Philosopher Socrates once said, “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” As marketers working in the digital realm, the only thing we seem to know for sure is the unknown. The landscape changes at the drop of a hat…constantly. Yet, studies have proved that early adopters of new technology and trends are the ones who reap the most of their benefits. So staying ahead of the curve does pay off, no matter how relentless said process may be. We’re coming up on another new year, which is the perfect time to start a discussion about what the future of highly successful digital marketing might look like! Every “expert” has his or her own opinion on the subject, so we’ve outlined the digital marketing trends for 2015 that are agreed upon (for the most part) by the movers and shakers in the field.
•Change: This point warrants reiteration. The only constant is change: this applies to digital marketing as much as any other form of marketing. NEVER get comfortable with any given approach to your digital marketing strategy.
•Usefulness/Value: Create content that is wholeheartedly USEFUL to the consumer – the kind that people will thank you for. The ‘pitch approach,’ if overused in the slightest, will become a death sentence.
•Optimize: An old journalism adage is: “The medium is the message.” This means you shape your content around the way in which you plan to release it. In other words, a newspaper ad is different from a television ad is different from a Facebook ad etc. However, this is becoming more and more true for various digital platforms. Re-purpose to fit the platform: optimization is key.
•Mobile: On that note, DO NOT, repeat – DO NOT – ignore mobile optimization! As cell phones become increasingly advanced, the consumer’s ability to readily view content via mobile is critical. In fact, according to Google’s internal search data, 55% of searches for car dealers are now on mobile devices! Mobile phones also allow the consumer to easily transition from hearing a message and acting on said message, which is at the heart of all digital marketing. Indeed, mobile will be one of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2015.
•Audience: Understand your audience and speak to them in a way that will build loyalty. Empathize with your customer in a manner that mirrors what you understand about them. Analytics have becomes extremely in depth for digital marketers. Use this information to your advantage!
•Paid media: One trend that started this year (2014) and will continue in to next year is the involvement of paid media in combination with owned media. A paid digital marketing model will become more necessary to spearheading efforts.
•Storytelling: With increased competition for your audience’s attention comes an increased need for engaging content. Many of the top marketers believe this will be achieved through storytelling – traditional, visual and otherwise. This will be the difference between the consumer hearing your message and remembering it.
•Conversational tone: In an effort to create genuine connections online, the tone of content will become more relaxed, even borderline silly. Humor will be a valuable tool for marketers aiming to reach Millennial consumers. There is humility in utilizing humor, and audiences will continue to demand that they are spoken with rather than spoken to.
•Coding: It will become more widely accepted that coding is advantageous to the digital marketer’s efforts.
•Convergence: The previously segmented digital marketing specialties – i.e. content creation, social media, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – will become tactics implemented across the organization and in congruence with each other. As digital marketing becomes more apparently valuable within an organization, its place within said organization will take greater precedence, as a whole, and many C-Suite executives intend on increasing their digital budgets.
Don’t get me wrong, these points are not the end-all, be-all of what might be said – there are innumerable ways this list could be added to; and if you think something was overlooked, please contribute to the conversation in the comments section below!
None of us are fortunetellers, but we can all make educated guesses. It is true: only time will tell; but the early bird definitely gets the worm! And as good old Socrates would say, “we cannot live better than in seeking to become better.”