As 2014 comes to a close, marketers look to 2015 as a blank canvas for their digital marketing efforts. Here’s what experts say is on tap for the year ahead in terms of digital marketing trends:
- Mobile will be the norm, not the exception. In other words, mobile optimized sites will be the standard. To that end, the focus must be on sophistication and simplicity. The most expensive branding campaign is futile if the mobile experience is lacking. Marketers should be prepared to invest in a quality mobile experience, or else be left in the dust. Also, mobile video ads need to take into account the user experience, considering the length of ads, font and image scale sizes, when the ads appear, and how they stream to the user.
- The Internet of Things is here to stay. Experts forecast that wearable technology, specifically smartwatches, will be hot. For example, tech giant Apple is slated to release a smartwatch at some point in 2015, while other companies are on track to release second and third generation products with improved battery life and functionality. In short, smartwatches will be a way to reach consumers who are always plugged in.
- Pre-emptive technology will give customers what they want, before they know it. Content providers can market better to consumers by predicting what we watch or read with improved recommendation engines. It’s even possible our connected homes will be able to sync the lights with our arrival. The opportunity lies in marketers learning how to spot trends before they happen so they can cater to them before they’re in demand. The big data revolution can only help achieve this goal.
- Connected cars can mean more targeted advertising. Both Android and Apple have in-car operating systems which are expected to appear in certain manufacturer’s new cars next year. Variables like location, make and model, and even distance could be analyzed by marketers to determine the right audience.
- Print will make a comeback. In a predominately digital era, marketers need to find way to differentiate themselves. Print has been proven as an effective approach to target readers, as engagement rates are often high.
- Mobile payment will become more common. As more and more consumers are eschewing plastic for mobile payment, stores will have to adapt to these preferences. To that end, expect to see NFC payments become more widely available in retailers and on phone. On a related note, several social networks are toying with Social Payment. In the future consumers would be able to purchase a product without leaving the app.
- Brands will increasingly rely on publishing. To be effective, marketers need to comingle empathy and customer experience. Blog posts will become more intentional and humanized. Gone are the days of corporate speak flooding corporate blogs; humor will dominate and win with consumers.
- Paid advertising will drive social media strategy. Social media marketers will place a new focus on testing, analytics and optimization.
Adopting these trends can help your company remain on the cutting edge of digital media, but remember that content is king in the end. Develop a quality product first, then market your content second.