Digital marketing has over the last few years undergone a substantial transformation, becoming an increasingly important medium for creating an online brand experience.
Just like any field that relies on communication technologies, online marketing is rapidly developing towards some directions and departing from others, rendering some practices obsolete. What’s in store for digital marketers in the upcoming year?
Read on to find out what are the major online marketing trends and predictions for 2015.
1. The Rise of Content Marketing
more trafficThe popularity of content marketing strategies will continue unabated into the upcoming year, which essentially means that marketers will abandon the traditional digital marketing tactics in favor of creating more relevant and inspiring content. Instead of relying on tested solutions, companies will pay more attention to customer experience and curate content in a more emphatic, client-oriented way.
Along will rise budgets allocated to content marketing and the importance of companies that reach out to their customers in writing – B2B companies with blogs are expected to generate 67% more leads per month than those organizations that don’t have blogs. High-quality and relevant content will be key to digital marketing of the future.
2. Augmented Reality & Wearable Technology
Closing the gap between the online and offline experience will be a big step not only for online marketing, but for Internet in general. One of the first possible technological applications meant to combine online and offline are micro-location technologies, in particular Apple’s iBeacon, which has during the last year completely revolutionized the scene and is slowly being introduced into commercial settings.
But that’s not all. Wearable technology will become popular enough for us to see some of the first marketing application of the technology. The Internet of things will create a completely new kind of environment and marketers will have to keep up with its rapid development in order to stay in touch with the changing needs of consumers.
3. Marketing Analytics Will Bloom
Marketers already use dozens of analytics tools in order to see how customers interact with their company’s products or services. The importance of this section of marketing will rise in 2015, when spending for that purpose are expected to rise by 60%.
Furthermore, we’ll see marketing automation technologies applied more and more often – their use is predicted to grow by 50%. In short, marketing data will become a crucial point in any marketing endeavor and its acquisition will be easier and faster. Consumers will generate a vast amount of detailed information and companies are expected to use specialized software to help them in making sense of the data at hand.
4. More Videos Than Ever
During the last few years, the use of videos for marketing purposes has been steadily growing. Videos are perfect to show how a service or product works in such a way that is impossible to achieve with text or images only. This trend s most likely to continue into 2015, when more and more companies will start creating the so-called ‘explainer videos’ and giving them a prominent role in the user experience tactics.
5. Personalized Means Better
Marketers want users to interact with their content, and what better way to achieve that than through providing something relevant? By offering personalized content during the last year, companies were able to increase the number of sales, lower the costs of operation, inspire users to stay longer on their websites and foster customer satisfaction. Personalization is expected to become a widely adopted practice in 2015, leading to the growth of 1-to-1 marketing.
6. More Marketing Noise Than Ever
Together with increased interest in content creation goes marketing noise – a kind of low quality content that doesn’t really add any value. Because marketers will focus more on providing interesting and engaging content, we might see marketing noise slowly losing its power.
Over the last few years, marketers increasingly appreciated a long copy over short one and we’ll see this trend blooming in 2015. The length and value of the content will be more essential than ever for effective SEO – Google already labels content of less than 200 words as Thin Content and has two special search algorithms in force, Panda 4.0 and Pay Day 2.0, that are specifically aimed at reducing the ranks of low quality content.
7. Visual Storytelling Will Go Wild
Due to the increase in marketing noise, marketers will need to find a medium that will help their message to stand out from the crowd and that could be visual storytelling. Perfect for engaging and nurturing engaged consumer communities, visual storytelling will be employed to communicate the brand’s philosophy and aesthetics.
Together with increased use of videos, visual stories crafted for marketing purposes will be able to spark the movement and inspire emotions, sending a clear message about the brand to its consumer communities and helping to define it against the surrounding surge of noise.
8. More Money Allocated in Online Ads
The web is a place, where people spend their time during work and free time, giving marketers a wealth of great opportunities for targeting, segmentation and tracking options that are simply unavailable in traditional offline advertisements.
Internet advertising is predicted to rise by 10% – on a global rate! Furthermore, mobile ads are also expected to grow by a smashing 48% in 2015. Consequently, online ad spending will increase during next year and this trend will continue further on, allowing marketers to precisely target specific user groups.
9. Hyper-Segmentation and Micro Targeting
Lots of people use various websites and leave a whole wealth of data on the web – Facebook and Twitter can act as valuable repositories of data about their audience. Access to this information will allow marketers to target niche audience sizes and the use targeted advertising more efficiently than ever.
In general, there’s a fair amount of social acceptance for the use of data for online advertising – perhaps more than you would expect, since only 47% of consumers opposed a law that limited the use of data for this purpose. Targeted ads are considered twice as effective as non-targeted ones and one study demonstrated that retargeted display ad will inspire 1000% more people to search for this product! No wonder that targeting strategies are expected to dynamically rise in 2015.
10. Going Mobile All The Way
cThe importance of mobile will grow in each and every aspect of business, online marketing included. People use mobile devices all day long and in various contexts, allowing marketers to target them in a longer stretch of time and during different phases of the day – at work, during rest or play.
Some believe that the mobile web will become bigger than desktop usage in 2015, but one thing is clear – spending for mobile ads will grow – and grow fast. All agree that the popularity of mobile devices will only grow in 2015, driven by smartphones, tablets and wearable technology.
In order to stay effective, online marketing strategies should immediately respond to the preferences and behaviors of their targeted audiences and follow consumers in their daily use of the web. Considering those ten trends and predictions for 2015, there’s no doubt about one thing – marketers will find next few years inspiring deep changes in the ways in which consumers interact with online environments.