What does 2014 hold for the digital marketing world? Our predictions

Added 15.01.14

At the end of very year, experts make a number of predictions for what they believe will occur in the coming 12 months. These predictions are often the things that companies should look for in their competitors or that they should be attempting themselves. We thought that we would jump on the bandwagon, too, by sharing some marketing predictions that we believe will come to the forefront during 2014.

Marketing Predictions

1. Twitter will take a leaf out of Facebook’s repertoire and will create insight-style pages (at least, for some non-advertising accounts)
Whilst it could be argued that this is due to the fact that Facebook is currently the most successful social media website and that others will need to follow in kind if they also want success, it is more likely going to be a result of Twitter going public. It makes sense for the social network to encourage greater participation amongst their high profile users, providing that it is of higher quality.

2. Google test search results will begin to appear without external organic listings
Over the past year, we have seen Google grow increasingly aggressive with the introduction of knowledge graph, visual aids and instant answers and we believe that it won’t be long before Google are showing results that have no traditional, external pointing or organic links. It has been suggested that Google will keep some links (as references to the sources they’re using) but they won’t be in the traditional format.

3. Google will release updates that target manipulative linking practices in guest posting and embeddable infographics/badges
Whilst Google is likely to continue with their view that many forms of guest authorship and embeddable content are legitimate and worthwhile, we believe that they will make public the removal of value on those seedier and less editorial forms. It is hoped, however, that they will only remove link value and won’t delve into penalisations, as this will punish legitimate websites and businesses, too.

4. Hubspot, Marketo, Act-On, SilverPop or Sailthru will be purchased somewhere in the 9-10 figure range
Marketing automation is a hot topic at the moment, which has had many analysts placing bets on Marketo being a top target. We have expanded our own bets by covering 5 of the top marketing automation companies, as each is at a scale that will offer potential buyers competition (notably with Salesforce and Oracle). These companies have already purchased automations that are set to bring in a profit.

5. “Content Marketing” as a skill will grow faster than both “SEO” and “Social Media Marketing”
There can be no denying that content marketing is a current buzz word and that many companies are investing in this skill set at a pace that hasn’t been seen in close to 2 years. LinkedIn, for example, currently says that 1,268,195 profiles include the skill SEO, that 2,767,263 profiles include the skill social media marketing and that 81,529 profiles include the skill content marketing – this latter one is likely to increase.

6. In the US, there will be more traffic sent by Pinterest then there will be by Twitter in the fourth quarter
In the eyes of many, Pinterest is an oddity – it’s user numbers haven’t been growing as fast as expected, but the intensity of sharing (and the growth rates of these) is unmatched. It has been predicted that, in the fourth quarter of this year, heavy consumer traffic will lead Pinterest to drive more traffic than Twitter – the site is already number two behind Facebook for many content publishers.

Whilst other people will have many more predictions to their list than this, we have aimed to be as specific as possible with our insights into what 2014 will bring for the marketing world. It is our belief that many of the above things will occur without the general public, and even experts, realising that anything has gone amiss. If you aren’t looking out for each of the above predictions to come to pass, they could pass you by.