It is challenging for today’s marketer to stay on top of things. From evolving technology trends and fancy gadgets, to resources and new tools that assist us with automation – it can feel like you’re hiking up a mountain that doesn’t have a summit.
But don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Since 2014 came to a close and we ushered in 2015 as the New Year, there has been an abundance of information produced attempting to predict what 2015 may hold; some of it good, and some of it not-so-good.
Either way, there’s certainly nothing wrong with gazing into digital marketing’s crystal ball – so we’re going to shed some light on what some of the digital marketing trends in 2015 might be.
- Ad Spend for Social Media Marketing Will Continue to Rise
Businesses are finding it difficult to reap continuous results from traffic and sales through social media channels, so paid advertising is likely to continue its climb. For example, Facebook is going to become more restrictive in regards to the ads they’re showing in user newsfeeds. Their goal, of course, is to become more user orientated; so this is one step in the right direction.
Businesses are likely to receive a continuous array of positive results when investing in social media – especially in terms of brand exposure and traffic to their websites.
Twitter is also starting to offer new options for advertising (it’s currently in beta). Payment is triggered by email opt-ins, clicks and app downloads. These objective-based goals indicate that a good portion of medium-sized businesses are likely to adopt Twitter’s new advertising platform.
Social media marketing industry research indicates many positive aspects of a growing industry. A 2014 report by the Social Media Examiner found that:
- 92% of marketers are aware of the importance of social media marketing to their business
- 68% of marketers want to increase their use of blogging for social media purposes
- 61% of marketers want to increase their use of Google Plus
- Facebook (54%) and Linkedin (17%) are the most preferred forms of social media marketing
- 66% of Facebook marketers believe their efforts are ineffective; and,
- 58% of social media marketers consider written content the most vital aspect of their campaigns
This brings us to prediction number two…
- Content Marketing Will Continue Being the Most Effective Way to Establish Trust
As discussed in the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report, a staggering 93% of B2B marketers surveyed said they used content marketing in 2014, but only 42% thought their efforts were effective (compared to 36% the previous year in 2013).
While marketers continue learning about how to create an effective content marketing strategy, money that was previously spent on PPC and SEO will be likely allocated towards content efforts.
Nevertheless, standing out from the crowd will be a continuous struggle, and marketers will need to find new ways to interact and engage audiences if their methods are to be successful.
Businesses who invest in mobile content that is readable and easily digestible on mobile devices (and who are constantly trying to understand their audience’s habits on mobile devices) should have greater success in 2015 and beyond.
Keep your eye on the importance and ultimately the rise of video and other visual content for mobile devices throughout the year. Mobile technology is set to explode!
- Mobile and Wearable Technology Demand Will Increase
Mobile technology has been bursting at the seams for the last few years, but we expect it will peak massively in 2015 and beyond. Even more importantly, mobile e-commerce is likely to transform how payments are made (i.e., Apple Pay).
This means big things for the digital marketing industry – especially with regards to mobile optimisation, and reaching customers through email marketing techniques.
But don’t take our word for it…
Forrester noted in November last year that US mobile payments have the potential to rise to $142 billion, from a mere $52 billion in 2014 – within just 5 years. This can be attributed to the fact that consumers in the US have become noticeably in favour of mobile technology. In 2009, just 19% of people owned smart phones; compared to a whopping 66% in 2014.
What we can gather from the above information is that while people continue to adopt mobile technology, they’re becoming much more comfortable using their devices to purchase products and services. Again, this is bound to have a significant impact upon the digital marketing industry.
Wearable technology is still in its infancy – but looks like it is already beginning to become a force. Smart watches in particular are gaining traction within the marketplace, with the introduction of the Apple Watch.
And while Apple is leading the way and are expected to dominate the wearable technology market by the end of 2015 – both Google and Microsoft are already following suit.
- Being ‘Human’ Will Become Even More Paramount
It’s a proven and obvious fact that people tend to buy things from brands they like, know and trust. Social media makes this connection easier – not only to establish relationships with consumer bases – but to also build communities around them. Best of all, the cost of acquiring is considerably cheaper than most forms of paid media.
When brands interact with their customers through social media they are showing people they’re human. Social media is becoming more personal, so creating a humanised experience for your fan or consumer base will be all-important in 2015.
How can your brand become more human?
- Have a strong sense of humour (people like to laugh, and funny content is highly sharable!).
- Get over yourself (your audience doesn’t want to only hear about you; they want to consume information that interests them… so don’t be ‘salesy’).
- Consistently engage your community (if you’re going to try and be human, you need to always interact with your members).
Regardless of the above, it is most important to know your audience so you can interact with them in the best way possible; and learn what type of content they want to consume.
But what do audiences want? Well, for starters, what they want is starting to change – and this brings us to the 5th prediction for 2015…
- Consumption Patterns Will Become Less “Traditional”
There’s a major shift coming in the way people consume. It used to be that we could simply look at demographic segments – such as age and location – and make decisions based on these findings.
However, the evolution of the Internet has given people access to information and ideas enabling them to learn about anything their heart desires. Consumers are no longer behaving like they “should” behave. As digital marketers, this could mean that we simply need to adjust the way in which we think.
To give you an example of this shift, let’s take a look at a 2014 study conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (in September 2014). This UK bureau discovered that women account for a larger portion of video gamers than men. And, with a higher amount aged over 44 – this means that the average video game player in the UK is a 44+ year old female. Quite a stark contrast compared to 15, 10 or even 5 years ago.
So this raises the question: what is the “new normal,” and how will it affect consumer behaviour?
And what do you think will happen in 2015? Can you foresee any considerable changes?
Leave a comment below to let us know!