16 trends you need to know for your digital marketing efforts in 2014

1) Use of social media advertising has increased this year and that is only set to continue. The social media giants are going to employ more innovative and different ways to execute advertising. From Twitter, to Pinterest and Facebook, they are all at it.

2) The realisation that paid ads complement organic search results will help the upward trajectory in its popularity. In addition, the more sophisticated targeting afforded by paid ads will lead to less wastage and greater efficiency.

3) Web designs with plenty of white space will be a continuing trend, users are enjoying this simplified and clean look.

4) Mobile will be hero as it continues to dominate the arena. Optimising content for mobile will be standard and we will see the development of more unique mobile content.

5) Websites will be designed to be contextually aware, allowing the personalisation of the user experience with technology such as geotagging. In addition, personalising content based on your customers purchasing decision will become more prevalent. Ensuring it is incredibly relevant and engaging in order to optimise conversion.

6) Driving conversion rates will be an unrelenting focus. Businesses are wanting to make the most of every opportunity and interaction with customers in order to really push sales. Therefore the value of each customer increases as driving good quality traffic to your website becomes more labour intensive and expensive. Therefore when customers are on your site, you need to do everything you can to keep them there and get them spending.

7) Data has always been important and that trend will continue with a renewed focus on clean data. Decent website and visitor tracking is imperative in order to gain an understanding of the opportunities and weaknesses of your business. With limited resources you cannot afford not to have good data on which to base your decisions.

8) Specialisms will emerge within the Digital Marketing industry with workers choosing to focus on content marketing, Social media and CRM amongst other areas.

9) Social media and email marketing will start to integrate, therefore emails will need to be responsive and highly targeted. Customers are receiving huge amounts of emails from brands and businesses and to stand out from the crowd, yours must guarantee ease of use which means they need to be intuitive.

10) As customers demand a seamless experience online and offline, the arenas will naturally begin to converge to create a more holistic experience. Integrated marketing will become holistic marketing.

11) Google Webmaster will evolve to improve usability with editable relationships and entities to allow the correct content classification. Ultimately leading to improved search results for users.

12) The commercialisation of Google SERPS will be extended to feature more rich media formats as well as being more image based. As Google becomes more commercial, even more space will be devoted to advertisements and therefore less emphasis on organic search.

13) Advertising targeting will reach new heights of sophistication. The enhanced demographic information from both paid and organic results will result in greater understanding of the customer journey. This will allow us pay more attention to serving different ads according to the customer’s position within the funnel.

14) As the popularity of Google mobile increases and revenue rises, there will be further improvements in Google mobile advertising package. Options will be refined to include options for more ‘out-and-about’ advertising.

15) Real time bidding refers to buying and selling online ad impressions through real time auctions which occur as the page is loading. 60% of publishers plan to use automated systems such as supply-side platforms to help manage their ad schedule better. This will lead to greater efficiency as advertisers are able to access a huge inventory, without the need for a middle man such as a media buying agency, publisher or ad network.

16) Video ads saw massive growth throughout 2013. This has been fuelled by mobile video consumption and going forward this is set to continue, with more advertisers incorporating video advertising into their business models.