Online Marketing Predictions for 2014

Posted in Social Media Marketing, Posted in SEO by Willow Thompson

As the year draws to a close, we peek over the mountain of minced pies, crackers and tinsel to gaze into the horizon of 2014 and predict what on earth will happen in the digital marketing industry.

A fortune teller looking int o a crystal ball

We will all start wearing Google Glass (well maybe)

The Google Glass device is expected to come to the market sometime next year. Wearers of the device, which are referred to as ‘Explorers’ may soon be roaming the streets of the UK. Google are still being a bit shifty about how this will affect privacy since it will be difficult to stop people unintentionally collecting data without consent. Furthermore, there are worries that it could lead to crime since technically you could modify Glass to identify every single security camera, and plot a path you could walk through a shopping centre where you're not going to be recorded. I think everyone's biggest concern is it will aid creeps. The suspicious types who wear sunglasses on the tube may soon be far worse when they have facial recognition software and a 24 hour camera attached to their faces. But maybe not, wearing these $1,500 glasses in public is a bit like wearing a giant neon sign saying ‘mug me’ so we will have to see.

A woman wearing the Google Glass

Samsung- Phones you can control with eye movements

Samsung’s new S4 smartphone may let users navigate the phone using just their eye movements. For example, "Smart pause" means the user can pause a video just by looking away from the screen and the "Smart Scroll" software analyses the user's eyes and wrist movements to scroll through emails and other content. Advertising will want to keep up with this technology, since ads could soon be tailored to sit at points on the screen where users eyes focus the most. The technology for phones is still in its relatively early stage but it is rumoured that the S4 will soon have this feature. Can’t wait to see people walking the streets bobbing their heads around and possibly crashing into things using this software.

Facebook Graph Search will be rolled out to all. Google will come up with an equivalent Search Engine

Graph Search is a new search engine on Facebook that is designed to give answers to users natural language queries rather than a list of links. For example, it lets users search for friends and Pages by name, or use precise phrases to find something more specific in people, photos, places or more. Facebook are rolling it out across UK profiles this year. The roll will be gradual so users may not see it immediately but it will be commonplace by the end of the year. Not to be outdone, Google will roll out a new algorithm that makes searches tailor made to the user or they'll create something similar to Graph Search on Google+, and it will probably be better than Facebook’s (but a bit like Google+, no one will use unless they're told they have to).

Facebook’s younger demographic will continue to decline

Facebook admits that it is not being adopted by younger teenagers in the same way as it once was, since they are instead using social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram (which Facebook owns, so it’s not all bad for them). This may be because the permanence of Facebook may make younger people feel reluctant to share anything that they may be scrutinized for in the future, a problem that doesn’t exist with Snapchat. The news feed is also criticized for being bloated with irrelevant information and cyber bullying is still a huge issue on the site. Since teens are the ‘tastemakers’ of the world, this is sure to be making Facebook panic, so it’s likely that more elements of ‘immediacy’ will be incorporated into the site.

A group of teenage girls who are all on their smart phones

Social Media Will Become Even More Monetised

If we stopped to think about this, we should have known it was coming. 2013 has been the year that social media has significantly changed from where we hang out with friends and interact with brands to becoming platforms that are dominated by paid content. Twitter is now a public company so is powered by the creation of revenue, LinkedIn has promoted updates, Facebook has changed it's news feed algorithm to favour paid results and heck, even Google+ has introduced ads (to be fair that was only a matter of time seeing as they own the largest advertising platform already).

So 2014 will naturally be the year where marketers attempt get their heads around how to monetise social media platforms, especially for smaller brands who do not have the budgets that larger companies do. The clues are already there on how to do this: engaging content which educates, informs or entertains. But getting this content in front of people without paying to do so will be much more difficult.

With more brands throwing money at the problem, 2014 will be the year where the online world gets even noisier (could it get any louder you attempt to scream at me!). The answer is yes. With more brands competing for limited time and space (there are only so many pieces of information you can display on a news feed and we already know the half life of content is tiny on some social networks) marketers will need to get clever about how to get content in front of the people that count, when it counts. Send me my P60! ;)

Pile of Money

Mobiles are Attached to Us

It seems the human race like the idea of having one piece of pocket sized technology which can hold everything we consider important to us - who would have thought it?! But some businesses still do not realise (or don't consider it important enough) to make their brand mobile. The most important things you have to do are to make sure your website is mobile optimised and your local search is enabled.

2012/3 were the years that mobile started snowballing in terms of opportunities for brands but 2014 is the year when people stop thinking brands should be on mobile and just expect them to be. Just look at how Google treats mobile - optimised apps, web results and increasingly more personalised search results based on who you are, what you like and where you are. Yes, this is slightly scary that Google has this much information about you but as a brand embrace it. Make sure when someone searches whilst walking down their local high street that your company appears.

What do you think the year ahead will bring? Let us know via Twitter @NoisyMonkey.

Image Credit: Images_of_Money

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