Hey, Bloggers! The 4 Spring 2014 Marketing Need-To-Knows

“And if you don’t know, now you know…”

Earlier this year, the 2014 marketing “predictions” and “resolutions” rolled out (including this 6-times-fabulous list).

It’s March now. The dust has settled, and we’ve picked through it. Three of these trends, we wouldn’t have guessed a year ago, but all of them are absolutely making an impact:
 

 
trendy-selling-point

Trendy Selling Point: The Blog With A Social Conscience

Job creation, joining up with local charities, waste-free product packaging, even weight management – any way your blog does good, show it off.

Consumption’s damaging effects are well-known, but consumers are still addicted to little indulgences, which means they prefer purchases with guilt-free status attached, as explained on Trendwatching.

Glimpse in the real world:

Starbucks has this one down. Recyclable cups, Fair Trade blends and trash cans labeled “Landfill” are the old news. This year, they’ll add a store made of shipping containers, and I guarantee the response will be:

“Oh, my goodness, look how eco-conscious (and also clever!) Starbucks is!”

The story you choose to tell should become part of your branding. But think twice before spinning off a bunch of related marketing content, because…
 

 
the-overcrowd-trend

The Overcrowded Trend: Content Marketing

…there’s a heck of a lot of marketing content already out there.

“Too many marketing shops will have pursued content marketing…brands are competing with, well, everything else for attention,” says Patrick Spenner of Forbes here.

This means ordinary blog posts and articles won’t cut it. Your content needs to be absolutely unique.

Two ways to counter this:

1. Type your intended content topic into a search engine, hit enter and absorb the current listings already out there. If your angle isn’t fresh, find a new one.

2. Try something bigger. “Live events, case studies and (if companies can afford it), branded content tools,” suggests Sherice Jacob on Kissmetrics. “These things deliver much more value, brand awareness, backlinks and discussion than a simple social share.”

Now, as for where to put the content you do create…
 

 
timeout-on-this-trend

Timeout On This Trend: Jumping On New Marketing Channels

Forbes reported a pattern of larger companies shunning new marketing channels until they master and get the most from their current channels.

“In short, they aren’t getting all the way up to the productive part of the learning curves before they get sucked into new ones,” Spenner explains. “During their 2014 timeout, they plan to get their you-know-what together on all the technology changes from the last five years, before they introduce any new ones.”

Why it’s okay to catch your breath:

Social media is a market, too, and its near-saturation of already existing channels means your followers and fans are less likely to jump on these new ones.

So take a bit of time to make sure you’re proficient in the channels you’re already on before dipping your toes in elsewhere.
 

 
trend-over-but-not-quite

Trend Over (But Not Quite Out): Keywords As The SEO Mainstay

Since Google and other search engines must continually combat efforts to game the search system, they update their algorithms often.

Keyword usage and density are receiving much less attention of late, Nicole Fallon of BusinessNewsDaily reports.

What’s in? “Unique content and social media signals [likes and shares].”

What to focus on instead:

We’ve been saying it forever, but Fallon recommends “…[aiming] efforts toward creating content that is tailored and useful for their target audience.

For example, create more lifestyle-oriented content in the form of blog posts, videos and other types of media that encourage sharing by readers.” (And of course, those less-traditional content formats mentioned above.)

So. Who’s In?

We had a lot of “Ohh, that makes sense,” moments when we dug up these trends.

Are any of you feeling the same way? Can you get on board with any of these ideas in particular?