7 Digital Advertising Trends You Need to Know Now!

Digital has taken the world by storm, upending the world of traditional advertising and requiring 21st marketers to become savvy about a broad range of digital advertising options that can include anything from SEO, to social media, to mobile and more.

There’s much to understand, much to keep track of and much to stay on top of. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that digital advertising, unlike traditional advertising, is far more trackable, allowing marketers to determine what is working for them and driving the results they desire and what may not be as effective.

In their report “Digital Marketing Landscape: The Power of Digital Experiences in 2014,” Demand Metric and ion interactive say that a majority (59 percent) of respondents consider the creation of digital experiences to be either “high” or “very high” as a marketing priority. Further, they found a relationship between those organizations placing a high priority on digital experiences and revenue growth: 76 percent of study participants reporting revenue growth in the most recent fiscal year had also placed a high priority on digital experience. Only six percent of those reporting declining revenue growth considered digital experience creation to be a high priority. While the authors of the report point out that they cannot show a direct cause-and-effect relationships, they still believe that “there is a connection that marketers should not ignore when setting marketing priorities.”

Despite the wide range of digital advertising trends impacting content marketers, there are a few that rise to the top as the ones to be most focused on in 2014, according to those who have already actively embraced digital advertising and are attuned to the digital landscape. They include:

  • Big data
  • Location-based communications
  • Depth of Content
  • Micro video
  • Mobile
  • Multi-platform consumption
  • Personalization

Here we take a brief look at each. (For more detail, see our piece in EContent Magazine.)

Big Data

Big data is CRM on steroids. The ability of marketers to gather, monitor and measure increasingly large numbers of data points provided the ability to know more than ever before about market needs and actions.

While smaller businesses feel that big data is a breakthrough concept only for those very large organizations that have the resources to collect massive quantities of data and, most importantly, make sense of it,that’s not necessarily true. Even smaller businesses can make use of data to help them more readily, and more impactfully, connect with their audiences.

Location-based Communications

The ability to connect and communicate with consumers based on their locations is one of those key trends that straddles the line between benefit and intrusion. Geo-fencing is an important digital advertising trend for marketers to watch. Marketers are just beginning to experiment with the possibility of pushing ads to consumers’ phone based on both interests and location.

Depth of Content

While sites like Twitter have driven a focus on micro-blogging, some feel that consumers are hungry for more—more content, that is. It’s a bit counter-intuitive in this world of sound-bites and 140-character posts. For content providers, though, the ability to provide both (short-form and long-form content) is critical.

Micro-video Marketing

Tools like Vine, Instagram and Snapchat are popularizing the use of very short video clips to drive interest, engagement and action among consumers. Video allows the opportunity for emotional connection that words simply can’t compete with. Fortunately for today’s marketers technology has made is possible to cost-effectively–and quickly–produce visual content that resonates.


Opportunities in mobile will remain hot as consumers continue to rely on smartphones and other devices to connect readily while on the go. While mobile has been around for a while, the learning curve for marketers has been steep. Marrying mobile to social represents significant opportunity for marketers; now is the time to begin exploring that opportunity by generating content that is mobile-optimized.

Multi-platform Consumption

Mobile is just part of the puzzle when it comes to connecting effectively with consumer markets. We live in a multi-platform world. Delivering content effectively and seamlessly across multiple platforms is a must for 21st century marketers. And a challenge. Multi-platform consumption requires cross-channel measurement, of course, another emerging trend. Attracting the attention of continually more segmented and communication-weary consumers across multiple platforms obviously requires relevant and compelling content. Increasingly, it also requires personalization.


Marketers are now able to dynamically send messages to users based on the context of their online activity through dynamic pop-ups, callouts and inline messaging. That personal touch can make a difference–as long as marketers avoid the tendency to go overboard and tray into the “creepy-sphere.”


For content marketers, it’s a brave new world out there and one that is continually changing and emerging to meet consumer needs, as well as address their concerns. The balancing act can be challenging.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the wide range of digital advertising options, and to ensure that their efforts are aligned with their organization’s strategies and desired outcomes, marketers are wise to consider the suggestions offers in the Demand Metric/ion interaction study:

  • Don’t let technology drive decisions. As always, the key to success is driven by clarifying the audience you are attempting to influence, how to best reach them and what they need to experience. Tool and technology options should be selected based on the ability to drive these results.
  • When developing digital experience, lean toward the more sophisticated end of the digital experience spectrum.
  • Understand that metrics are essential, but don’t expect immediate results.

Finally, continually using available tools and technology to monitor results will ensure that content marketers are maximizing opportunities, avoiding risks and staying in tune with evolving consumer needs and technology options.

(A longer version of this piece originally appeared in EContent Magazine.)

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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