Welcome to 2014.  It’s that time of year again…time to evaluate your business.  You’re probably asking yourself questions like… What went well last year?  What needs to be improved for this coming year?  What do I need to do to make those improvements?  Most often, the answers to your problems come back to marketing…what type of marketing you’re doing, what your message is, and how you’re delivering that.

1.  Content marketing will be king

marketing trends

Although this is not a new marketing trend, it is something that will continue to grow this year.  Content marketing is one of the main ways a company can establish it’s presence and authority in their field.  According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top content marketing strategies are social media, articles on your company website, eNewsletters, and blogs.  Effectively implementing content marketing into your marketing plan for 2014 is a must.  To learn more about content marketing click here.

2.  Social media will need to be more diverse

Not too long ago, businesses were limited by the number and types of social media outlets available for them to use…Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Now, it seems that social media networks and apps are popping up all over, and networks like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr are growing in popularity.  Due to this, it is more of a necessity than ever for businesses to find, experiment with, and use social media.  Click here to learn more about the various social media.

3.  Content focused on images become more important

Our customers are bombarded with advertisements from the beginning to the end of their day.  If you look at the social media networks I mentioned above, you will see that most of them have one thing in common…images.  Some of the most successful social media campaigns and blogs are image centric.  With very little time and a deluge of content out there, it is easy for our customers to skim over it, so it is important to include enticing images to break up and enhance the text you’re putting out there.

4.  Simplicity will reign

marketing trendsWe’ve all heard the saying, “Less is more,” but how does that apply to this year’s marketing trends?  There is a lot of clutter in all of our daily lives, and it is easy for messages to get lost.  Your customers want to know what you’re doing, what’s new with your company, and how it is good for them, but they want it to be simple.  The time has passed for writing long-winded posts and advertising messages.  Short, simple, and to the point is the best way to make sure your message is paid attention to.

Maybe the best way to summarize this is with a quote found in an article by Forbes, which said, “There is a sense that from the hyper-connectivity of our highly-digitized lives to the bright, flashy, complicated sensory input we’re fed everyday, there is no way to continue at this pace. As a result, 2013 is likely to be a year where the most successful marketing strategies will be ones that are not only simple in nature, but promote goods and services that serve to simplify the consumer’s life, or even just their customer experience.”

5.  Mobile optimized content becomes more necessary

Have you taken a look around lately?  How many people do you see walking around looking at the phone or tablet?  How many mobile devices does your family own?  The answers to these questions, most likely reveals something that most of us already know…Mobile devices reign.  It is increasingly more important that all of your business’ content be mobile optimized.  You can learn more about that here.

During the next few weeks that you are examining last year’s marketing strategy, making evaluations and developing your marketing strategy for 2014, remember to keep these marketing trends in mind.