advanced technology has provided rich data that helps paint a clear picture of various customer behaviors. The best marketers are those who know there is always something new being developed and chase the challenge by keeping up with the latest industry trends. It’s hard work but important for any successful campaign.

Statistics provide great direction when looking ahead to digital marketing trends in 2014, however implementing practical application of that data is what really defines a strong strategy. Take a look at some solid tactics certain to influence your marketing campaigns in the upcoming year of 2014.

Mobile Marketing
mobile marketing

We are a population of phone addicts. So much, that 75% of American’s admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom with them (Convince & Convert). This epidemic is something marketers should use to their advantage for mobile is the future. If your website isn’t already compatible with these smart devices then you’d better catch up fast!

An infographic provided by Social Media Today, reveals the rate of emails being opened on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has risen 80% over the last 6 months.  A clear progression to an era where optimizing for the mobile market is key to a successful marketing campaign. Providing users with a clean, readily shareable and fast loading mobile site builds trust in the brand. In fact, a 75% growth for mobile advertising was exhibited in 2013 further validating it as an essential aspect to include in your approach this year (AdAge Mobile Fact Pack). Many are now recognizing the exciting transformation and the investment in mobile is expected to significantly increase.

Content Creation

 content creation

A recent study conducted by MarketingProfs revealed that 93% of B2B organizations now use content based tactics for marketing campaigns while 73% indicated they now produce more content than the previous year. Unique, valuable content that provides solutions is a great direction for your digital marketing plan this year.

Building relationships with your customers will attract attention ultimately generating more leads. Instead of having the mindset to sell, try creating a more personal environment that will help foster deeper trust. Providing free information helps position your brand as thought leader in the industry and online customers appreciate the insight, which can now be easily segmented based on your business niche. Understanding the value of quality content will improve your company’s reputation by keeping customers engaged through all stages of the buying cycle. Step up your game and begin integrating great journalism into a fresh content marketing strategy.

Social Media Marketing

social media marketing

Social interaction is a recent method that Google and other search engines use to define your page rank on the internet, a factor that will largely impact your future marketing strategy. Social media works hand in hand with mobile marketing too. According to internet marketing agency imFORZA, 77% of mobile users use their smartphones and tablets for social networking and surfing the web, therefore making it possible to collaboratively drive traffic from each social profile back to the company website or blog.

Solid research, understanding your audience and regularly updating your feed will sustain relevance and maintain followers.  It is important that you interact with users to humanize your business and build relationships with like-minded followers. According to Spredfast, 52% of enterprise brands say social media is the top driver for relationship building and brand engagement. Posting highlights of company culture and employees are a great way to build trust and increase traction.

When looking forward, the days of organic social media seem to be coming to an end as paid social advertising gains more power. Embrace the value of social media and have fun with it. It’s a platform that level’s out the playing field for happier, more loyal customers.

These three essential digital marketing trends indicate that interacting with your target market and building relationships is vital part of effective marketing proposals. By staying up to date with advancements in technology, providing valuable content and gaining credibility by being a thought leader in today’s social internet will attract the right type of customer.