2015’s Top Internet Marketing Trends
As digital marketers everywhere welcome a new year, it’s time to look ahead. All signs point to a continuation in 2015 of trends already under way – with a few new twists, of course.
Here are five of the top trends that online marketers should watch in 2015:
1. Social Media Blends with Reviews and SEO
Social media has been a pillar of organic search results for some time, but its importance will increase in the coming year. This is due in part to the blending of worlds between social media and reviews.
More people are using social media as their preferred platform for posting and sharing reviews. Companies see the advantages, too. Using social sites as vehicles for reviews eliminates concerns about fraudulent reviews and offers a way to legitimize reviews by making them more personal. Reviews and social signals both help SEO, and the combination of the two can be even more powerful.
In addition to SEO benefits, companies can enjoy increased traffic and business when their customers leverage social media to post reviews or recommend their companies, products and services. With this in mind, smart businesses will actively solicit reviews on social media.
2. Social Media Diversifies
2015 may be the year in which sticking to only one or two social sites becomes an antiquated approach. New social platforms emerge quickly; it is important for businesses to keep uplatforms emerge quickly; it is important for businesses to keep up.
I’m not proposing that businesses jump onto every new social platform as it is launched. However, it will be increasingly important to diversify a social media portfolio, to capture a greater number of customers and prospects.
3. Retargeting Moves to the Forefront
No longer the backseat passenger, online ad retargeting will become a mainstay for the most innovative and lucrative digital marketing programs in 2015. The reason is easy to understand. Very few online visits convert immediately, so it is essential to stay in front of customers as they move on and shop around.
Research shows the effectiveness of retargeting. It connects well with branding and with building customer trust. Achieving mindshare among a prospect base is step number one to achieving sales.
Retargeting has become accessible and affordable as well as highly beneficial. If it’s not in your toolbox yet, adding it should lead your list of New Year’s resolutions.
4. Mobile Continues Its Takeover
I realize we’ve been hearing about the mobile takeover for some time now, but we’re not necessarily talking about how many mobile devices are purchased or used for Internet searches, though that can be interesting and important. Rather, we are talking about how much more important it will be for any business to have a truly mobile-friendly website in 2015.
The importance of mobile-friendliness is two-fold. First, if you want any chance at all of keeping mobile visitors on your site, you have to accommodate them every time you serve a page. Second, Google is watching, Santa-like, and knows who’s mobile-friendly and who’s not. You can lose AdWords quality score – not just visitors – by sending mobile traffic to a non-mobile-friendly site. Be sure you’re on the nice list, not the naughty one.
5. Content Builds Relationships
Communication is as important in a business relationship as it is in a marriage. In the online world, content is the primary means of communication. Every single word or element on your website and social platforms, in your paid ads, and elsewhere contributes something – positive or negative – to the relationship.
The first rule of content is to make it appropriate for your audience and your medium. For example, blog content should be different from a social media post on the same topic. In effective communication, the medium, the message, and the audience converge to produce the desired results.
6. Keep It Sensible
Whatever 2015 brings in digital marketing, things will go more smoothly if we’re sensible.
Whether we’re building our retargeting program or an editorial blog calendar, we must make sure that what we do makes sense for the business and the customer. For example, if we sell services to retired persons, putting a lot of effort and resources into an Instagram account may not make a lot of sense.
The need to be sensible is like the need to be mobile-friendly. For all audiences, customers and search engines alike, ask, “Does this makes sense?” – before you execute any campaign or program. Stay true to your mission and focus, select activities appropriately, and be ready to stay the course. Not all results happen overnight.