What happens when close to 2000 online marketers gather in one room… Social Magic! Social Media Marketing World 2014 wrapped on March 28th and my head is still spinning with the abundance of invaluable information presented by the top social media marketing influencers in the world. This conference was truly an amazing experience and one that anyone in the online marketing profession can benefit from. Oh, and did I mention the conference was held in sunny San Diego! Yes, icing on the cake.
Now, two weeks later, I am still processing through all the information and ways to implement many of these taught strategies to our client base here at aka. Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner opened the event with a keynote which presented us with seven key trends that will have the biggest impact on online marketing in 2014. I wanted to share with you five of the seven that I feel will have the greatest impact on small business as we move forward in this ever changing social world.
Creating visuals will remain a HUGE focus
With the tremendous growth of sites like Instagram & Pinterest, visual marketing continues to make strides with consumers. And it’s no wonder that posts with eye-catching visuals generate the most online engagement. According to Social Media Examiner, 70% of marketers plan to increase the use of visuals in their marketing efforts in 2014. Folks, a picture truly is worth 1000 words!
Blogging/Original Content will thrive
It’s no secret that sharing original content is a great SEO builder that helps drive traffic to your site. The key for 2014 though will be to provide valuable and engaging articles that your consumers want to read. Your blog is your brand’s voice and absolutely must be implemented to your marketing plan going forward. In fact, 58% of marketers say original content will be the most important factor for 2014.
58% of marketers say original content will be the most important factor for 2014.
Google + is NOT a ghost town
With Facebook’s new algorithm introduced in the later part of 2013, it’s no surprise that many marketers were screaming foul. Organic Reach? What is that? Well, platforms like Google + have seen increased growth as their newsfeeds still (as of now) remain organic with no allowance for purchased ads. This has marketers taking closer notice to what Google + has to offer. And let’s not forget, this is Google we are talking about. The search engine benefits alone are reason enough to jump on board. This platform offers great opportunity for engagement with your client base and is an excellent site to promote blogs and original content. According to SME, 64% of marketers want to learn more about this platform in 2014, and for good reason!
Podcasting is all the rave
Michael Stelzner calls listeners of podcasts ‘super fans’! They are the fans that are actively engaged in your content and brand and oftentimes share the love with others. Podcasting gives your audience a chance to hear your voice. (Literally) Podcasting formats allow your audience to listen to a show (typically ranging from 30-45 min) while they work, in the car, at home, etc. The show formats usually host others from an industry in an interview setting. No other platforms allow us such diversity in our marketing efforts. While podcasting may seem out of your comfort zone, we must remember to stay agile as social trends continue to evolve. Here are some pretty incredible stats from Social Media Examiner: 75% of their podcast listeners are also blog subscribers and 26% of them attended Social Media Marketing World, 2014. Talk about ROI!
Sorry, Facebook Ads are here to stay
90% of online marketers use paid Facebook Ads in their marketing strategies. There is a reason, they work! As mad as we can sometimes get at Facebook for continuing to change their algorithms, we can’t argue that Facebook rules the roost. With over 1 billion users, Facebook continues to dominate the social world. Brands needs to dive in or resolve to get lost in the shuffle. You do NOT need to be a Fortune 500 to allot Facebook Ads to your marketing budget. $5-10 a week can go a long way and trust me, it’s worth it. Believe me, you will continually find yourself in a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but you mine as well ‘put a ring on it’ because they are here to stay.
As you can see, our digital landscape continues to move. Stay flexible friends and enjoy the ride. Great things are ahead! ~Cheers
Keynote with Michael Stelzner