I recently read an article by Forbes about online marketing trends it presumes what would dominate in the year 2014. They were sound points, and if you don’t have time to read the article then here is a summary of it.

  • More focus on content marketing, particularly on those that would show up on social media sites, followed by business website articles, newsletters, case studies, and finally videos and other types of web content.
  • Diverse strategies for social media, with a focus on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Image-centric content domination, ‘Nuff said
  • Ad retargeting
  • Focus on simplistic messages rather than over-the-top ads
  • Content that is mobile friendly
  • Marriage between social signals and SEO

Considering what I’ve read from the article, a couple of questions have been raised in my mind and for which I’d be interested to hear more about your thoughts on.

Social Media Sign

Content quality based on social media interaction

In the article, one point that’s been raised is how a post with a high number of likes, favorites, retweets or what have you should be given priority in search engine results as well. I think this is a sound point, but as I know these interactions can also be easily purchased – I know of companies that can boost the number of likes for your Facebook post to thousands in mere minutes – I would hope that Google can make sure that all those interactions are indeed authentic and organic.

Ad spending

There have been a lot of mentions made about paid advertising and rightly so. Nowadays, I feel that many clients mistakenly assume because their target markets can be so easily reached through social media, there would be no need to spend anything on ads.

Personally, I feel such an assumption is only partially correct. If a business is just starting out, it will definitely benefit from the boost it can get for paid advertising. An example would be the affordable ads you can run over on Facebook, which can exponentially increase the number of likes of your page in a week or just days even. However, what you do afterwards to maintain those likes and make the number of your fans grow is where free advertising can enter the picture.

If you know your way around social media, you just need to spend a small amount of money to boost your page likes and after that, regular and targeted posts would be enough to keep your market interested.

Web Design

Responsive Design

When browsing websites, I am continuously surprised at the number of companies – both big and small – that have not yet gotten around to making their website responsive. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest mistakes that any Internet marketer or web-based company could make.

Mobile browsing is the present and the future. If you want your business to succeed, then you need to make your website accessible and readable no matter what size and type of browser your target market is using.

Image Quality

Images are more important than ever!

As a photographer, cover artist, and writer, I cannot agree more. In fact, I remain utterly frustrated with the way so many writers to this day fail to appreciate the importance of including the best possible photos with their articles or how many authors still neglect to give proper attention to their cover choice. One of the things I really can’t take is when writers use pixelated photos. Keep in mind that the quality of your photo could affect the quality of your articles as well.

An author I recently worked with told me that she was able to gain readers in the UK market because of her book cover. She knew this because the readers stated it quite plainly in their reviews that they had never read any of her works but had decided to give her book a try because of its cover.

In a nutshell, although it’s true that we should never judge a book by its cover – or an article by its accompanying photo – such attitudes still persist.

Now, with all these lessons, I leave you with one reminder: don’t wait for 2014 before implementing these changes to your website. Whether it would be you or the Internet marketing company that you hired who would apply these changes, the important thing is for you to stay ahead of the competition by making such changes now.

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