As 2013 comes to an end, we look at what 2014 holds for the digital marketing industry. Our directors provide insights into the advancements that can be expected in SEO, PPC, Social Media, and eCommerce. See the full discussion here.
Adam Bunn, SEO Director, predicts that in 2014, some companies will focus on the wrong thing when it comes to SEO. The big bandwagons at the moment are schemas, which is the way that Google is telling people to mark up content. But, if you look at the schemas that are available, very few are actually driving results for businesses. So all it's doing is only really helping Google, not brands. Conversely, what is important but which isn't getting a lot of attention at the moment is the Authorship programme because it has been overshadowed by Hummingbird and thus people have missed a lot of patents that have been filed. So companies are at risk of ignoring this but given the amount of patents that Google has in relation to this, it's something that is going to be important in the future.
Hannah Kimuyu, Paid Media Director, predicts that audience targeting will become the focus of brands' digital marketing strategies. Earlier this year Google made its biggest change in 10 years to the Adwords programme whereby it put audience and mobile first. Enhanced Campaigns means that although keywords still play an important part of the Pay Per Click model, it's about understanding the person in front of the keywords, which lends itself to social channels too, where you have an understanding of the profile of the user. Although it won't change the dominance that Google has in search, it will open up other channels e.g. Facebook and Twitter, particularly for luxury brands where social advertising is providing greater ROI than search. So in 2014, there will be more variety in terms of advertising strategy.
Kevin Murray, Director of eCommerce & Technology predicts that data will feed into personalisation from an ecommerce perspective. Taking all the data that we know e.g. looking at Facebook, site behaviours of people or segmenting them into groups, we will see more advanced personalisation of people being targeted e.g. email campaigns, and this will inform how they shop & will proliferate to how people are shopping offline. Ecommerce will just become 'commerce' based on Big Data as retailers become more mature and technologies have caught up to do segmentation and personalisation. We will see a more 1:1 approach, based on previous shopping behaviours and we will be offered personalised recommendations e.g. how Kindle is utilising this. Big fashion brands will soon be offering 1:1 advice online in real-time.
Ciarán McManus, Social Media Strategist, predicts that social advertising will boom in 2014 as it's much more accountable than it's ever been as you can now see ROI on social advertising spend. The Facebook model of advertising is now settling and it's slowly refining in a gentle manner and Twitter has gone about the same way, so spend on social advertising will go up and we will be able to deliver social advertising ROI's that we can actually report on.
Peter Elleby, CTO of Hydra, predicts that 2014 will be the year that search will become much more automated than it is now and the driver behind this will be that clients want to do more by doing less. It concerns campaign management and realising that SEO and PPC are actually the same thing as fundamentally the processes you go through for both are not that different and so there will be more emphasis on doing these in a cohesive way. There is a lot of money to be saved if you can save 30-40% of the effort that is invested into it and instead invest that back into your brand.
Watch the full discussion here.