It’s a tricky business predicting the future, especially if you haven’t got a crystal ball to hand. But you can make a reasonably educated guess by what has happened the year before and read all the lovely content that is banding about at the moment on digital marketing trends for this year, and make a decision which path you want to follow.
I saw a thread in Facebook about setting goals rather than resolutions for the New Year, and that struck a chord. It’s so easy to say “I’m going to lose 2 stone” or “I’m going to double my income” with no sense of how, when or really? Setting a goal or objective (the latter being measurable and timebound) will only happen if you work it out, write it down, stick it on the wall (rather than stow it away in a drawer somewhere) and regularly revisit it for review.
The real tactics are keeping an ear on the grapevine and responding quickly to the latest trends, as long as they can be applied sensibly to what you want to achieve. Don’t trip merrily down a wonderful leafy avenue if it’s going the wrong way, even if the correct path is fraught with unknowns, a steep learning curve and lots of hard work.
So what is going to happen then?
So, if 2013 was the year of content writing, author identity recognised by Google and reactions to new search engine algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, etc), then it stands to reason that the predictions for 2014 from ordinary mortal folk not in the know will be derived what has happened before:
- the expansion of Google Authorship;
- the rise of video as a medium to deliver marketing messages where brevity is the ideal;
- images outranking words for engagement and education purposes (think infographics);
- engagement and dialogue is rewarded more than advertising and monologues;
- content delivery will thrive on engagement and curation from advocates;
- social media combined with relationship building and inbound links within intimate communities engaging directly to their audience.
These are quite safe predictions, as we are not going to know what dramatic changes will happen this year, unless you happen to have a mole inside the world-domineering organisations that manipulate us and force us to change our tactics due to whatever they throw at us.
So how should we react?
The answer is to embrace what comes our way, manipulate it to our point of view and change all those lovingly created objectives to suit. That’s why they should be easily visible and reviewable. Being flexible and willing to understand how the world changes around us, and at short notice too, as well as constantly learning new stuff as it arrives and responding appropriately, will determine whether we succeed or not throughout 2014.
If you haven’t the time or inclination to learn how to accomplish new trends, don’t dismiss them as new-fangled, but find someone who does use them and fit them into your marketing strategy. Don’t miss the boat by being too late, neither should you jump straight into the deep end without fully understanding exactly what this new development entails and how it could help you. If you do respond to innovation, lurk in the shadows a bit to gain a good footing before launching your version to the world.
Let me know what you think in the comment box below.
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