We’re going all Mystic Meg and looking into our crystal ball for today’s instalment of our 12 days of Christmas, listing our top 11 digital predictions for the new year. We think it’s going to be a cracker, and we want to show you why!
2013 has seen a colossal growth in mobile technology. Mobile web adoption is now growing 8 times faster than it did in the 1990s and early 2000s, and one quarter of all searches are now made via mobile. These figures are certainly nothing to sniff at.
So what will 2014 hold, more of the same? Yeah right. Mobile is determined to own digital, and it looks set to do so, with internet on the move set to become more popular than on your old desktop over the next few months. And with Google’s Matt Cutts stating this year that sites not prepared for mobiles will be punished in the rankings, you can be certain that he who dares to go responsive really will win in search.
2. Mobile Ecommerce
Hang on though, there’s more to the internet than just views and search engines, after all we’ve been able to make payments for our favourite things over the net for years now. Is mobile set to master this as well?
It seems so. Stats from this year suggest that people are using their smartphones even more to buy the things they need, and a lot of tat they don’t. Research has shown that 70% of mobile searches lead to an action within the hour, fantastic news for those of us with a responsive site looking to improve our conversion rates.
It isn’t just about mobile internet though. Smartphone technology is also going to help us to make payments when not shopping online. Whether they use contactless technology such as NFS or mobile apps to transfer money, devices are enabling people across the world to pay without even reaching for their wallets. Want to know more? Check out our recent blog article on the subject.
3. Big Data
No, not a massive version of him off of Star Trek, you may have heard it bandied about in relation to Google, Amazon, and other big internet based companies, yes? Essentially, it is the information that companies collect on your online behaviour to help them target you more effectively.
Well, 2014 is the year when Big Data is going to become Big Money. And this is going to be great for marketers and digital platforms across the board. You’ll have seen it before, and may not notice it, but when you’re on the internet you will often be presented with personalised results across a range of websites and search engines. That’s the way the cookies crumble (awful, we know, it’s Christmas cracker season though).
4. Social Media Marketing
Promoted posts; love them or hate them they really work. Whilst they have been reviled as more expensive than other paid marketing options, it has been shown that they can have a Click Through Rate (the percentage of those that see the ads who actually ‘click through’ to the content, for those who don’t know) that is up to 4000% higher!
As social media becomes ever more important in search and standard marketing campaigns, helping to generate much more engagement with brands, these forms of paid advertising will surely be more readily used by many. The range of platforms that companies use to share their wares could also expand over the course of 2014, especially as (relatively) new kid on the block Pinterest has been shown to convert 21% of users who view content in America.
5. Video Content
2013 has seen a huge rise in the use of visual content when marketing a wide range of products, and this is set to extend into 2014, only this time the visuals will be moving. Yes, soon you will be seeing video content from all sorts of businesses, B2B marketers especially have discovered this avenue in a big way with 73% now saying they use it.
I mean, come on, even Microsoft’s Xbox One will be showing its own video content towards the beginning of next year.
6. Behavioural Email Targeting
BET or email remarketing is like a fine wine maturing in a dark cellar just waiting to be discovered as the next big thing.
We know that targeted marketing works online and this form of Uber granualisation (you heard that term here first) will have website owners with the patience to set it up purring over increased conversion rates. Expect next year’s ‘my cat is sad’ meme to be ‘My cat is sad because he did not set up behaviour email marketing’. Possibly.
7. (Not Provided)
For any beige SEO or digital marketing agency 2014 could be the year the bell tolls. Google’s removing more & more keyword data from website owners and personalisation makes accurate rank tracking nearly impossible.
It is time for your agency to adapt or die, old school tactics like massive numbers of exact matching anchor text links bit the dust. Terms like link velocity entered the SEO vernacular in 2013.
8. New Technology
Smart-watches stepped on to the scene this year, bringing with them a great deal of excitement about the future of mobile technology. We’ve seen it all before, new gadgets getting everyone all excited but nothing ever coming of it – betamax anyone?
However, this latest trend appears to be built on the solid foundation of existing smartphone tech, which we know has proven amazingly popular in 2013. The trend is inextricably towards wearable technology, with Google also getting in on the act with their Google Glass gadget. Being able to share content that you are seeing with your own eyes wherever you are may not be entirely new, but being able to do it without the awkwardness of holding up a phone like a tourist may free many who haven’t before to create their own unique content for the masses.
9. Content And Commerce
There are many brands that focus on low prices and not much else. Whilst this is all very good, for some users the price is not the be all and end all. We live in a time of hipsters, some might say it is a sad thing, but with this comes a passion for the story of a brand rather than simply what its goods cost.
Therefore, in 2014 marketers are going to need to move towards using staff to create meaningful content for their users about their brand. But content on its own is not enough, they will also need to make sure they use the tools available on social media and other channels to effectively target this information to the desired user. It may not be easy, but it sure will be worth it.
10. Location Based Marketing
With the rapid advancement of mobile devices, it is no surprise that location based marketing is forecast to really take off in 2014. Apple have recently enabled their ‘iBeacon’ technology in 250 of their stores, enabling iOS users to receive product updates and discount codes straight to their mobile devices when they are within range of an Apple Store.
Utilising Bluetooth LE technology, many envisage that this technology will move into the mainstream in 2014, with shoppers receiving store discounts whilst walking down the highstreet, enticing shoppers to visit bricks and mortar stores.
11. Web Design Simplified
Web design is constantly evolving, and 2014 is set to see some real changes to sites across the interwebs. Flat design, one page websites, and larger and more detailed typography are going to deliver websites that are not just pretty to look at but easy to interact with.
One cool trend we have seen that is set to take the web by storm is ‘parallax scrolling’, effectively demonstrated on the website for the 53 pencil. Here the background moves at a different rate to the foreground to niftily demonstrate how their product is put together.
Want to keep up in 2014? Get in on the Selesti act by staying right here on our blog. It’s nearly the end of our Christmas celebrations (sad face), but you can revisit the magic below:
Eleven – New Year’s Revolutions