Every year is marked by huge innovations and emerging trends that change the digital marketing landscape. With 2014 in the rearview mirror, it's easy to look back and see that many of the changes that altered best practices were forecast in 2013 and even earlier.
Although new trends have dramatic implications for how marketers do business, savvy professionals don't need to feel blindsided. The top digital marketing trends for 2015 have already taken root, and there's no good reason to be skeptical about their bright futures.
By accepting the changes yet to come and planning to attack these trends head-on, marketing departments can get a nice head start on their competition. Here's what to look for this coming year.
Video Will Come to Rise
Video's increased accessibility is contributing to what should be unprecedented growth for video marketing in 2015. The growth in the number of video marketing resources and in online video SEO, combined with the previous rises of social media and video-friendly mobile technology, will make it easier than ever to produce video and use it to bolster SEO and social media.
If you're a brand with an online presence, it's more affordable — and more necessary — than ever to produce video consistently to reach online consumers.
Native Advertising Will Expand Its Reach
Marketers still have reservations about native advertising. As Ad Age reports, many marketers are worried about how native advertising can effectively reach large volumes of online consumers. Brands face a constant challenge of balancing authenticity to their brand while creating native content that appeals to a broad audience.
Despite those hurdles, native advertising looks to be a big market in 2015. Some industry observers expect to see budget increases of five to 10 times the native ad spending of 2014. That kind of money devotion is all you need to know about native advertising's potential. The important first steps include a thoughtful approach to content and to seek premium locations for placement of your native advertising.
The Lines Between Campaigns Will Be Blurred
If you segment out your digital marketing budget, you've probably already noticed that it's tough to ascribe certain costs to one campaign. The lines are increasingly blurry: Written content drives social campaigns, video performs on mobile, digital leads can drive local in-store purchases.
This blurring is enabled by improving technology that gives marketers the ability to craft a comprehensive customer experience. Instead of setting up campaigns as islands, digital marketing strategy is more of a fully formed network that maintains a brand aesthetic at every step. This may create some challenges in tracking ROI, but the overall product will be much greater than the sum of its parts. Having dedicated resources in place to analyze and report on ROI is advantageous.
Customers Will Gravitate to Personalized, Empathizing Messaging
As brands embrace digital marketing, a key differentiator has become how personalized these campaigns can become. Insight-rich targeting technology and a better understanding of consumer segmentation — and the related messaging — can be combined to deliver messages and marketing materials that go beyond engaging and speak directly to consumers' needs. Online shoppers will naturally gravitate to this type of messaging.
These digital marketing trends might not come along quite as fast as expected, but virtually all of these emerging innovations are inevitable. Accept the changes now, and cash in throughout 2015.