Online marketing, or digital marketing, has grown rapidly in recent years. Two things are clear: online marketing is here to stay, and its growth is only set to accelerate in the future. The following are four of the trends expected to show themselves in 2015.
1. Content marketing will become increasingly important
Content marketing was one of the stars of 2014, and 2015 is set to continue and accelerate that trend. According to recent reports, more than half of business-to-business marketers are significantly increasing their budgets for content marketing in 2015. In addition, the type of content will shift toward long-form content, such as white papers, long blog posts and in-depth articles. Content marketing is becoming a vehicle not only for companies to market themselves but also to establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche or industry while also generating a loyal community or readership.
At the same time, there will still be a significant market for short-form content, which will primarily be utilized on social media platforms as a way to generate viral content.
2. Social media marketing will increasingly focus on mobile marketing
There are now more than 1 billion smartphone users worldwide. These users represent the most important segment of the Internet economy, as they are the ones who use the Internet the most, are the most engaged, and are most willing to post and share content – thereby contributing to content going viral. As a result, online marketing will continue to focus on content that is optimized for the mobile format, which includes short-form content marketing, as well as social media advertising that is focused on the mobile platforms.
3. Email marketing will evolve
Email is one of the oldest technologies of the Internet and is sometimes overlooked by marketing agencies and departments that might prefer to utilize flashier and more cutting-edge digital marketing strategies. Nevertheless, email remains one of the most important marketing tools available, and 2015 promises to be another big year for email marketing.
That being said, email marketing will also see a significant increase in the number and quality of tools available for marketing campaigns. One of the most significant trends is an increase in email analytics data, which helps marketers determine how often emails are opened and how often the links within those emails are clicked. The ability to determine which emails are most effective can then be used to create more effective email campaigns.
Email is also increasingly being used as a gateway to social media channels. In the past, email was largely considered its own section of an overall marketing strategy. However, the goal of email marketing campaigns is increasingly to drive traffic to social media platforms, where that traffic can be presented with a company’s social media marketing campaign.
4. Digital marketing budgets will increase
Perhaps the most fundamental trend in digital marketing is the fact that the industry is growing rapidly. With the number of Internet users increasing and knowledge about how to monetize that traffic increasing at the same time, it makes sense that budgets directed toward these efforts would grow as well.
According to recent reports, about 80 percent of companies are expected to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2015, with the vast majority of those companies expecting to increase their budgets between 5 and 15 percent.
At the same time, the number of workers in the digital marketing industry is expanding as well, with digital/social, content creation, data/analytics and mobile strategy among the skills most highly valued by marketing agencies hiring new employees.