Key points for 2014: Digital marketing collateral, custom content, Internet advertising
Trends to watch:Email with social sharing will boost click-through rates more than 150 percentSocial media marketing budgets will double over the next five yearsPay Per Click budgets will increase more than 70 percentMore than 70 percent of press releases will include images
Content will be the #1 way to attract and retain customers. Engagement in real-time, whether through interpersonal communication, social media or traditional marketing strategies and tactics, will deliver better ROI than direct mail and advertising.Images will outrank words for engagement with key audiences.Less will be more in message development and delivery.
To round out the authentic experience, students want to be able to tour campus while doing their investigating. About 51 percent say it is important or extremely important for a college to have a virtual tour. Though, when on campus, students still want the live human perspective; just one-third of 2014s say that a GPS-enabled app could actually replace. a student-led tour
Mobile device use increased by 30 percent. Now, more than 50 percent of juniors are using mobile devices as their primary way to go online. Tablet use is increasing at an even faster rate, with 100 percent increase in use vs. last year. Though just 17 percent of 2014s are using tablets as their main way to go online, the trend is only going upward.
Students still consider colleges’ websites centrally crucial to get the official and peer-to-peer perspective and research key areas. Nearly 82 percent of juniors reported that colleges’ websites are influential or very influential. Key pages cited by 2014s include: Academics and Majors (96 percent), Admission Facts (89 percent), Scholarship Estimators (88 percent), Application Pages (80 percent) and Campus Life (76 percent).
Sixty four percent of students are OK with providing their parents’ names to a college they are considering, and they say the best time to collect parent data is: after I fill out a reply card or online form (36 percent), after I visit campus (24 percent) and once I am admitted (22 percent).Email is still a primary way students want to communicate with colleges, and 76 percent of 2014s say that email is also the best way to communicate with their parents.
A recent study conducted by Adobe showed that social media marketing remains the most important marketing area of concern for the upcoming three years.
With its 1.18 billion users, of which close to 58% are active daily, with an average of 20 minutes per day, Facebook is certainly not disappearing anytime soon. Outside emerging markets where growth is still happening, Facebook has reached a certain plateau, with even some decreases within the younger generations, in particular the 13-17 teens. A study by Pew Internet & American conducted earlier this year found that more and more teenagers were jumping ship from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, in great part “because there is less drama”. It’s also easier to fly under parents’ radars and have a more secretive approach on Twitter.
Snapchat is a photo messaging application developed by Stanford University students. Using the app, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of November 2013, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from the Snapchat server. As of April 2013, its 5 million active users were uploading over 150 million photos per day! Last but not least, videos should continue their upward ascent in the social media marketing toolbox hierarchy. In particular short videos. YouTube shows no sign of fatigue, all the contrary in fact with its 100 hours of video uploaded… every hour!! Yet for brands, the best promises come from the rise of applications such as Vine, with its 6-seconds video capabilities, and Instagram, with its 15-seconds video capabilities complete with filters and integration within Facebook.When I attended Social Media Marketing World Event back in April, in San Diego, videos (along with blogs & podcasts) were indeed already identified as the hot marketing trends to look out for. And we are now seeing more and more companies embrace these short videos as quick, inexpensive and efficient ways to tell their brand story. Without a doubt, this is one trend we can expect to grow in 2014. If pictures tell a 1,000 words, videos can tell a million! Students want to get the authentic campus experience, even if they aren’t in a position to travel to your campus. So they can’t get enough peer-to-peer video.
Consumers no longer rely on billboards and TV spotsto learn about new productsbecause the web has empowered them. It's given them alternative methods for finding, buying and researching brands and products. The new marketing communication — inbound marketing — has become a two-way dialogue, much of which is facilitated by social media.Another reason why inbound marketing is winning is because it costs less than traditional marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person's attention, which is done through social media and engaging content, such as blogs, podcasts and white papers. This content is interesting, informative and adds value, creating a positive connection in the eyes of the consumer, thus making him more likely to engage your brand and buy the product. So it costs less and has better a ROI.
Inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven strategy that involves attracting and converting visitors into customers through personalized, relevant information and content –- not interruptive messages – and following them through the sales experience with ongoing engagement.
Segmenting influencers into different types you can monitor and interact with should be a core approach to support your content marketing, SEO and social media marketing. This is the classic model of the third party endorsement.
Smart brands will focus on the genuine quality of their output and as a result receive the audience's trust, attention and custom.A well-planned, integrated omni-channel approach that takes and adapts core source content to social, mobile, tablet, web, digital and print will ensure quality and consistent messaging while maximizing the effectiveness and return on your content investment.Consumers are expecting a seamless and consistent experience of a brand whenever and wherever they encounter it.Brands should continue to build relationships with their audiences delivering content that is relevant, authentic, useful, entertaining or an educational experience for the consumer. This content needs to be delivered in the right places and on the right platforms.Investing in the promotion and distribution of content is as important as the creation and production of it.Print is still a useful tool but know when to use it and what audiences want it.Be aware of the possibilities that new platforms emerging next year will offer. Released next month, Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One are both developer friendly, always on, connected, content- delivery platforms - not games consoles. They could change the way we think about content in a similar way to how smartphones did five years ago.By using marketing geared to a select audience, brands can build value into key relationships. Like exclusivity, discoverability is about enabling the audience to make their own connections, without it feeling like work.Brands need to tell a story and it has to be a story that people can care about. The format, channels, platforms, devices and timing of how that story is told will be dictated by what you want your audience to feel.
ACCORDING TO FORBES
Some marketing trends that will dominate
Content marketing will be bigger than ever
Social media marketing will require more diversity
Image-centric content will rule
Less will be more
Mobile-friendly content will be a must
Student recruitment marketing trends
Social media marketing trends
General marketing trends to watch
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
Trust and quality
owned, earned and
Print is not dead
Converged media, discoverability and