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What’s NOT New for 2014?

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While trends can sometimes be passing fads, watching where things are headed can be useful in planning your marketing initiatives for the year. And since most companies are playing catch-up in a fast-moving marketing landscape, what hasn’t changed might be even more useful than what is changing.

Alan Schoff

Alan Schoff

 

Content is cliché

One trend that is definitely here to stay; content is still king. It’s a cliché for a reason.

 

A content strategy is essential in your marketing efforts. If you don’t have one, 2014 is the year to get onboard. While only 50% of companies have such a plan, according to Social Media Today, you’ll be on the rapidly-shrinking half of that statistic if you’re not creating and curating fresh information for your various audiences.

 

A video’s worth a thousand pictures

Visual content, especially video, is rapidly on the rise. That should be no surprise, and here’s a video about it from digital marketing hub Uberflip.

 

Video is exponentially more engaging than photos and text. Smartphone and tablet devices are ever more prevalent, offering more opportunity to deliver valuable video content. How important is video in 2014 for marketers? Well, the number two search engine in the world, after Google, is not Bing or Yahoo! — it’s YouTube (here are some stats about that). With its share capabilities, YouTube is both a search engine and a social channel.

 

Adding to the power of video, a slew of new apps and social media integrations came about in 2013. Especially noteworthy: those six-second Vines on Twitter and 15-second Instagram videos on Facebook. Surging Pinterest, which is all about visual content sharing, is seeing a growing number of video pins. LinkedIn, Google+ and Tumblr, acquired by Yahoo! last year, are also important considerations for your video strategy.

 

Why? Mobile video is predicted to increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, ultimately accounting for more than 70% of mobile traffic. It’s not new news, but definitely something to have in your marketing mix in 2014.

 

Integrated marketing is the real king

There really are no surprises in any of the many guru-authored articles like the top 7 online marketing trends for 2014 by Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers.

 

Putting content marketing at the heart of your digital strategy is not a new thing … it’s the essential thing. Strategic planning to have integrated campaigns possessing clear calls-to-action and measurable results have always been the end-goal. It’s about awareness and sales: building audience and ringing the cash register. Digital media simply give us more tools to respond more quickly to customers, and then measure the results of those actions.

 

To be redundant in making the point, founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi says, “Content marketing is a marketing and business process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

 

What should you do in 2014?

So what will you do to ensure you have a robust marketing effort that delivers results, with valuable content that works in multiple channels? Here are 14 trends that could be actionable items for your consideration, found on CommProBiz.

 

So, you see, it’s true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Good marketing strategy isn’t trendy; it’s simply defining a clear, consistent message and delivering it through the best tactics to achieve the greatest results.

 

If you’re looking for counsel in that regard, give us a call at Coles Marketing.

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Why Pinterest Should Interest

NL_Pinterest

 

This month, ShareThis released the first quarterly Consumer Sharing Trends Report analyzing consumer sharing behavior across more than 120 social channels and two million websites. Pinterest is now the fastest-growing platform for online content sharing!

 

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

This data reminds businesses that Facebook and Twitter, while still dominant players, aren’t the only platforms to use in social media outreach.

 

See what Pinterest can do

According to Alison Griswold in “Business Insider,” Pinterest gives businesses the chance to grab consumers with compelling images and colorful infographics to promote services and new products.

 

Now Pinterest has partnered with Getty Images, a stock photo agency with an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations. According to the Getty Images Blog, this is a “groundbreaking collaboration to drive a more visual world.”

 

Getty provides Pinterest with metadata in exchange for a fee. When a user pins a Getty image from the Web, the metadata for that image — including the description, photographer and date taken — appears next to that photo on the user’s pin board, says Kurt Wagner from Mashable.

 

More pin information is intended to make the pin more valuable to the user.

 

A picture is worth … a lot

Pinterest recently closed a $225 million round in funding, valuing Pinterest at slightly less than $4 billion.

 

Is it really worth that much? Sebastian Thomas of Allianz Global Investors says yes in an article in “The Wall Street Journal” by Spencer E. Ante.

 

“I think the valuation is reasonable given the commercial intent of the users. For merchants, there is a huge opportunity for brand building.”

 

Thomas cites Pinterest’s rapid growth, strong user engagement, and its potential to build brands and make money by driving traffic to a company website.

 

Pinterest has more than 70 million users, and Lauren Orsini cites social login provider Gigya’s numbers that show Pinterest grabbing 41% of e-commerce traffic.

 

Plus, there’s the value of improved rankings on search engines like Google or Bing.

 

Take the Pinterest road more traveled

A study by Piquora found a pin on Pinterest can last thousands of times longer than the average tweet or Facebook post.

 

John Koetsier says “Twitter and Facebook are social networks with a massive emphasis on immediacy. When people visit Pinterest, they browse, they search, they surf, and they uncover more pins.”

 

“Sure, you get 70 percent of your clicks in the first two days,” Piquora CEO Shara Verma says. “But there’s a huge long tail. Clicks kept coming all the way for 30 days and even beyond.”

 

Pinterest users are sharing more. So, businesses need to get smarter about what gets shared.

 

Learn to pin with proficiency

Gabrielle Karol from “Entrepreneur” shares tips to master Pinterest for your business:

  1. Make your website pin-friendly. To encourage consumers to engage with your brand, have a “Pin It” button on all content on your website.
  2. Organize your content. Businesses should organize content by theme, making it easier for users to find and browse content.
  3. Brand your pins. Branding the images uploaded to Pinterest is worth the added effort. Use the company logo and other branding in photos when appropriate.
  4. Include shopper-friendly information. Pinterest users approach the platform with a shopping mindset. Therefore, include as much detailed product or service information with the images without making it look difficult.
  5. Engage the community. Company leaders should become active in the online community in a sincere way. This might include repinning content relevant to your boards and answering user questions.

 

Another fun tip? Predominantly red or orange images get twice the repins of mainly blue images. Pin that!

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