1. Evolving social media
One thing that can be guaranteed is that in 2015 digital marketing will continue to evolve, with some platforms losing favour and others gaining popularity.
“The days when a brand could create a profile on Facebook and Twitter and drive traffic without much thought have ended,” online marketing specialist Alex Windsor says in a blog on the Shoutout Digital website.
“If your business is not aligning its efforts with current trends; it will fail to connect with target audiences.”
2. Content marketing
Windsor says 2015 will be the year that content marketing “makes it big”.
“Your target audience will spend significantly more time on Google and Bing, searching for solutions to the problems they are experiencing.”
“To combat this, businesses will be looking to hire professional freelance writers and digital marketing agencies that are cost effective and develop high quality content. This will then be used to attract, educate and entertain target audiences.”
Content will also continue to be a major factor for Page Rank. Search engine results will continue to focus on articles offering highly useful and actionable advice as Google’s indexers and algorithms become smarter.
Meanwhile, business reporter Tessa Wegert says personalisation has made its way into just about every aspect of digital marketing, and this year will bring “a heightened use of algorithms to hyper-personalise ads”.
“Retargeting and location targeting will pair up in more marketing campaigns to deliver a cohesive consumer experience that anticipates and responds to the customer’s every need,” she says in her column on the ClickZ website.
4. Visual everything
She says the appeal of visual marketing will also reach even more brands.
“YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine will play a greater role in content marketing strategies, but so too will individual pieces of content like infographics and data visualisations.”
Isabel Wiliams from UK online business directory BizDB agrees that this year will see “more videos than ever”.
“Videos are perfect to show how a service or product works in such a way that is impossible to achieve with text or images only,” she says in a blog on the Inbound Now website.
“This trend is most likely to continue into 2015, when more and more companies will start creating the so-called ‘explainer videos’ and giving them a prominent role in the user experience tactics.”
5. Connected everything
Wiliams says augmented reality and wearable technology will also have an impact.
“Closing the gap between the online and offline experience will be a big step not only for online marketing, but for internet in general,” she says.
“Wearable technology will become popular enough for us to see some of the first marketing application of the technology.”
“The ‘Internet of things’ will create a completely new kind of environment and marketers will have to keep up with its rapid development in order to stay in touch with the changing needs of consumers.”