According to recent study regarding digital marketing spending priorities by big agencies and big companies, SEO manages to only barely make the top 10 of spending priorities. This is bad news. For the longest time, SEO was near the top of spending priorities. Why? When people are searching for a particular niche that you’re in or particular category that you focus on, they are ready buyers for the most part. They are looking for your product. As a result, most of these people are fairly to convert or, at least, easy to engage in a long term conversation with which would eventually lead to a sale.
Well, SEO barely makes the list. It comes in at number 9 or 10. Why the change? Well, it probably has to do with the fact that Google has gone through several major mood swings recently. First, Google Panda came out which penalize a lot of websites based on their content then Google Penguin came out where back links finally penalized websites. Then the humming bird came out this year that streamlined the way information is presented on Google. Add all these together and it breads uncertainty. Uncertainty is the enemy of business.
When it comes to spending and planning, you want a certainty far into the future. If things are uncertain, you’re less likely to spend towards that direction and this is what happened with spending priorities for 2014. So what are the top 9 spending priorities?
1. Web presence- More and more companies are looking to establish more web points of presence for their particular brand or service or product.
2. Earned content-This is very interesting because this is really a form of SEO but not really. Earned content is when other people start talking about you on their own. In other words you blast out your brand in such a powerful and meaningful way that people on their own automatically would talk about you.
3. Community- Again this makes a lot of sense, because at the end of the day, the best brands are products not often the marketing department of a particular company, but the actual actions and behavior of people who have formed a community around your brand.
The other spending priorities are automation, influence, CRM, PRM and mobile ads. 2014 definitely is going to look very interesting because some economists are predicting that 2014 will be the year when global stock markets finally implode. Seriously bad news if it does come to pass. Considering how stock markets have been behaving recently with lots of record highs, it would not be surprising at all if there is a major correction in 2014. After all, just like with gravity, what comes up must come down eventually.