New Year, New Start: 3 Digital Marketing Predictions 2015

The end of a year heralds a new dawn! The start of a new year traditionally sees us evaluate our personal achievements from the previous 12 months. It also gives us an opportunity to create resolutions to ensure we have a focus to self-improve in the New Year. Resolutions tend to be broken as the year progresses and remain only in the deep sub consciousness of the brain.

Digital Marketing Predictions 2015

To achieve any goal or resolution requires focus, energy and drive. However it’s also important to keep in mind that any goal or resolution can be tweaked and adapted. It’s not unconceivable that the environment you’re in changes. Success is not always about being firm and unyielding, success is derived from being adaptable to moments of change and in particular when the environment that you’re in changes rapidly.

Businesses like people, review their goals and put in place new resolutions at the start of a new year. It’s important that businesses review their goals from the previous year. From a Digital Marketing perspective it’s important to review what has been successfully implemented and what failed to work. Businesses must also acknowledge that Digital Marketing evolves at a rapid pace. It’s critical for any business to constantly examine new trends in Digital Marketing and assess how they can be implemented.

Looking ahead to 2015, the Digital Marketing landscape will continue to evolve. Increasingly more businesses will implement full Digital Marketing strategies and increase marketing spend across all digital channels.

Over 2014 we have seen significant changes in how digital channels have advanced due to increasing penetration rates of people searching online and engaging on Social Media platforms through devices such as smartphones, tablets etc. To reach new audiences a combination of creating organic and paid content.

Facebook changed its algorithm to eliminate click baiting and over promotional posts. Their intention is to create a newsfeed that provides high quality content and improves the user experience of the site. This means two things 1) you will have to pay for your content to reach more people and 2) to build organic reach, marketers need to focus on producing engaging content.

Google has also changed its algorithm to place emphasis on local searches. In the same vein as Facebook, Google is concentrating on improving its user experience primarily through quality content. If you want to reach more people rapidly, you will have to pay. Pinterest have tested their ‘Promoted Pins’ to great success and are currently rolling out their advertising platform in the US.

We have seen the power of Social Media and how a charity campaign like the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ rapidly caught people’s imagination and went viral. Video played a major part in the success of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ and will continue to grow as a marketing medium on Social Media.

What does 2015 hold in-store for Digital Marketing? Here are my predictions:

Content Marketing

Perhaps the most important trend to emerge in 2015 is the growing importance of producing quality content in marketing. Content has always been an important component in constructing digital marketing strategies. However as Digital Media Channels evolve and grow, the need for quality content to rise above the noise is of critical importance. Key to a successful Content Marketing strategy is the ability to tell a brand’s story and how that content is flexible enough to be optimised across all Digital Media channels.

In relation to SEO, Google have continued apace changes to their search algorithm. To achieve a high organic ranking on Google, it is essential that you create content that is relevant and enhances the end user’s experience. To build brand awareness and reach on Social Media, engaging with your audience is key to success. In addition interactive content on Social Media enables a brand to build relationships with their customers.

Content Marketing falls into two formats 1) Long-form and 2) Micro or short form. Long-form will continue to perform strongly for B2B companies as they seek to educate and demonstrate their expertise to potential clients. Focus must be placed on providing relevant and simplified long-form content. Podcasts and webinars will continue to be a popular format. Blogs will be leveraged to highlight thought leadership and provide storytelling for a B2B brand.

B2C will continue to focus on ‘Micro’ or Short form content which will be used as a mechanism to deliver brand engagement on Social Media. With consumer’s attention spans short, a crowded Social Media space and the demand for quick bite sized content, creating innovative visuals and videos that capture people’s imaginations will be crucial in 2015. Start by creating content that injects emotion and that reflects the common interests amongst your Social Media community.

Video Marketing

Video marketing continued to grow in 2014 particularly with the development of direct uploads and auto play on Social Media. Direct uploads have taken traffic away from YouTube and has allowed access to video content without having to leave your Social Media page.

Short form video platforms such as Vine have become increasingly popular. Brands utilising this type of platform need to be more creative and deliver strong brand messages. Videos add more depth to your marketing message, allows greater insights into your brand and also forges a close relationship with your Social Media community.

Video marketing this year will continue to focus on innovation and creating visually memorable videos. In addition with direct uploads to Social Media sites like Facebook, user generated content such as videos will help to personalise and increase customer participation with a brand. Therefore producing a strong brand identity, shaping memorable marketing campaigns and differentiating from competitors.

Mobile Marketing

In 2015 it is projected that local mobile searches will exceed desktop searches and with over half of mobile searches leading to a purchase. It is apparent that mobile will become an important component of a Digital Marketing strategy in 2015.

Businesses who trade online must ensure that their website is responsive and functional across all mobile devices. Focus must be placed on enhancing the customer experience by ensuring that they can easily navigate your site e.g. optimising content such as images, video etc.

Mobile adverts are outperforming online ads. Facebook’s advertising platform for example allows you to target audiences who are on mobile devices and optimise your advert to increase click-throughs. 2015 will be the year in which we see an increase of businesses investing in mobile marketing. In addition further improvements will be made to how digital channels deliver content and targeted advertising to end-users.

For brands to prosper in 2015 it’s vital to understand your target audience, your brand, digital platforms and the ability to look at future trends. Once you understand these elements, build a Digital Marketing strategy that will adapt to a rapidly changing digital environment.