You know a year is nearing its end when the carols come out and there is a buoyancy of baked goods in the office. 2014 has been a huge year for digital platforms in terms of shifts and trends. To draw on the ethnography available in our own studio, we’ve found more of our clients jumping into ‘new media’ than ever before, providing our designers, strategists and developers a fantastic level of creative lease across mobile and digital strategy. Traditional methods of advertising have not suffered per se. However, an undeniable, vibrant breed of business owners who are curious about marketing methods that sit outside the square in the field of apps and online media has become increasingly populous.
It is not difficult to find a reason why. If you search ‘digital marketing trends for 2015’ in Google, you will be inundated with hypotheses from SEOs, social media experts, digital natives and marketers alike. Some will point to the rise of Instagram and Pinterest to base their prediction; others will debate Apple versus Android’s market share going forward. We don’t have a crystal ball on hand, but here are four suggestions we have for you in on the topic:
1. Make digital marketing a staple in your plans and budget for it
If you want to get ahead in the 2015 game you will need a digital strategy. What does that mean? It means that it is no longer enough to just have a website and a social media presence (everyone has already jumped on those bandwagons) – you need to use these media in effective and interesting ways. That means having a strategy, analysing your audience and understanding your target market. Redefine your point of difference in the online space and work towards curating an audience that not only ‘likes’ but also loves and defends your brand.
2. Go mobile
Apps are not a new phenomenon. But their increasing adoption by businesses in truly innovative ways is a trend not likely to cease in 2015. Look at your offering and think gamification, interaction and mobile responsiveness. Apps and responsive websites put your business in the pockets of customers, so they can not only talk about you, but also show you off. Globally, mobile traffic makes for 25% of website users (on average), which is a ten percent climb from 2013 – making searching on-the-go a trend to closely observe.
3. Ditch the sales pitch
2015 will be all about inspiring, rather than selling to your customers. Exercises in brand awareness – not obtrusive push advertising – are the key to conversions. This approach has already had great traction over in the U.S. as content marketing has proven a leading attribute in this year’s best campaigns. Now it is time for other businesses to follow suit. 2015 has been prematurely dubbed the year of the share – so ditch the pitch and make sure your brand is the type you would scream from your own rooftop.
4. Don’t try to cheat the system
Stop trying to cheat the system and think long term. Quick fixes such as unauthorized social media competitions and spam campaigns may be useful in the short term but your brands online reputation may suffer in the long run. If you want to get likes, reach and followers fast, use the targeting methods provided by Facebook and Twitter’s advertising platforms. At least this way you’ll only be advertising to people who are actively interested in what you offer. And believe it or not, it’s cheap as chips.
Simply Measured Social Media Predictions 2015