The year is coming to a close, which means it’s the time of recaps, resolutions and predictions. For Gabriel Marketing Group, 2013 was a year of growth. We grew our team; we grew our client base and tripled the number of our office plants. We are anticipating even greater expansion in 2014, though not necessarily in the horticulture department. We have, however, resolved to green our thumbs and keep the plants alive for another year.
But what does the crystal ball predict for the marketing and PR world? Here are two predictions that we anticipate for 2014. Whether you’re focused on B2B marketing, consumer PR or corporate communications, we think these are two major trends worth watching:
1. Evolved Infographics.
We know, infographics aren’t new. They are everywhere these days, right? Actually, infographics have always been with us. According to infographic warehouse Visual.ly, cavemen may have been using them back in 30,000 BC.
We’ve seen them in printed and broadcast news, only they were referred to simply as charts or graphics. Like everything else, those charts and graphics made it to the web. And the web made it easier to research the information, build an aesthetically pleasing infographic, and publish it for all to see.
In the race for SEO supremacy, infographics have been leveraged as luscious link bait. At least they were, before the latest changes in Google’s search algorithm. This fall, Google announced changes to its search algorithm in response to the longer more complex queries it has been getting from users. Content marketers will need to produce more than attractive visual displays of information. Savvy marketers will evolve their infographics into stimulating interactive marketing with a cunning mix of usefulness and engagement worthy of a busy searcher’s time.
People are looking for answers and they are now Googling questions (literally). If your infographic isn’t optimized to serve up an answer, your links will be buried in 2014.
2. Utility Marketing
Not familiar with utility marketing? You’ve probably seen it but didn’t know it had a name. This subtle subset of content marketing is about engaging audiences in useful information, tips and tools. In a nutshell: utility marketing is about making your consumer’s life easier. For a good example check out all of the useful videos produced by marketing software and service provider Vocus.
If content marketing was about serving up all of the content leftovers from the company’s knowledge kitchen, utility marketing is about curating the most useful of that knowledge to produce an affinity cookbook (with an accompanying mobile app).
In order to do this successfully, you have to be intimately aware of your target audience or consumer. You have to know what they need even better than they do. If executed properly, businesses and brands will win new consumers and new insights into their product. High tech companies and managed service providers (MSPs) in particular, would benefit greatly by adding this to their 2014 marketing communications plans.
Here are some early examples of evolved infographics and utility marketing:
- A timely interactive infographic from a carpark in the UK
- Outdoor experts REI leverage their knowledge across multiple mediums
We expect to see many more campaigns surface in 2014. Now tell us your predictions using #gmg2014.
Wishing you a Happy New Year from Gabriel Marketing Group!