Marketers saw many changes in 2013 – some worth keeping and some worth throwing out the window – but each adjustment left its mark in some way. When advancements are made, they serve as stepping stones on the bigger journey to improved client-centered marketing and positive customer experiences. As we move forward into a new year, you can expect to see bold marketing moves that will leave impressions on advertising as we know it.

Here are some of our predictions.

Businesses will place more emphasis on word-of-mouth and employee advocacy.

Brand advocacy will be more important than ever this year, as brands see that influence isn’t all about impressions. Companies also need to impact people’s behaviors through relevance and trust, and one way to effectively do this is through sustainable relationships with customers and employees. Strong customer rapports create communities of people who are invested in a particular brand, and this will provide long-term word-of-mouth marketing. And, what better way to provide this word-of-mouth than through employees who are deeply rooted to the company and its purpose.

If you want to be found on social media, you’ll have to pay.

Social networking sites have already been setting the stage in this instance, such as Facebook that changed its news feed to promote sponsored posts, thus hurting organic reach. Also, Twitter is a public company, and Google+ now uses ads. Bottom line: If you want your business to get more visibility on social media, you’ll have to pay. Organic marketing will still be available, but it will be slowed due to the companies that are paying for their visibility.

Direct, interactive videos will prove useful.

Video content is a great way to shake up your content and show a different side of your business, but it’s still tough to build an audience when people want quick, direct answers. There is a niche that needs to be filled in this department, and that’s the use of interactive videos. Imagine being able to find the answer to your question by watching a quick snippet of a video rather than the entire thing?

Click-and-bait tactics will be avoided – by most at least.

Click-and-bait tactics are nothing new, but people are getting more creative. It’s easy to click on an infographic or listicle, only to find that its sole intention is to sell you something rather than educate you. Content has certainly gotten better, and you can expect this trend to continue. But, also be on the lookout for more direct, niche-specific content that truly addresses the needs, concerns, questions and interests of their audience.

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