The only thing constant in life is change.
2014 has paved the way to several innovations and trends in the digital marketing arena including the emergence of new social networks like Ello. Now that 2015 is just around the corner, anticipation of what’s looming in the horizon for digital marketing is high.
Predicting the future can be tricky, but it’s an insightful and fun way to look at the previous year and determine upcoming trends based on the bits and pieces of information gathered. With the mobile web and social media’s rapid evolution and high adoption rate across the globe, knowing the emerging trends in digital marketing may just be the competitive edge you’ve been waiting for.
Ready to take your online marketing strategy to the next level? Here are some bold predictions on digital marketing trends for 2015:
In 2015, mobile-only/mobile-first approach will become the rule and not the exception. We’ve seen the shift to mobile in 2014, but 2015 will drive the point further prompting all websites to be on mobile. According to Ovum, one billion people will be using their mobile phones as the primary tool for Internet access in 2015.
These mobile consumers will play a huge role in shaping the behavior of online media in a lot of ways. User experience will be a top priority with focus on sophistication and simplicity. The goal is for mobile to be a seamless and hassle-free experience.
Branding remains an important facet in capturing consumer’s attention, but mobile experience is what will make them stay and engage. However, importing your website to mobile just won’t cut it. Mobile websites have to be fully-optimized for better user viewing experience.
IOT (Internet of Things) and Wearables
From smart cars to thermostats and watches, there is no doubt that Internet of Things (IOT) solutions are causing waves and changing our day-to-day lives- be it business or personal. The idea of managing one’s own ecosystem through smartphones and connected devices is a foreign yet intriguing concept for many users.
Based on a study conducted by Accenture, there will be a gradual increase in the use of wearables like fitness devices and smart watches in 2015. Many businesses are now streamlining their processes from improved supply chain management to efficient manufacturing or hospital using connected devices and employees.
This trend opens another platform for marketers and brands to position their services/products, and reach their target market while on the go. The idea of “reaching people at the right time and place” is now a reality.
Creating compelling stories is already at the heart of every successful marketing campaign. This trend is shown by the shift towards meeting consumer needs and preferences over product placement. Focusing in on their target market and understanding the motivations behind their purchasing behavior can spell the difference between a successful or a flop marketing plan.
Brands need to start connecting with their consumers on all fronts: visual, audio and written storytelling. Focus on creating stories about the brand and its customers then filter these stories in various channels like videos, blog posts, photos and podcasts.
Building your brand’s online community is nothing new in the digital marketing arena. With the growing population of online users and innovations in social media, the need for online community has never been as important as now.
In 2014, it showed that putting effort and energy in fostering good relationships with their audience led to a win-win situation.
Brands create buzz and excitement around products and services, which makes the audience feel that their concerns are properly addressed. Through online communities, marketers are also able to zero in on issues and needs that are relevant to their audience.
The audience, on the other hand, enjoy the engagement they receive not just from the brand but from other like-minded users as well. This incentive makes belonging to the community worthwhile and justify any product purchase. In addition, loyal customers become brand ambassadors and extend the brand’s influence by reaching to their network outside the community.
Social Media/Content Marketing
In 2015, integration of free and paid content into one cohesive content plan will be very important if brands want to maximize their reach. It is not enough to post your free content (through PR, blogs and press coverage) on your website.
You need to cross-promote your content on multiple channels or be left behind. The challenge is finding the balance between reaching your audience without being too aggressive.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, will no longer just about Facebook and Twitter. In 2015, other social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and WhatsApp will offer sophisticated advertising tools to reach one’s target market better. Brands know that in order for their social media efforts to perform and sync with their digital marketing plan, an investment in any shape or form is required.
With the innovations in technology come the evolution of consumers. As a brand marketer, you need to leverage on these changes by adapting your strategies on what’s effective and not solely rely on the tried-and-tested. That means being on the look-out for these trends (with more in the pipeline), and ensuring your digital marketing plan has room for unexpected changes.
Are you ready for 2015?