Morning Ketchup: Marketing Budgets Expect to Increase or Maintain, 7 Online Marketing Trends in 2014, Link-Building Strategies

Welcome to Bridgeline Digital’s news-wrap post on our brand new Digital Engagement blog named “The Morning Ketchup.” It's a play on words, because we're clever like that. We’ll be periodically checking in with relevant (and entertaining) pieces found across the Internet about Content Management, Marketing, SEO Strategy, and General Business News. Our hope is this will become part of your morning, a detour you enjoy as you sip on your third cup of coffee before noon. And fear not, this space is not a one-way street: We want you, dear reader, to interact with us; tell us what you like, what you hate, and what you want more of in the comments section and on Twitter and on our Facebook page.

2014 Marketing Budgets Expected to Increase, Maintain

As budgeting season continues to roll, so do the studies. Last week, we detailed where CMOs plan to allocate their dollars, predominantly concluding that digital marketing tactics, far and away, are more prevalent than old-hat tactics. C-level executives are seeing the benefits of these strategies, and are pouring more funds toward their execution. 

According to studies from SageFrog, 45% of Marketers expect their budget to increase in 2014 from the prior year, 52% said their budget will maintain status-qua, and only 3% of respondents reported that their budget is expected to decrease. Check out year-over-year changes from the chart below (courtesy of eMarketer).

52% of Marketers said their budget will increase in 2014

What this means? Sagefrog asked respondents what they planned to invest in, and findings were aligned with Marketing Sherpa's chart we detailed last week. The top four strategies -- Website, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media -- are all digital-based. 

The primary takeaway? As the convergence between IT and marketing grows, giving your marketing team easy-to-use digital tools becomes that much more paramount. 


Over at, Jayson DeMers outlines his top-7 online marketing trends that will rule 2014. Most are obvious -- and accurate -- but we like what he had to say about image-centric content (Trend #3): "While I doubt that traditional text-based content will ever completely go out of style, it’s pretty clear that incorporating images is beneficial to a marketing campaign." For DeMers, 2014 will see the rise of quick, digestible content -- e.g. Vine videos, GIFs, etc. Can't say we disagree.

(Funny side story: I sent someone a GIF the other day and she replied, "Funny Buzzfeed!" Say what you will about Buzzfeed being a content farm -- and, believe us, it most definitely is -- but when your website becomes so synonymous with a type of file, that's usually an indicator that you've made it. )


On Social Media Today, Ifran Ahmad lays out the role of the hashtag on Facebook in terms of marketing efforts. 


Link-Building. You've heard of it, you know it is extremely beneficial toward building SEO equity, and -- best of all -- one doesn't have to be a SEO expert to pull it off. All that said, how, exactly, does your marketing team go about, you know, doing it? 

It's not simple. Like anything, establishing your blog/website as a destination and voice in a community takes time. Jason Acidre has a wonderful piece offering up 12 Scalable Link-Building Tactics that will go a long way toward getting your website recognition.


 For the latest news and tips on Digital Marketing strategies, make sure to follow Bridgeline Digital on Twitter.

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