Welcome to 2015!
We anxiously awaited all of 2015’s digital marketing predictions in Q4 a couple months ago and now we’re in full swing. The marketplace is certainly changing as our world becomes encompassed by the Internet of Things. Who received a Smart Watch over the holidays? Are you tracking your email, steps walked, heart rate, sleep patters, calendar appointments, and phone calls all in that one device? Maybe you received the new iPhone 6+. Have you ditched your laptop in the evenings to log into your social media accounts on your mobile or tablet? As the way we, as consumers or business professionals, search and digest information changes, marketing is racing to keep pace.
The last few years have been all about responsive design. If you aren’t quite there yet, now is the time. Responsive design pushed aside, there’s even talk of mobile only website design. As I stated above, most of us put our computers to sleep in the evenings and instead, we work, read, and browse the Web on our smartphones or tablets. With people so heavily reliant on mobile, advertisers are only becoming more focused on this method of communication. Advertisers will spend over $600 billion worldwide on mobile advertising this year. This includes social media marketing, as 4 out of 10 users accessed social media with mobile in 2014. This shift will continue to grow over the next several years, as mobile is expected to dominate over 50% of advertising by 2017. This trend will be important for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketers. When you think about marketing campaigns with a downloadable call-to-action, make sure the document will open, videos will play, and images will remain the right size on mobile phones. The key is to have every campaign mobile-friendly or you’ll miss out.
Images are Greater than Words
We all know the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” While the phrase dates back to the early 20th century, it might be more appropriate this year than ever before. Most of us are visual learners. Rather than sending out endless, wordy tweets, whitepapers, or blogs, start breaking content up among imagery. The content will become more easily digestible for the potential customer and help them understand the message. It also might prompt someone to stop and review your information.
Infographics are a great example. An even better example is video. Video marketing is continuing its growth to become one of the more important forms of social media marketing. Consider a short video clip of a product in action. Customers will see how easy the product is to use, what it looks like, what it delivers, and maybe even imagine him- or herself using it.
The topic of images leads us right into storytelling. Images and videos are the best ways to tell a story. Giving your brand a story opens doors to a more relatable, understanding, and loyal relationship with your customer. Say your product has extraordinary data points that you’d like the consumer world to hear about. Chances are that consumers will be impressed, but will not necessarily feel the push to buy. Consumers turn to their friends and social media for others’ experience with the product. If you give the experience through storytelling from the get-go, you will leverage emotions within the consumer, influencing their purchase decisions.
Newsflash: Email marketing isn’t dead! In 2015, 61% of companies will spend more money and effort into correctly utilizing email. List building remains a tried and true method of attracting new customers. Monitoring a growing database is also important to keep track of the customers you already have. An email is a more personal way to invite large amounts of people to a particular event or tradeshow, rather than simply posting on social media. With email reports, you’ll be able to track which customers opened the email and registered, or gave it a glance and hit delete.
Social Continues to Rise
Of course social media is a no brainer! Concluding 2014’s end, the fastest growing social sites are Tumblr and Pinterest (remember, we’re becoming a visual world). Depending on your target market, you may be interested to know that Facebook has the oldest user base and remains the #1 global network. For video, Youtube has the highest visitation rate per month.
We are also implementing new solutions in 2015. Predictive analytics is a compelling methodology that is changing the way businesses are finding new prospects. Predictive analytics consists of listening, watching, and learning about your potential customers. With this data, patterns about the customer are discovered to identify opportunities. Each customer receives a predictive score and from there, you’re able to generate leads on those potential customers most relevant to your target.
Which 2015 marketing trend are you most looking forward to? Let us know @ICEWorldwide on Twitter!
By Paige Clairmont