November 21, 2014
2015 Digital Marketing Predictions
Here at Reload Digital we are always looking ahead to continually be on top of the latest opportunities, best practices, and smartest tools. Now we’re going a step further to predict what 2015 will have in store across the core digital marketing channels, from search advertising and social media, to programmatic advertising and content marketing. We’re all feeling very confident about our future-gazing. What do you think?
Adam Clarke – Digital Campaign Manager
Organic reach is being squeezed for businesses on social media, largely due to high competition, Social Networks driving businesses to use paid advertising, and Social Networks responding to users’ feedback of being overloaded with corporate messaging. But this isn’t the end of organic social media – social marketers just need to become smarter and increasingly strategic.
In 2015, rather than the current haphazard approach which prevails, social marketing will require an analytical approach made conceivable by increasing data insights, as well as a focus on producing content of real value to consumers – not just what gets the most ‘likes’. While Facebook and Google+ have supplied data insights for years, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest have recently become more transparent. Instagram will surely follow suit.
This allows marketers to measure their performance more precisely, and arms them with statistics to impress their superiors. Nobody doubts the importance and potential of social media in its current state. But with access to more data, and a heightened capacity to gauge effectiveness, social marketing now possesses the attributes to challenge more established marketing channels.
Cara Whitehouse – Head of UK/Europe
First off: “programmatic” is a buzzword for using software and automation to buy and sell digital advertising (as opposed to negotiating ad space in advance with individual websites.) In its simplest sense, many Display and Remarketing campaigns are programmatic, using ad exchanges that instantaneously pair up advertisers with publishers.
The theory goes that sophisticated algorithms process huge amounts of data to target audiences with increased accuracy to improve ROIs over time. However, marketers are getting carried away with data and automation. Yes – programmatic platforms can crunch more information than a human ever can. But they can’t always make proper sense of it. Both Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne are wealthy men in their sixties who drive luxury cars. But would brands want to advertise to them in the same way?
Human behaviour is not always logical – and it can’t always be predicted by algorithms. As we gain access to more and more data, the most successful brands will be the ones which know how to filter and leverage the data that really counts. And this will mean more, not less, reliance on savvy marketers.
Craig Somerville – Director
Despite modest increases in overall retail sales in the UK (driven mainly by online), the UK market and its (largely) flat retail demand will have retailers looking afar – in particular, to the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. With favourable exchange rates, sales tax savings for the end consumer and no need to write non-English product descriptions and marketing materials, there’s a strong argument for UK-based online retailers to be looking to these countries. International logistics costs have fallen and for those with seasonal offerings, there’s the opportunity to target the Southern Hemisphere’s peak season during a traditionally slower time here.
It’s never been easier to start exporting internationally, particularly using digital marketing avenues, and 2015 might just be the year it becomes the norm. UK Trade & Investment are predicting a seven-fold increase in UK online retailing exports over the next six years. If they’re right, that will mean around a quarter of online sales in the UK will be exported, up from around 10% today.
Kate Howgego – Digital Strategy Manager
There’s no doubt that 2014 was the year for content marketing but it’s here to stay in 2015…
Next year, content marketing will remain vitally important but the emphasis will shift from producing good quality content with wide appeal, towards producing great quality content that’s more targeted, utilising a wider variety of formats and ensuring it’s fully integrated with its output being properly analysed as part of the entire picture. 2015 will be the year of real-time; instant blog posts, fast updates and quick reactions. We’ll see a move away from a purely campaign-level approach to supplementing this with real-time, reactive content.
We’ll see new technologies allowing marketers to achieve a seamless integration of content systems and workforce. Both in-house and external inputs needed for great content will interact seamlessly allowing for finished content to flow back into the content management system.
2015 content marketing will be about specifics, targeting, storytelling, being smart, emotive, humorous and tracking real, relevant value. It’ll be about being better and being accountable; analyse, improve, measure…
Paul Jackson – Senior Digital Marketing Consultant
2014 has been a year of great expected change in Social Media advertising, but without seeing a major transformation as roll outs of new advertising opportunities have been very gradual and US focused. So, 2015 is set to see the impacts instead. Pinterest ‘Promoted Pins’ will become accessible to all, as will Instagram advertising, and we might even see some adverts on Google+ in the next 12 months. As well as advertising opportunities being added to more social networks, the ad formats on the likes of Facebook and Twitter are also likely to evolve further to drive larger returns and support content promotion to a greater extent. Twitter in particular is working away at making ads more effective for rich content (images, video, etc) as well as for direct response (leads, enquiries, sales, etc) with its ‘Twitter Cards’ and new ‘Buy’ buttons.
Rick Eliason – Senior Digital Marketing Consultant
I think there will be a widespread change of approach to SEO in 2015. I hope that other savvy businesses and marketers will finally recognise that if you want to rank in Google for a keyword, simply posting a one-off page or blog about it doesn’t work, or at least, it isn’t a long-term solution. What does work is creating a mass (or hub) of great content about that keyword, synonyms, and related themes, that as a collective not only helps Google view you as an authority on the subject, but also raises the barriers for competitors to mimic your success!
This also means that when users find your site, they are more likely to stick around because they are presented with related content that they’ll find interesting. Everyone wins.
Scott Wright – Digital Marketing Assistant
I think we’ll continue to see a lot more small business attempting to run their own PPC campaigns as Google continues to promote Adwords Express as a simplistic option for them. I predict this will then lead to an increased number of small businesses seeking agency help when their expectations of PPC are not satisfied from their own attempts.
AdWords Express is a good sell to time and budget restricted businesses – it’s fully automated so requires no major time commitment, just enter a set budget and ad copy and you’re practically good to go. This is the moment alarm bells should be ringing. Anyone with a strong knowledge of Google AdWords will tell you that an untamed and loosely targeted campaign is not the way forward, and manual control and thorough optimisation is the best way to yield positive results.
Google is increasingly making it easier for small businesses, but the easy option is not always the best option!
Are we digital marketing Mystic Megs? We’ll have to wait and see. What is for certain is that 2015 is going to be a hugely exciting year for online marketing, with new opportunities, changes in approach, and the quality, transparent, and experienced marketers coming out on top.
If you’d like to discuss your digital marketing plan for 2015, please get in touch: [email protected] or 0207 734 8273