Examining Internet Marketing in 2014

2014 saw funds shift from traditional marketing venues including, radio, print and television into online marketing activities.

Beginning in the 2nd quarter, businesses began to see more return from their online marketing efforts, particularly in the areas of social media campaigns and newer web content techniques, real time brand newsrooms and peer product review tactics.

Effective web copy migrated towards being easily scannable, addressing end user needs and requirements. Apple’s highly successful campaigns demonstrated that ad simplification can be extremely effective.

  • Desktop use continued to be replaced by mobile devices
  • Ad retargeting, a technique which involves ad impressioning tailored to a customer based upon cookies placed on their devices, gained even more momentum
  • Peer reviews continued to strengthen purchase decision-making

Social Media at the Forefront

Social Media continued to grow as a critical online selling support tool. Social Media sites were used to very effective ends to promote brands, introduce new product lines, increase customer involvement, implement customer product reviews and tell the brand’s unique story.

Brands that benefited the most implemented the 80 : 20 rule, in which 20 percent of the content was about the brand, while 80 percent supported the customer’s interests.

Facebook.com demonstrated its commitment in it’s platform’s use as a marketing tool when it released its future platform upgrade strategies including supporting increased personalization across devices.

Web Content: Visual and Episodic

Successful marketing campaigns focused more on the value of video and images to tell their brand’s story. Web sites that implemented video increased the return rate of their visitors and the amount of time that those visitors spent while visiting their web sites.

Customers continued paying increased attention to marketing efforts that told stories in short and regularly updated vignettes.

More Succinct and Credible Content

CEB Global published a report in the Harvard Business Review revealing their research results that simplification and distilling the content to the minimal information necessary to address a customer’s perceived needs, while leaving out information which customers did not desire, obtained sales results more than 85 percent higher than companies who overloaded their customers with excessively detailed copy.

A brand’s credibility is further enhanced by visuals which demonstrate statistical facts about its products and services.

Mobile Begins to Dominate

Continuing its 2013 momentum, mobile overtook desktop in online purchases. Online marketing campaigns and web content development efforts that took advantage of the growth of the mobile device online consumer market reaped and will continue to reap significant returns.

Ad Retargeting

Brands increasingly added new heuristics to their marketing campaigns to intelligently control the banners and advertisements shown to return visitors to their websites.

Ad retargeting, uses various clandestine techniques involving hidden pixels and browser-based cookies.

The success of the technique involves adding intelligence to the way that subsequent advertising impressions are represented to the same customer. The theory underlying ad retargeting is that each impression works to increase trust, loyalty and interest to a critical threshold action level.

The Importance of Real Time and Reviews

Brand Newsrooms, created by real time tweeting, changed the way that major name brands communicate with their customers in ways never before possible. It laid the framework supporting creative web content trends of episodic storytelling. When combined with the powerful impact of social media campaigns, the end results demonstrated higher brand loyalty, increased positive response to brands and higher customer retention rates.

Expanding its use beyond millennials, new customers across generation boundaries continued to consult reviews before making purchases. In fact, one survey revealed that 88 percent of those consumers who consulted reviews, trusted review content enough to make a decision based upon the review. Online reviews were researched before purchasing electronics and other retail items online, booking hotels and other types of web-based purchases for products and services.

Summary

2014 saw increases in implementations and brand successes using online marketing techniques including, peer reviews, social media selling, brand newsrooms, ad retargeting, visual content, ad simplifications and episodic content.

Coastline Marketing Group specializes in internet marketing and website development. We proudly serve the Monterey, Salinas CA area. Please contact us for a free review of your current online presence and status.