From technology trends to changing business models to evolving consumer behaviors, there’s a lot to consider in order for today’s online marketers to really have a handle on what’s important about what’s next.
The only constant is change.
The internet drastically changed the way in which information is shared and keeps changing continuously with time and has had a profound impact on marketing. Online marketing is rapidly developing towards some directions and departing from others, rendering some practices obsolete and becoming an increasingly important medium for creating an online brand experience.
Here are the major online marketing trends for 2015.
1. Content Marketing will be Bigger Than Ever
One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through several types of channels. According to Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.
The popularity of content marketing strategies will continue and increase this year, which means that marketers will abandon the traditional online marketing tactics in favor of creating more relevant and inspiring content. Instead of relying on tested solutions, companies will pay more attention to customer experience and curate content in a more emphatic, client-oriented way.
Along will rise budgets allocated to content marketing and the importance of companies that reach out their customers in writing – B2B companies with blogs are expected to generate 67% more leads per month than those organizations that don’t have blogs.
2. Mobile-friendly is all the way
The importance of mobile will grow in each and every aspect of business due to the widespread use of smartphones and tablets. People use mobile devices all day long and in various contexts, allowing marketers to target them in a longer span of time and during different phases of the day – at work, during rest or play.
According to Forbes, 87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones. Whether it is creating an alternate mobile version of a website or utilizing responsive web design, it is important to provide a good experience to the users that are browsing via mobile devices. Few believe that the mobile web will become bigger than desktop usage in 2015, but one thing is clear – spending for mobile ads will grow – and grow fast.
3. Social Media Marketing will become more Diverse
Social media sites are getting popular for businesses with the time. These sites are improving their ads and posts with various features to make it more customizable. It is easy to make good amount of followers and connect with potential customers through social media.
Consequently, it has become common for businesses to branch out and experiment with multiple networks with the aim of reaching the maximum amount of consumers. This diversification seems to prove fruitful for many companies because it often builds brand equity by making it easier for consumers to recognize a particular brand.
4. People will Start Building their Personal Brands
It is very rare for individuals to focus on their personal brands. But it is proven to generate a positive ROI for businesses.
For example, look at Neil Patel brand. This brand is actually larger than some of the businesses he owns according to Google Trends.
You’ll see more people hopping on the personal branding bandwagon because it will eventually cause their businesses to generate more income. Plus, companies like hiring people with strong personal brands as it helps create solid brand evangelists.
Just look at Guy Kawasaki and Apple. They both benefited from each other.
5. Companies will create Free Tools & Services to generate demand
Free tools are becoming a really popular form of marketing. From HubSpot’s Grader tool to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, companies are creating free tools in order to generate traffic.
This technique works not only for software industries, also it can work for almost any industry. For example, if you are in the insurance sector, you can always create a policy calculator. The possibilities are endless.
There are so many companies providing free marketing tools and companies are willing to give you their marketing products, albeit on a limited usage base, free because they know you’ll eventually grow in size. And when you do, they’ll end up charging you.
Marketing tool providers are now basing their decisions on life time value metrics versus going for the short term income. This should benefit a lot of small and medium businesses.
The best part about creating free tools is that it is very cost effective. It has a better ROI than any other marketing method we’ve tested.