Many business owners are currently working on their goals and objectives for 2015. You may be doing the same. When it comes to creating your marketing plan, digital marketing is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the overall marketing strategy. It used to be that businesses would just hop on Facebook, as they felt that’s what they needed to do to join social. Now, many of them realize that they have to make informed decisions in which networks to invest their financial and personnel resources to achieve the best results. Social media is no longer about following the masses, it’s about following your target audience.
A major challenge for businesses in today is how to collect, analyse, and interpret the data, and in 2014, companies have still only scratched the surface. If marketers want to succeed, they need a coherent and engaging content strategy with compelling visuals and authentic stories.
Here’s a few trends that emerged in digital marketing during 2014, what to expect in 2015, and how to prepare your business in social’s ever-evolving ecosystem.
Scommerce – Social media meets shopping
Social commerce is becoming a large driver of online shopping. User-generated content around shopping can have some major impacts. The first successful steps to push forward more sophisticated Scommerce were seen in 2014, for example with the introduction of Twitter Product Cards and innovative campaigns on Pinterest. We recently saw increased efforts to simplify the social network-driven buying process for online shoppers with both Twitter and Facebook pioneering the testing of “Buy” CTA buttons. The more relevant and tailored your social advertising is, the fewer users will feel commercialized.
Facebook becoming more of a News Source
In 2014, Facebook debuted Trending Topics, which appear to the right of your News Feed as a list of topics and hashtags that are spiking in popularity on Facebook. This list is personalized based on a number of factors, including Pages you’ve liked, your location, and what’s trending across Facebook.
Businesses will need to create content around current conversations. Use Trending Topics to know what Facebook members are talking about, and capitalize on that buzz by creating content that fits with relevant keywords and/or hashtags.
Location-based mobile marketing
Google reports that 71 percent of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for online research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience. Retailer should think about using mobile apps as part of their marketing activities. The technological progress in terms of “geo-fencing” and “geo-targeting” will help them reach their customers with timely and highly contextual messages on a one-to-one basis. Geo-targeting is the practice of customizing an advertisement for a product or service to a specific market based on the geographic location of potential buyers.Geo-Fencing uses the global positioning system to outline geographical boundaries. When a person’s mobile device enters the boundaries, an email, text message or push notification is sent out. Considering a worldwide mobile penetration of 93%, major social networks are constantly improving their mobile presence. Social websites and apps being among the most used features on mobile.
Already big in 2014, the appeal of visual marketing will reach still more brands. Networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine have experienced rapid growth, a trend that should continue into 2015. They will play a greater role in content marketing strategies, but so too will individual pieces of content like infographics and data visualizations. “The strongest brands are adapting and creating a clear visual social media strategy. Being consistent in the way you create content will help maintain a strong brand online” said Canva’s Zach Kitschke.
The social landscape is constantly changing, and it can be challenging for most business owners to keep up. I have been doing a lot of reading and I have seen the a few marketing believe that Google + is on the decline. The departure of Google+ chief evangelist Vic Gundotra earlier this year, coupled with the failure of Google Authorship, will make this year a challenge one for them. I still use Google + and plan to into the new year, mainly because of it strong Search Engine Optimization benefit. It is also predicted that some niche social media tools will start to challenge Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The main one that marketers are focused on is Ello, an ad-free social platform still in beta that has received a great deal of attention among those that follow social media developments. I don’t see it challenging the others for a while yet. if it does. I may be surprised though. 🙂
What do you think are the Digital Marketing Trends for 2015? What are you planning to focus on for your business in the coming year?