Five 2014 digital marketing trends that will continue in 2015
Looking back at 2014, here are 5 takeaways from the online marketing world that we can take with us into 2015. Which ones will you be adding to your online marketing plans?
Customer is Everything
Regardless of web technologies, social networks, memes, the latest niche networks and any other smart marketing tactics, all marketers must continue to think customer first. Marketing comes down to helping customers solve problems and fulfill desires. It’s never been and never will be about the latest technology, tactic or promotion. Think Customer First for your business and decide how you are helping them. This way you can build a business based on customers and not products.
Valuable, useful content will continue to be the centerpiece for all online marketing efforts. By defining the pain points for your customers, answering their questions, and even entertaining their desires, this is the surest way to build your online community. As Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg recently said, “If businesses share content that is useful, it will be shown on Facebook newsfeed.”
Provide useful content for your customers and you’ll see how your online community grows.
What should your content marketing objectives be? The top three content marketing objectives are to:
1) Drive sales and or leads
2) Engage customers/buyers/influencers
3) Boost brands awareness (Source: Curata)
And don’t forget that curated content is just as important. By repurposing older content you created, you’ll be able to support your content marketing efforts. But is curated content even relevant? Do you need to bother with it? Let’s take a snapshot of what other online marketers are doing when it comes to curated content.
IMN INC says that 82% of marketers currently use curated content. Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement (Source: Curata). Social Media Examiner asked and received the following:
Responses to Social Media Examiner’s question included:
1) Original Written Content (81%);
2) Original Videos (73%);
3) Original Visual Assets (70%);
4) Curation of Other People’s Content (46%);
5) Original Audio Content (33%)
So there you have it: Creating original content and curating content will remain an important activity for marketers.
The Power of Visual Design
Visual content marketing has grown tremendously in the past two years. Brands are realizing that words alone are not sufficient to keep users interested and engaged. To see how other brands are creating visual content and how you should start including visual design in your online marketing efforts, you can check out the Content Marketing Institute slideshare located on their blog with examples from how businesses are using visual design.
How powerful is visual design? Visual design is probably the reason Instagram is now bigger than Twitter. The four-year-old social network now has over 300 million active monthly users–Twitter is at 284 million active monthly users. Instagram already surpasses Facebook and Twitter in terms of engagement figures. And according to Forrester, 4.21% of Instagram’s users engage with brands content where only 0.03% of users on Twitter and 0.07% of users on Facebook engage with brands’ content on the platforms.
Mobile is here to stay
Brands are realizing that like the power of visual design, making mobile-optimized content, ads, and websites are essential. Don’t think so? Let’s take a look at cell phone use in the United States:
- 91% of Americans own a cell phone.
- 61% of Americans own a smartphone.
- Mobile ad spending doubled in 2013 and 2014.
- Consumers spend 60% of their Internet time on mobile devices. (Source: PR Daily)
Everyone is spending time on their smart phones. So, how come your website is not mobile friendly?
Social is not free. It never was. If you are not spending money on social ads, then you are spending time on creating content and promoting that content. In any case, social advertising has become an integral part of your overall media budget. On the other hand, social networks have become smarter with their targeting capabilities so the advertising you can place on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is a lot more targeted than search engine keywords. Both strategies can be integrated really well for ultimate brand awareness and lead generation results. If you haven’t tested social advertising yet, it’s time to do so in 2015.
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Happy New Year!