Ask WSI About – Digital Marketing Trends for 2015
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Question: In the past, I’ve been sold a ‘trendy’ digital marketing campaign that didn’t deliver on its promise. How do I know that these 2015 digital marketing predictions will come true when they are just that – predictions?
Answer: To be clear, the most important message of this article is that the digital marketing space is always changing. You should be wary of digital marketing companies that make guarantees or tell you they can get you “ranked #1 on Google” in a month.
At WSI, we like to prepare our clients for the future, which means using studies, industry data, and the opinions of esteemed thought-leaders to paint a portrait of what’s to come. Most of the time, these portraits are accurate, and even when they’re slightly off, we always leave room to shift and pivot as necessary. The most important part of any digital marketing strategy is having a defined goal and an idea of how much time, effort and resources are required to get there. In the end, every business has its own unique digital marketing strategy, but the most successful ones have something in common: they’ve always got an eye on the future.
The Times They Are a-Changin’
Digital Marketing In 2015
To quote the great Bob Dylan in his iconic song: the times they are a-changin’. This is true of many things in our world, not the least of which is the landscape of the Internet (and digital marketing’s place within the online realm). But there’s no need to get dramatic; whether or not you realize, the times are always a-changin’ when it comes to digital marketing. Tactics and strategies that worked five years ago are no longer effective, and the almost-daily updates of Google’s search algorithm stand as a reminder to businesses and digital marketing companies that the game can change at any time.
The key, as it is with most things in constant flux, is to stay ahead of the curve (or at least as close to it as possible). Money is made on the stock market by staking dollars on the futures of companies. Sports teams build dynasties by predicting the abilities of amateur-level athletes and maximizing their salary cap dollars. Professional careers are built on portfolios and achievements that profile successful futures. People and businesses don’t excel by repeating themselves year after year; they prosper by enhancing, pivoting and changing.
Understanding how, when and why to change
In digital marketing, the biggest reason to shift is the fact that consumers are changing the way they buy products and services. If you and your business are still trying to engage, connect and sell to consumers or other businesses the same way you were ten, five or even three years ago, it’s not going to work. Technological advances and the development of the digital space into a living, breathing market has given consumers more power and knowledge than ever before. For example, Statista predicts that tablets will out-ship laptop and desktop computers by 2016. Consumers are no longer playing on your turf; you’re playing on theirs.
If you want to succeed in today’s hyperactive, digital business world, you need to exist in the same places and spaces as your customers. That means developing a web presence driven by high-quality content and graphic design. Keeping up with customers means maintaining an active social media presence in order to listen, communicate and engage with your audience. It means embracing the mobile movement and experimenting with marketing on tablets and smartphone devices. Most importantly, it means plugging your business into the ebbs and flows of the digital world, because that’s exactly what your customers are doing.
Tips for Keeping Pace
The most difficult aspect of keeping up with anything, whether it’s the stock market of your favourite sports team, is finding the time. We understand that your number one priority is running your business, which means keeping pace with the world of digital marketing is secondary. But we think you’ll soon understand that staying ahead of the digital marketing curve is actually a very important part of running your business. Here are a few tips we put together to give you a head start:
- Everything Is Connected: rather than thinking about content marketing and social media as different tactics and strategies, 2015 will see ‘digital marketing’ emerge as a holistic approach to connecting with, and bringing value to, an audience. The components of digital marketing work together as a whole to accomplish a common goal, not individually to reach different goals.
- Mix Paid With Owned: last month, we talked about how a little investment in social ads can make a big difference, and we believe this trend will continue in 2015. The importance being placed on quality content means there will be much more of it in 2015, making it harder for your content to stand out. Turning to paid amplification and distribution can help push your content to the top of the heap for a reasonable price.
- Make It Human: in a blog published by TopRank, DJ Waldow from Marketo said that, “2015 will be the year of HUMAN for digital marketers.” We agree. The days of treating customers like numbers are over. In 2015, successful marketing shouldn’t feel like marketing, it should feel like real human engagement. Put a personality behind your business and you’ll be surprised by how much the increased accessibility changes the perception of your business (in the best possible ways).
Predicting the future of digital marketing is hard, but it’s a lot easier when you have an expert on your side. If you’re looking for help and guidance in planning your 2015 digital marketing strategy, get in touch with WSI Thames today!