Lance Concannon, founder of Disruptive Communications, and a digital communications specialist who has helped some of the world’s best known brands develop social media strategies, gives his thoughts on the latest trends for 2014.
The most noticeable current trend in social media marketing is that the focus has shifted towards the need for high quality content. Most brands are now comfortable with developing a presence on social media platforms, but these channels need to be fed with a regular stream of great content in order to keep the audience interested.
This is challenging for brands that are more used to creating marketing collateral rather than genuinely engaging content. We’re starting to see businesses investing in their own production teams, capable of creating copy, graphics, video and interactive digital media, to fuel their content marketing drives. Recent changes to Google’s search algorithm have also put the emphasis on strong content to improve SEO performance, so businesses have more reason than ever to focus on this area.
The use of Big Data and Analytics has been a broader trend in the world of marketing, but we’re also seeing it applied to social media and digital. Businesses have come to realise that there’s valuable data buried in all the millions of online interactions that take place with their customers in digital channels, and that data hold insights which can be used to make campaigns more effective.
However, extracting insight from data is no simple task, it takes specialist skills and technology. Many brands and marketing agencies have begun hiring data-scientists to help them solve this problem. This is a relatively new area for marketers and there are still questions about the best way forward (not least, which part of a business should be taking the lead on Big Data); there’s a great article in Marketing Week which explores some of these issues.