Digital Marketing continues to be a dominant advertising force for businesses regarless of whether they have a strong online presence or not. Here are 3 of what we think will be the most influencial trends for 2014 and beyond.


It was inevitable, wasn’t it ? Some of the most profitable online marketing schemes involve some sort of paid advertising. Google AdWords has started the trend, and is  rolling out paid ads to its own social media platform, Google Plus. Why has AdWords been so successful for Google ? Because in the proper hands, AdWords campaigns work  for businesses, great and small.

There used to be a time ( the good old days ), when every post you made on your Facebook page was seen by all your Fans. Those days are long gone, never to be seen  again, as Facebook changed its news feed algorithm so that there has been an inevitable decline of the organic reach. The growth trends we have seen in 2013 in micro- targeting will only increase, including Promoted Posts, Custom Audiences, and Facebook Exchange (FBX), Facebook’s real-time ad bidding exchange.

Now that Twitter is a public company, it has also seen increased pressures to drive revenues and this will no doubt continue. This will manifest itself via Keyword,  Interest, Device and Geographic targeting of Promoted tweets.

Micro targeting using paid (social) media will also grow with LinkedIn via Sponsored Updates and its targeted ads

It has been said that Social media will increasingly become a pay-to-play marketing channel, a somewhat different landscape from the original.

While businesses will need to pay to compete, they will certainly have many more options available to them through new and innovative channels.

Video and Image Marketing

There has been massive growth in pure image platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, increasingly in the last 2-3 years. In general, businesses have been slow to ride the crest of these popular media, but cottage industries and SMEs are leading the way with innovative use of these platforms to extend and strengthen their brand.

Take these facts into account when looking at bolstering your business’s brand online : LinkedIn has boosted its ability to share image and video-oriented updates,  Facebook is constantly experimenting with imagery ability for its customers, and Pinterest has become the fastest-growing online social media property content sharing,  even surpassing both LinkedIn and Facebook.

The ease of which visual infographics can be created for businesses, and their increased use provides strong indications that image-based content is incredibly  important to spreading your message online.

Video marketing is already gaining credibility in the online space, especially via the usual suspects of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Many businesses are missing  opportunities to extend their brand via mobile apps, particularly Instagram and Snapchat ( who would have thought ! ). Snapchat commands the 18-25 demographic which  Facebook is desperate to hold on to. Watch this space !

Even Vine, has the unique capability of allowing businesses to market themselves in 6 second bursts, which may seem disadvantageous at first. But considering mobile use  is still growing rapidly and becoming even more accepted amongst businesses as a marketing tool, apps such as Vine are set to become extremely potent in the advertising  war.

Also remember that videos have become incredibly important in ensuring Google ranking, so consideration is warranted for inclusion in your business marketing.

Cloud Services

An increasing number of businesses and its consumers are becoming more and more dependent on cloud services, whether they know it and appreciate it, or not.

Stalwart providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox are rapidly being joined by numerous newcomers such as SugarSync, Box and the omnipresent iCloud.

Public and hybrid cloud offerings for enterprises will become more important as Private cloud strategies are tested to the limit. Security as always will play an  important role in determining the final makeup of offerings. Gartner suggests that Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are likely to be 2014’s greatest head-to-head  competitors, as both behemoths vie to increase their market share, and as Microsoft nips at Amazon’s dominance.

With the confluence of mobile penetration, mobile apps growth , social media prevalence, and the ever increasing growth of enterprise data , cloud services are set to  become an important digital trend leading into 2014 and beyond.