Top Social Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014
If the Internet revolutionized the notion of commerce in America, then it was the rise of social media that revolutionized how goods and services are marketed. Yes, not so long ago social media was the next great frontier in marketing. Today, that frontier is all around us.
This notion is hardly lost on modern marketers. However, what is of paramount importance is navigating the ever-shifting landscape of social media to ensure the widest exposure possible. After all, it is only through innovation and staying ahead of the curve that marketers will reach their target demographic across a wide variety of platforms.
And it is indeed a "wide variety." So with that in mind, here are some current trends that look at all areas of social in order to help marketers craft winning strategies.
Social Media Continues to Grow
Maybe not as quickly as it did in 2010-11, but a recent social media marketing industry report suggests a 3% rise in popularity since 2012. In fact, 86% of business professionals who were surveyed suggested that the major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., etc.) were crucial to their operations. Pros are now recommending that marketers fully integrate social into their overall strategy.
This is worth a mention due to the fact that a HubSpot Inbound marketing report found most businesses woefully behind when it comes to social integration. Marketers should move past mere lead nurturing/brand exposure and into the realm of competitive analysis and co-branding opportunities.
Social and Content are Now Linked
Even as recently as last year most people viewed social media marketing and blogging as separate entities. Not so anymore. According to one recent report, 58% of business professionals are currently pushing marketing content through the blogosphere.
Far more telling is that 66% are expected to be doing the same thing next year. The reason for this is simple: it's far easier to drive traffic to a website with a blog promoted on social channels than it is without one. Also, blogging is a healthy long-term strategy as custom content is valuable regardless of social trends.
YouTube Becomes Social
For many years, most people looked at YouTube for what it was: a popular search engine. YouTube has since evolved into one of the world's most popular clip sites/social media networks with over 1 billion unique visitors every month. According to industry marketing reports, video is the most popular tactic, and it is why 69% of business professionals are expected to utilize YouTube this year.
The Rise of Podcasting
While podcasting may not be nipping at video's heels - yet - it is enjoying record growth. At the moment, 5% of marketers have made podcasting part of their current strategy. However, 25% are expected to make it part of their future marketing strategy. That's because podcasting is just one more way marketers can reach out to those 3.2 billion consumers that own mobile devices.
If this list is any indicator, mobile and social will be inexorably linked for the foreseeable future. Without a solid mobile game, all the social media strategies in the world won't help today's marketing pros.
This guest article was written by ason Bayless, a professional blogger who gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO agencies in the United States.