Online Marketing Trends
1. Mobile-optimization will become more important than ever
Optimizing for mobile has been a significant priority for businesses in 2014, but 2015 will be the year that mobile strategies move beyond simply having a responsive site or mobile app, and focus on mobile-optimized content and social media marketing as well.
We know that Google has been placing additional emphasis on how mobile-friendly sites are; in fact, they‘ve stated that mobile usability is now ―relevant for optimal search results.‖
This emphasis is apparent in the recent launch of a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools called Mobile Usability, which I covered in my article, Is Mobile Usability Now a Search Ranking Factor?
I predict that the latter half of 2015 will see many businesses finally incorporating mobile into all areas of their digital marketing: a fully responsive website, mobile ads, and separate content specifically for mobile website users. Businesses will also begin to realize the necessity of having a mobile social media strategy that considers how mobile users consume and interact with social media posts.
2. Social media ad spend will sharply increase as brands realize the importance of social media marketing
In the first part of 2014, we saw Facebook reporting increased ad revenue (10%) over the previous fiscal period. As organic post reach continues to fall, and as Facebook restricts what types of posts can be shown in users‘ feeds, paid advertising is only going to increase as businesses struggle to maintain traffic and sales from social media channels.
Businesses are seeing positive results from their investment in social media, including increased exposure and traffic, and are seeing paid social ads as the way to scale these results. Twitter‘s new advertising options (currently in beta), where payment is triggered by specific actions like website clicks, app downloads and email opt-ins, will mean small to medium-sized businesses will be more likely to invest in these objective-based campaigns.
I wrote more about this in my article, The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015.
3. Content marketing will be (even) bigger than ever
According to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report, 93% of B2B marketers said they used content marketing in 2014, and 42% said they considered their strategy effective (up from 36% last year).
As marketers continue to see the benefits of their content strategies, money previously earmarked for search engine PPC, SEO and social media will be re-allocated to content marketing efforts. A major struggle, however, will be finding ways to stand out amidst the throngs of other content vying for attention. Case studies, video content, research-intensive content, and content that abides by the 12 quality metrics will be what gives businesses an advantage over their competitors.
Businesses will be increasingly willing to invest in mobile content, including creating short-form content that‘s easily readable on mobile devices, understanding their audience‘s mobile habits and putting more emphasis on video and visual content that‘s easily consumed via mobile. For more on this, see my post 10 Steps to Creating a Mobile-Optimized Content Marketing Strategy.