We’re nearing the end of another year, which gets us all thinking about what changes 2014 might bring. While I don’t have a time machine to travel forward, I do have exposure to what’s being talked about in the blogosphere, among industry pundits and professionals, and of course, what shifts are already affecting our clients and how we do business here at Carabiner.
Here’s my perspective on the trends I see coming for the next year:
1. “Traditional” agency services will continue to lose ground to integrated new practices. Even five years ago, our primary function for our clients was to get media coverage. We were the media relations experts who could get you an interview that would get you noticed primarily through the printed or online word. And while we still provide expert media outreach, increasingly, our services are becoming integrated with other areas of demand. These days, we’re doing less media pitches and more “other things” our clients want. These include social media campaigns that bypass media to connect directly with target audiences, as well as new forms of compelling marketing content like web video. We’re also seeing a growing demand for our lead-to-revenue programs that assist our clients in identifying, nurturing and transforming leads into sales.
2. Emphasis will shift from merely producing content to creating exceptionally good content. Content marketing will continue to be king in 2014 but let’s face it – we’re beginning to suffer from overload. Companies have gone into warp speed, pushing out all matter of content and inundating their audiences. If you’re not careful, your content can begin to be looked at like junk mail. To stand out in the flood of content – email and online – agencies will need to help clients produce exceptionally compelling content that strikes a chord, whether through creative engagement or educational value.
3. Emphasis will also shift from the quantity of “likes” to the quality of followers. With regard to social media, it’s been easy to get caught up in the whole “I must be doing this really well because I have tens of thousands of likes/friends/followers” mindset. But how many in your audience eventually translate into sales? Agencies will begin to work with their clients to home in on the right social media audience, finding ways to attract and engage those smaller niches most important to your business, as opposed to casting a wide net that may gain you lots of followers but few true prospects.
The ubiquity of the Internet and wireless mobile devices, combined with the rise of content marketing and social media, have forever impacted the way companies create awareness about themselves and market to their audiences. I fully expect 2014 to be a banner year for the aforementioned trends and others we don’t even know about yet. The one certainty is that companies will need support teams that have the ability to communicate in terms of new media and deliver content that resonates. It’s an exciting time to be working!
What PR or marketing trends do you foresee in 2014?