2014 Marketing Trends

2014 Digital Marketing Trends to Invest In

It’s hard to believe that there was a time (not so long ago) when digital marketing didn’t exist. Technology advances at an incredible pace, and digital marketing is no different.

2013 came and went, and wow…a lot has changed. We saw the launch of Vine, the introduction of Graph Search on Facebook, the Penguin 2.0 update and the fruition of Hummingbird. A lot happened in 2013, and we think 2014 has even more in store for us.

In order to stay ahead of the game, and maintain an advantage, we always try to stay one step ahead of the marketing world. These are our predictions for what facets of digital marketing will trend in 2014, and which we’ll be investing in.

Semantic Search

Semantic search isn’t necessarily a new concept, but unless you’re heavily involved in online marketing this might be the first time you’re hearing of it.

David Amerland describes semantic search as:

Semantic search, as a concept, has been around since Tim Berners-Lee, the man who is frequently called the father of the Internet, wrote an article about it in 2001 in Scientific American. There he explained that the essence of semantic search is the use of mathematics to get rid of the guesswork and approximation used in search today and introduce a clear understanding of what words mean and how they connect with what we are actually looking for in the search engine box.

In layman’s terms, semantic search is the intersection of search intent and finding the best possible solution. Semantic search translates “awesome pizza places” into “best pizza joint in st. paul minnesota” and understands that “best” means most popular based on previous searches and user reviews.

In order for search engines to be able to process information in this manner, they need to change the way they consume content. When Google, Bing, and Yahoo! adopted Schema.org markup, it was a signal to marketers and webmasters that structured data was they way of the future. Schema.org is the web standard for structured data markup. It will be worth your time to research and implement this markup on your sites.


According to YodaLondon at the beginning of 2013, mobile search spending was up 132% year-on-year, 34% of individuals used their mobile device as their primary source of internet consumption, mobile generated 13% of all internet activity, and 48% of marketers planned on increasing their mobile spending.

Mobile Usage Stats

This trend will continue in 2014, and mobile will become more important than ever.

In 2014, we predict that mobile marketing will take another step forward in 2014. Conversion rate optimization will play a big role in mobile this coming year, with marketers optimizing their PPC campaigns and landing pages for smaller screens.


We’ve lived in a video age for a while now, as evident with YouTube’s popularity. 2014 will continue the move from written content to video and visual content.

With the introduction and success of Vine and Instagram video, brands are using new and creative ways to reach their customer. Micro-video platforms like these are here to stay, and they’ll be an important part of

Real-time Marketing

Real-time marketing is extremely advantageous for organizations that have the bandwidth to pull it off. Remember Oreo’s tweet moments after the power went out at the Super Bowl?

This clever tweet by a social media team that is quick on their feet quickly went viral, and created a lot of buzz and press for Oreo. For a brand like Oreo, who is more concerned with people talking and thinking about their product than inbound links or traffic to their website, this was a huge win.

Nearly everyone has a mobile device with them at all times. It’s normal for news to break on social media long before media outlets get their hands on it. Social media is what allows real-time marketing, and what makes it so powerful. All it takes is a mobile device, and a little bit of luck.

Paid Social

Deep down inside we all knew it was coming. Social media isn’t innocent anymore. It’s been taken over by brands, businesses, agencies, organizations and groups. It’s no longer dominated by the individual person just looking to meet new people.

We all knew that social media platforms would be monetized sooner or later.

That has happened slowly over the last handful of years, but 2013 and 2014 will be the start of a larger paid social trend.

Facebook advertising, Twitter promoted Tweets, promoted Pins, targeted advertising on Linkedin, Instagram ads, I could go on. It’s clear that the age of paid social is upon us. Smart marketers will take full advantage of this.

Expansion of Remarketing

Unfamiliar with remarketing?

Remarketing lets you show ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the Web.

Notice that after you visit some sites on the web, that ads start showing up everywhere? You are probably used to it by now, but it’s really only a recent development in digital advertising.

The ability to reintroduce consumers to your products or services repeatedly is an incredibly effective way of driving sales and new business. Remarketing will continue to play a big role in digital advertising in the new year, and the algorithm will continue to evolve to maximize conversions.

Maturing Content Marketing

Content marketing is no secret anymore. Content is king. It’s an incredibly effective channel to drive traffic and leads.

The problem is, everyone knows this, and content marketing is shifting towards quantity over quality. 2014 will be the year that quality content reigns.

Gone are the days of content farms aimed only at driving traffic through search engines by taking advantage of long-tail keywords. 2014 will be the year where targeted, niche-specific content reigns.

You may have also heard of AuthorRank and it’s impact on search results. Google will reward influential authors more in the coming year.

Finally, content will be all about engagement. Google’s algorithm will evolve to understand how engaged your audience is. Blog comments, social media influence, AuthorRank, and more, will begin to play a role in ranking content in search engines.


2014 will be the biggest year yet in digital marketing. These are the trends we feel will provide the biggest return on investment.

What is your opinion on marketing trends in the coming year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Founder at Inbounderish
Brad is a Minnesota based Web Developer and Inbound Marketer. He writes regularly about a wide variety of web technologies including WordPress, Programming, Marketing, and more.


  1. Great stuff Brad.

    I’m a big believer in the idea that audiences will get smaller, more focused, and more engaged in 2014, thus requiring content that is more refined, directed, and engaging.

    The end result, I think, is that social media will finally start to actually be social, which of course is a good thing!

    1. Jake – I agree! I’ve preached to clients and colleagues all along that it’s not the size of the following that matters, it’s how you interact with them. I’ll take a small audience of evangelists over a large inactive following any day!

  2. Hey,
    Nice post, it’s an area I just blogged on also. Your right in what your saying about the content marketing secret being out in the open. Hopefully as you stated the spam content will remain that and good content will remain king.

    In my video blog http://youtu.be/ianYVi4I5HAppwny I discuss how by using Google apps for your business will increase your qualified inbound traffic. Less is more guys ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 2014 marketing trends should definitely see some improvement in quality content. Matt Cutts has made it abundantly clear that Google will rank quality over quantity. Combining that quality with social media should make for improved ranking and traffic.

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