The only constant thing in the world of marketing is change. The year of 2015 is proving to be the year that digital marketing surpasses traditional advertising, which forces businesses and agencies to grow their online marketing teams.
Social media advertising is getting stronger, digital platforms want businesses to provide more valuable content to consumers through data driven marketing, and if you don’t go mobile, you’ve already lost the digital marketing game.
Being knowledgeable of new trends will allow you to know how to accept change in order to advance and succeed in marketing to an online audience. To capture some of what’s important, we’ve compiled 10 marketing predictions to set you up for success in 2015.
Here are our 10 predictions for 2015
1) SEO will rely heavily on social signals and content marketing
With the organic online marketing ecosystem growing, it’s no surprise that SEO has turned to social signals to determine search engine rankings. This shift will lessen the use of black hat SEO tactics and improve the search experience of Google users. One of the many contributors to a high ranking in Google’s SERPs is how many websites link back to your site.
However, this can be easily manipulated through black hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, and creating “fake” websites that link back to the website you’re trying to optimize. As a result, Google has turned to social signals like Tweets, Facebook posts, +1s, and so on, as a non-manipulated way of getting links.
This is just the beginning of the relationship between SEO and social media, it won’t be a surprise if social media search engines will need to be search engine optimized in 2015.
2) Content marketing will solve the decrease in Facebook organic reach
In 2015, Facebook is changing the way businesses can be seen in users’ news feeds. This new algorithm change has started reducing the number of overly promotional business page posts. Which means, businesses will need to change their social media marketing strategy on Facebook for when marketing their product.
Since Facebook is focusing more on their user experience and want to provide valuable content, businesses will need to turn to content marketing. Resourceful and engaging content will allow business Facebook pages to be seen on people’s newsfeeds organically, therefore allowing businesses to maintain their Facebook organic reach.
Businesses can do this through blogging, e-books, and resource guides, in order to fully take on content marketing as a way to battle the decline of Facebook organic reach.
3) Social media will need to be more integrated into websites
Websites that integrate social media to their user experience have a higher chance of increasing traffic, as well as increasing user engagement. Having a strong social marketing strategy is a must for todays social media driven culture, bringing that experience to your website is an added bonus.
Features such as social sharing buttons and social login can do just that. On your blog, make sure to include and strategically place social sharing buttons to increase awareness of your blog content if you want to boost your game in 2015.
If your website has a login functionality, enable social login to enhance user experience and increase conversion of your site. Many large organizations, such as Forbes, Mercedes, and Nike have already seen the benefits and made the shift. In 2015 the number of social websites is going to grow significantly.
4) Websites will NEED to be mobile friendly
According to statista, mobile phone Internet user penetration worldwide will be 52.4 percent in 2015. Which means marketing strategists need to make sure their websites are optimized for mobile.
In fact, 67 percent of users are more likely to make a purchase off a website that is mobile friendly. If your website is not equipped to be viewed on a mobile device, make sure that optimizing your website for mobile is at the top of your 2015 marketing to-do.
The marketing industry will be forced to think mobile, as people will shift to primarily consume content across multiple mobile devices. This rise of mobile use is closely related to the growth of wearable tech, which is another reason why your website should be mobile friendly.
5) Tweets will need to be optimized for the Twitter search engine
With the recent Twitter search engine changes, the way you craft your tweets will be major factors on how you show up in Twitter search queries. This change in Twitter’s search engine achieves one of Twitter’s long-standing goals of allowing people to search through every tweet, ever published.
With the ability to use Twitter to search old tweets, businesses who want to stand out in Twitter’s search engine will need to make sure all posts being pushed from their Twitter profiles are optimized in order to be seen and will be a crucial consideration when developing a social marketing strategy. Similar to Google, including the right keywords in your Tweets will allow you be more visible in search queries. Using the right hashtags, links, and images will set you up to be more optimized for Twitter searches.
6) The online experience will shift to a more “human experience”
The changes that Facebook and Google are making to their platforms are pushing businesses to focus more on the “human experience” versus the sales experience.
This shift pushes digital marketers to put more emphasis on the customer experience and for change in the way you’re marketing your business. Whether it’s on social media, online advertisements, your website, or on a piece of content you published on an online asset, digital marketing will need to make sure the customer’s online experience is more “human.” After all, your users aren’t robots.
Data will be the answer to this solution. It is key to treat your users like the humans they are… or somebody else will.
7) Your target audience will be more important than ever
The internet offers marketers the opportunity to have a very large audience. However, if your end goal is to drive conversions with your digital marketing efforts, it’s important to target the right audience.
In 2015, marketers will need to go back to basics and reevalute their target audience and determine what works and what doesn’t because casting a big net out to a large audience group can lose you time and effort if the return on investment doesn’t achieve your goals.
For example, if you’re using social media advertising as a digital marketing tactic, be sure to cater your social ads to the audience you are targeting. If you’re using Google paid ads, be sure to use the keywords that your target audience is using in their search queries to ensure you’re garnering a high-qualified audience.
8) Digital marketing will not just be another marketing tactic
Offline, there’s an ecosystem of various marketing channels and online, there’s an ecosystem of various digital marketing channels.
Gone are the days where your marketing plan lumped digital marketing under one umbrella, and here are the days where your marketing plan is split into offline and online marketing strategies.
Digital marketing encompasses many various channels such as, but is not limited to: content marketing, social media, paid advertising, PR, and mobile. These channels should each be given a strategy so engagement can be personalized and well targeted.
9) Data driven marketing will surpass creative driven marketing
Digital marketers have the potential to capture massive amounts of data related to sales, purchase history, search activity, online behaviour, site interactions, and more.
As digital marketing grows, so does data. This kind of data has proven to be very valuable to digital marketers and has changed the perception of how marketers communicate to consumers. In the past, marketing was all about how creative an advertising piece can be.
Now a days, it’s all about how in line are you with your target audience and what kind of data did you use to prove your marketing strategy. From generalization to personalization, data driven marketing will move the needle to allow marketers to be more in tuned with very niche markets in order to prove the ROI.
10) Social media advertising isn’t going away
With Facebook’s upcoming news feed change, the Twitter search engine update, and the announcement of Instagram advertising, be sure to include social media advertising into your 2015 marketing budget.
Facebook’s news feed change is forcing businesses who want to promote their products and services to use Facebook ads if they want to be seen in their follower’s news feed.
Twitter’s search engine update provides digital marketers insight to future advertising space that Twitter can monetize on.
And Instagram’s announcement of sponsored ads is just another addition to the social advertising landscape. Digital marketers are going to need to make sure that their social marketing strategy hat is on tight in 2015 to ensure they’re content on social media isn’t hidden amongst the already very noisy social media feeds.
Next year is going to see a lot of change in how people consume marketing online. The trends we saw emerging in 2014, will take flight in 2015 and new trends are bound to rise at the rate of change that occurs. The need to stay on top of these growing trends will be a priority for all digital marketers in order to make sure their efforts still provide the ROI businesses depend on.
Do you think there are other trends that we should be aware of in 2015? Add your input in the comments below.