The end of 2014 was an opportunity for online marketers to speculate on the emerging digital marketing trends for 2015. Think about the ton of articles you read about things that are going to happen this year…
However, in the midst of a heated discussion it is better to take a step back and only draw your conclusions in retrospective. It’s been a month since the hustle and bustle of the new year; I think it’s a great moment to have a look at the digital trends of 2015 and give an objective view on where the online marketing world is heading.
Here are the 10 digital marketing trends for 2015 that have already shown signs of taking off:
1. Guest Post Links Will Not Be As Effective
Google is not changing their mind on guest blog posting. Deemed as a spammy practice at the end of 2014, the trend continues to rule the world of SEO (read more about it here).
There is a possibility that you haven’t seen yet any noticeable change in your rankings, so you continue writing guest blog posts on as many websites as possible. However, this will not remain the same in 2105; Google is constantly updating and adapting its algorithms, and you will soon notice a drop in your rankings.
Tip: guest blogging is a great way of reaching to a wider audience, so there is no reason why you should stop doing it. But instead of quantity, think about quality: choose one or two websites that are complementary to your business and post for the readers, not for the backlinks.
2. SEO And Social Signals Will Become More Intertwined
We’ve all seen that social media marketing is on the rise; even though Google doesn’t openly admit it, having a social media presence and building a community around your brand are elements that can influence your SEO.
In 2015 social shares and social interactions will become a trust signal not only for SEO algorithms but also for human users. This is why more and more online marketers install social share plugins on their blogs and website pages.
Oh, by the way, if you like what you’re reading, feel free to share this with your peeps using the social sharing buttons on the left.
3. SEO, now personal branding
This phrase is becoming old, as you hear it all over the internet. But just have a look at the way Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird shattered the world of SEO as we knew it. Authorship was like a life-vest for a while, but then it completely disappeared, so you can forget about it as well.
SEO as a link building practice is sooo, so dead. Nowadays, SEO is one of the digital marketing trends of 2015 that resembles a science of subtlety: the more users engage with your content, the better you rank. This is also known as personal branding. It is, I’d say, the last SEO trick that you can use to rank well on Google search results.
This is closely linked to points 1 and 2 of this article. You can read more about SEO changes of 2014 here.
4. Better Presentations
SlideShare allows people to gain access to information by putting it in a visual context: presentations. Nonetheless, presentations are no longer the dull PowerPoint documents of the past.
Actually, we can see PowerPoint fading at an alarming rate. It is now being replaced by smarter presentation creation programs. Microsoft is already moving from PowerPoint to Sway, Prezi is one of the most popular online presentation tools, and a pile of web apps open new doors to entertaining, engaging presentations.
I’d say presentations could become even better than infographics, but let’s not draw conclusions too quickly.
5. Visual Storytelling
A brand’s identity is built around a story. So in order to create a brand, you will need to become a great storyteller. Preferably a visual storyteller. Because this is where the online world of 2015 is heading to.
If I were to list only videos and infographics here, I’d be so very wrong. Because visual storytelling does not rely solely on one or two types of content. By contrary, it is the “science” of digital marketing that links all the marketing materials used by a brand to communicate its message.
But above all else, visual storytelling is that digital marketing strategy that inspires emotions and sparks movement. Visual storytelling is able to define a brand by sending a clear message about that brand, a message that resonates with the users’ feelings and emotions. After all, this is what storytelling is all about, right?
6. Real Time Marketing
Remember Ellen deGeneres’ Oscar selfie?
If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
That’s one selfie gone wild, isn’t it? Since that selfie I am sure you noticed more and more people posting photos and videos from events as they happen. This is called real time marketing and it’s NOT something that will happen in 2015; it’s something that IS HAPPENING as we speak.
7. More Videos Than Ever
Now, this is another topic I’ve been talking a LOT about lately. Since 2013 actually. Video is becoming huge, and brands are finally starting to realize the importance of video marketing.
- In 2014 Facebook introduced video advertising, then video previews, and now videos are the best ranking type of marketing material on Facebook.
- YouTube… you know the story.
- Instagram also allows video updates.
- Google Plus does it too.
The youth are really keen on using 9gag TV – ever heard about it? Some of their videos are very good, and the ranking of videos depends on users’ votes. The rules of success on 9gag TV: funny content, short videos, original ideas.
There are a ton of web hosting platforms (Wistia and Vimeo are just two that come to mind) and a ton of topics you can talk about. As long as your videos are entertaining & educational, they can be your recipe for success.
8. Mobile Web Browsing
Speaking of 9gag TV, the website gets a lot of its traffic from mobile devices. Mobile is not big for digital marketing in 2015, it’s HUGE.
- Sales coming from mobile devices are on the rise.
- Email marketing remains efficient because people access their emails from mobile devices.
- Nearly 40% of organic search traffic comes from mobile.
This is another digital marketing trend of 2015 that is not new, but is on the rise this year. In 2013 I talked about the importance of mobile, estimating that by 2015 most of internet’s traffic will come from mobile devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones. Now, we can see this happening.
9. Personalised Content
As we are getting close to the end of my list of 10 digital marketing trends of 2015 it comes as a surprise to me that I didn’t put Personalised Content somewhere at the top of this list.
What does personalised content refer to? It’s a digital marketing practice that implies the use of branded marketing materials AND the use of relevant content.
Tip: Sales copy is becoming more subtle, taking the form of educational copy. An educated prospect is a future client, so create high quality educational content for your audience & make it entertaining to watch/read/listen.
Bonus Tip: Explainer videos are a great example of educational copy, but so are presentations, webinars, and… well, your blog posts of course.
10. Smarter Resource Allocation
I really think 2014 was the year of the “more”, a year when we got the chance to experiment with the available digital marketing tools and decide which ones we like best. This year will be the year of wise spending: now that we know what works, we can choose the tools we want to invest in.
Digital marketing is becoming more and more difficult to be done in-house. Online business owners no longer have the time and energy to learn how to DIY, the industry is becoming more subtle and more challenging at the same time.
Investing smarter in your marketing budget doesn’t mean that you have to spend more; only wiser. Sometimes, smart resource allocation means considering hiring someone to create and implement your digital marketing strategy for 2015.
Now is your turn…
- What is your digital marketing strategy going to focus on in 2015?
- What are your preferred means of communication with your audience and prospects?
- How are your new year’s resolutions influencing the way you do business in 2015?