A brand new year is almost upon us, and with it, advancements and changes on digital marketing platforms are inevitable. Social media has come a long way from just being a platform where users used to ‘hang out’ to an integral part of every business strategy. Recent studies reveal that a quarter of the world’s population has already jumped on the social media bandwagon. As important as it is to know where it has come from, it’s as crucial to know where it’s going too.
Facebook was the first to increase ad revenue by 10% in the first part of 2014. And in 2015, other brands and businesses are set to follow suit. Marketers are finally seeing positive results from their social media spends, such as increased traffic and visibility. They have attributed these positive results to the increase in paid social ads. In the coming year, small and medium sized businesses will be more likely to invest in objective-based campaigns, such as Twitter’s new beta advertising options, wherein user actions like app downloads, website clicks and email opt-ins set off payment.
The year 2014 has focused largely on mobile-optimization, but in 2015, this realm is set to widen, with the focus shifting from simply having a mobile app or a responsive digital property, to actually stressing on the importance of social media marketing and mobile-optimized content. In the latter part of 2015, many industry experts have predicted that mobile will finally be incorporated as a key ingredient in digital marketing strategies. This includes mobile ads, a website that is fully responsive, as well as separate mobile-specific content for users. Many businesses will finally come to terms with the fact that having a mobile-centric social media strategy will assess how social media posts are consumed and interacted with.
Reports from industry insiders have revealed that in the year 2014, a whopping 93% of B2B marketers claimed to have used content marketing strategies, and 42% of them considered their strategies to have been effective, having met assigned goals. In the coming year, budgets that were earlier allocated to SEO, search engine PPC and social media, will find its way into content marketing efforts, with marketers finally seeing how previous content marketing strategies have paid off. Businesses will finally be more open to pouring investments into understanding the mobile habits of their audience, creating short-form content can be read easily on mobile devices, emphasizing more on mobile-specific visual content, and generally inventing in mobile content as a whole. The challenge however, will be standing out from the competition.
Over the years, many brands and businesses have finally accepted the fact that banner advertising is largely ineffective in driving sales. Banner advertising may still provide benefits for increased visibility, but they don’t offer a calculable ROI, which is something small to medium businesses are actively looking for. In the coming year, there will be collaborations between brands and publishers to offer sponsored content and primary content together, therefore eliminating the promotional nature of native advertising.
People want to interact on social media with other people, and not with businesses and brand pages. Brands will finally realize this and will start to connect with their target audience on a more human level, to develop relationships with their followers and fans. This will meet their business goals, offer better brand loyalty, higher conversion rates and rapid audience growth.