The internet has changed the way we access and share information. It has also has a tremendous impact on marketing.

More and more internet businesses now publish original content. Gone are the days when they simply embedded ads within external content. Original content allows businesses to gain trust and a loyal following. But this shift towards original content isn’t the only development that will influence internet marketing in the coming year.

So what are the trends that will change the face of online marketing in the next few months? Let’s take a look:

1. Content marketing is the way to go

More and more companies have realized that the easiest way to establish authority and gain trust is to produce useful and original content. When a website provides relevant information that solves the problems of people, it will automatically gain a loyal following. For B2B websites, the most effective content marketing channels are the original articles on their website, social media, newsletters, case studies, and videos. When a business effectively uses more than one of these channels, they build a good reputation for themselves.

2.   The need to diversify your social media marketing strategies

Until a couple of years ago, there were only a small number of social media networks that businesses could use to actively promote their products. Today, more and more social media sites are emerging on a regular basis. The popularity of new platforms like Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pintrest provide marketers with limitless opportunities. The diverse nature of these platforms also allows businesses to experiment with content of diverse nature. Needless to say, many businesses now promote their products and services through multiple channels with the objective of gaining maximum exposure.

3. Popularity of image-based content

Consumers are getting bombarded with numerous advertisements. In such a scenario, content that is easily digestible will be received more favorably. If you take a look at some of the social networks that are fast gaining popularity, you can see that at least three or four of them are image-centric. In fact, the rapid growth of Pinterest and Buzzfeed testifies the popularity of images and their potential for going viral. Infographics which provide information from research studies also combine images with minimal amount of data.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that text-based content is going out of style. Still, incorporating images into your content strategy will definitely benefit your marketing campaign

4. Less is going to be more

Consumer preference is shifting towards simpler messages. Take a look at the home pages of Apple and Google. You can’t overlook their simplicity. The popularity of Pinterest can also be attributed to its clean and uncluttered interface. Many innovative marketers have already started toning down their campaigns. This trend will grow in 2014. 

5. Mobile-friendly websites are the need of the hour

Just about everybody owns a smartphone or tablet computer these days. Thanks to the growing popularity of these mobile devices, companies are now forced to create mobile-friendly content.  Whether it is creating a mobile friendly version of an existing website or using responsive web design, creating content optimized for mobile devices has become the need of the hour. If your website isn’t mobile friendly you will easily lose your customers to your competitors.

6.  Interest-based advertising

This marketing strategy became really popular in recent times. It allows advertisers to know which websites a user visits by using browser cookies. So, for example if a person visited a website about gadgets, he is more likely to come across ads about gadgets when he visits other websites. This interest-based advertising has become quite effective because it keeps a brand and its products at the top of the consumer’s mind.

7. Social signals

Link popularity is still more important than social signals. However, there is no denying the fact that search engines have started noticing social signals. In 2014, social shares will play an even bigger role. Besides improving your performance in search results, social shares can act as a trust signal. When people notice a large number of shares when they visit a webpage, they will immediately arrive at the conclusion that that content is worth sharing.

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