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Digital Marketing trends for 2015

As we roll into the last couple of weeks of 2014 it seems an opportune time to take a look back at what happened in digital marketing over the year and look forward to what to expect in 2015.

Here are some key trends we've noticed this year:

Rise of newer social networks.

The evolution of the likes of Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr has given marketers more options when it comes to reaching their audience.  Using different social platforms requires an understandng of the unique features of each 

This year we covered Getting Started On Instagram, keep an eye out for our ongoing series of social media 'Back To Basics' giving you tips for a range of social networks.  

 

Real Time Marketing

Making the most of an opportune time to communicate marketing communications can use real-time events to your benefit.  Adidas did this well with their #allin social media campaign during this years World Cup.  Taking advantage of live events at the World Cup they attached their #allin hashtag to piggyback on the attention the worldwide broadcast attracted.

Adidas -2

However as with any marketing communications careful consideration should be taken to avoid potential social media fails.  With the increased use of social media by brands the risk of creating a social media fail also increases.  In these situations, understanding the Do's & Don't of a Social Media Crisis is a necessary skill.

 

Mobile Marketing

Statistics for smart phone adoption suggest that upwards of 70% of New Zealanders own a phone capable of accessing the internet.  This mobile access has increased the ability to be connect with your audience but requires a different approach.  

This year we focused on 3 ways to Make The Most Of Mobile

 

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Increased use of Video

2014 saw video used as a key communication method for brands wanting to convey their message in an easily digested, often entertaining and informative way.

Our blog post 5 Key Ways To Use Video In Your Digital Strategy looked at ideas for how to integrate video into your campaigns.

 

Paid amplifiication

2014 saw the increased adoption of paid 'boosting' as Facebook sought to throttle the organic reach of it's Pages.  This year saw several updates from Facebook to preserve the content of it's users News Feeds.  This included the allowing users to hide ads and give feedback about why they don't want to see them.  Facebook also announced that it is banning 'overly promotional' posts as of January 2015.

All of these changes make it relevant to understand how to get the most from your paid advertising, we covered one such tactic, How to Schedule Your Facebook Campaigns

Later in the year Twitter and Instagram introduced adverts to its platform, next year we will discuss ways to use these platforms for paid amplifaction of your brand. 

One other significant policy change this year was the ban of Like-Gating in November.  Like-Gating was the tactic of requiring users to 'Like' a page before they could enter a competition or get access to restricted resources.

In response to the banning of Like Gating we went through some Alternatives to Like Gating 

 

Brands as content publishers

Content marketing continues to be considered a top area of focus for marketing managers looking for a more modern tactic for promoting its brand to its audience that builds an enduring connection.

The Content Marketing Institute descibes content marketing as, “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” 

In August we detailed a 6 Step Plan To Creating A Content Strategy to get your Content Marketing started. 

 

So what can we expect in 2015?

 

Further breaking down of the 'Silos'

Digital marketing's is now being considered as marketing in a digital world.  So the silos seperating technology, marketing, sales and other departments need to be removed to create integration across company operations and consequently the delivered external communications.

Owned Content

As companies begin to see the value of their content strategies, the industry leaders will seek to increase the amount of original content that reflects their brand.  This will involve creating visual media for distrution via their owned networks; websites, blogs and social media channels.  

The next evolution will be to put in place robust data analysis practices to measure the ROI for these marketing efforts.

Proximity Marketing 

As the use of smart phones have continued to rise many companies have attempted to use this channel as a tactic for directing customers to it's physical stores.  In fact Facebook this year enabled Page users to create location specific adverts to target customers within 1 kilometer of their location.

Proximity marketing will seek to enhance the potential for communicating with customers based on their geo-location.  Technologies like Apple's iBeacon will help stores create networks to directly communicate with customers in store.   

Marketing Automation 

Our post 5 Time Saving Tips for Busy Marketers highlighted the demand for tools that help to automate some of a marketers daily tasks.  2015 will see the continued development of tools like Hootsuite, IFTTT, BufferApp, Hupspot and Marketo to create efficiencies.

To continue this devlopment marketers are going to need to focus on:

1. Getting quality data to better understand their customers.

2. Using data to predict customer behaviours.

3. Having a workflow plan detailing automation stages.

 

What were your key digital trends this year?  What do you think 2015 will bring?

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