The stakes are as high as ever when it comes to successful digital marketing, in this ever changing field it is important to not only keep up with your competition but also to be savvier and more creative with a willingness to let go of last year’s best practices and to embrace the up and coming. The list of innovation is extensive, below are a few trends to watch in the coming year.
- Marketing Automation
- Mobile Optimization
- Organic Content Distribution Services
- SEO And Social Media Management
- Content Curation Tools
- Paid Social Media
- Content Libraries
- Visual Influencers
- Marketing Memes
- Minimalist Design
- Payment Technology
A subset of CRM that focuses on the definition, scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns. It had become the best solution for developing email marketing and sales campaigns and driving revenue. A recent study from the Len Skord Group says 78% of marketers say automation directly increases revenue.
Small Business Trends says segmentation will be a top priority for marketers to improve the success of their campaigns by using big data and advanced analytics to target specific groups, segmentation delivers increased ROI with larger open rates and more click through’s. Segmentation involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses or countries who have common needs and priorities then designing and implementing strategies to target them.
According to email Monday, 61% of consumers now read at least some of their email on mobile devices, 68% of email opens for Gmail and Yahoo accounts occur on mobile devices and 30% of consumers no read email exclusively on mobile devices. With this growing trend, non-mobile optimized sites will be at a real disadvantage.
Organic Content Distribution Services
For organic sharing via social networks you can use Hootsuite, Sendible and Oktopost to name a few. They will take your content and distribute it across social media using key words. The ability to manage content across multiple social media channels is at the least a full time job, and that’s just the placement and posting of the content. This is before any consideration is given to the creative requirements of this content. In short, social media is your company’s “face” to the world and it is impossible to focus on the message and manage the posting too. Distribution services range from those that will post content you and your team create on a regular and relevant schedule to those that will create a portion of this content for you and manage its distribution as well. The choice is yours and varies significantly on how much you personalize your business and how much time you and your team can devote to your social media presence.
SEO Content and Social Media Management
Here are some examples of tools to work with, Moz, Raven Tools and Analytics SEO. It’s not enough to produce keyword rich content these days. It takes an ever watchful eye on not only content but website structure and readability. The search engines (lead by Google) are becoming more and more complicated as they build and rebuild the ever changing algorithm that determines what is most relevant to users as they search for information. The search engines want readable content and many want specific markup structure (schema) to more appropriately describe your business in ways that search engines understand. This continuously changing landscape as well as the ongoing integration and consideration of social channels makes it more and necessary to use tools like the ones above to keep you on track and to keep your business in front of the customer.
Content Curation Tools
Content Curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Micro and visual content gives the highest impact. These tools manage the creation and publication of content from different sources. Examples are Percolate, Curata and kapost.
Positivity is a recurring theme I see trending. Researchers have found emotional content drives shares and positive status updates are contagious. A recent study by ZenithOptimedia found that brands that can elicit feelings of happiness, especially in millennials, have a greater chance of establishing and securing lasting relationships with the consumer. The large brands who are at this time running happy ads are seeing huge profits already.
Paid Social Media
Business owners are not seeing the results they used to with organic searches. It has become important to establish a budget for paid social media to supplement your organic storytelling if you want to get a leg up on your competition.
Content libraries will attract community members. Instead of signing up to get blog posts or a generic email newsletter, list builders will offer access to a growing library of useful information that someone will join based on the content.
Communities Instead of Pages
Social networks such as Facebook are leaning more towards “pay to play” every day and more people are heading to platform communities that allow one-on-one conversations. You can still get results on Facebook with paid ads but the time of business relying solely on a profile or page has gone. Marketers will get more creative to find ways of interacting with fans that allow more direct communication.
According to Forbes, 2015 will be the year of visual influencers, when consumer generated content rules and niche content creators wield unprecedented power. Brands are eager to collaborate with visual influencers to learn to create better visual content themselves. This trend will open new doors and offer direct access to the millennial crowd.
Memes are a constant in social media, #breaktheinternet and #AlexfromTarget showed us that when done right, memes can spell big exposure.
Short videos of customers telling us their “storymonial” will make brands more human than their predecessor the testimonial did. They will be a powerful tool brands can employ to help sell their story and create a unique and engaging experience for the consumer.
Minimalism is increasingly becoming a very popular design trend because it helps businesses to create a website that focuses solely on its intended purpose. The busier and more colorful web pages of the past few years offer too much in the way of distractions. Don’t be fooled into thinking minimalist web design is easy, there is just as much thought, planning and production with minimalism as there is in any other design style. When done well a minimalist web design can be both effective and beautiful.
Payment technology keeps getting better and better, with increasing ways to pay electronically, online retailers now have choices such as Paypal, Amazon Payments and Apple Pay, and this competition could mean big saving for online retailers as it could lead to decreased fees and improved profit margins. It will be interesting to watch this evolve into streamlined convenience which will eliminate the need for time consuming payment forms.
Marketing Trends for 2015 Key Takeaways
- Marketing Automation can directly increase revenue
- Segmentation delivers increased ROI with larger open rates and more click throughs
- Non – Mobile Optimized websites will be at a disadvantage
- Organic Content Distribution Services are becoming increasingly more important for organic sharing via social networks
- SEO and Social Media Management are important to keep your business in front of the consumer
- Content Curation Tools to manage the creation and publication of content
- Positivity increases business
- Paid social media is important to supplement with your organic storytelling
- Content Libraries to attract community members
- Communities instead of pages because consumers are leaving Facebook type social networks and heading for platform communities
- Visual Influencers because consumer generated content will rule in 2015
- Marketing Memes are a constant in social media, consumers love them and repost them often
- Storymonials to create a unique and engaging experience for your customer
- Minimalist Design to create websites that focuses on the product or business in a way the consumer appreciates
- Payment Technology which will benefit both the online retailer and the customer