In this highly connected world we live in, online marketing is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s a “must-have”.
Companies are becoming savvier about using online marketing tactics to drive success – which means competition has never been fiercer.
If you want to stay one step ahead of the competition, you need to be aware of the trends in online marketing and capitalize on their benefits.
Here are 6 online marketing trends to embrace in 2015:

Online marketing trends1.     The Ability to Target Content (Like We Target Ads Today)

Targeting online ads is now a common practice. Online technology grows increasingly sophisticated in its ability to discern information about demographics and users’ interests, and target them accordingly.
According to some experts, the next extension of this trend will be to use targeting tools to target content. This will provide relevant, personalized content for users as they browse.
These tools will, at first, only be accessible for medium or large content publishers; however, they will eventually emerge in forms that are widely available and practical for all online content producers (like small businesses!).

2.     Content Marketing Will Become Even More Important

As we’ve discussed frequently in our online marketing blogs, content marketing is one of the central building blocks for an effective online marketing strategy.
Businesses need to consistently publish relevant, quality content for their audiences. Start with a blog, and then begin to diversify your content with case studies, videos, infographics, or even podcasts.
According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarkingProfs’ 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research study, the number of businesses who are investing in, and seeing results from, a content marketing strategy are growing.
Here are some of the findings:

  • 93% of marketers use content marketing (compared to 91% in 2013)
  • 73% of marketers are producing more content now than they were a year ago
  • 58% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget (compared to 54% in 2013)

Content marketing is a powerful tool that businesses – B2B or B2C – can’t afford to ignore.

3.     Paid Social Media Activity Will Become a Necessity

Facebook “Like” campaigns, Twitter promoted tweets, LinkedIn ads – these are great ways to boost your content to more people.
Many companies are active on social media and they are seeing the positive results of engagement. However, as more businesses participate in social media, users are finding that their feeds are bombarded with too many company messages, and not enough from their own contacts.
To combat this, social media networks – particularly Facebook – have begun restricting how many people will see an organic post from a business.
This means we need to be prepared to pay for advertising and promoted content on these networks.
Paid advertisements on social media networks can be particularly effective in achieving specific goals, such as getting more followers, driving people to your company’s website, or promoting a particular product or service.
As this trend gains steam in 2015, companies will likely find it difficult to get their content seen on social networks without giving it a paid boost.

4.     Marketing Automation Will Be a Key Differentiator

Email marketing to a high quality opt-in list is an extremely effective business development tactic.
Marketing automation takes email marketing to the next level. With marketing automation, you can put processes in place to allow the software to learn about each contact based on his or her interaction with the emails and landing pages (Did they open the email? Did they click a specific link? Did the download a whitepaper that was offered?). Then, the system will refine the content that is sent to each individual contact to better reflect their needs, preferences, and position in the buying cycle.
Businesses who adopt marketing automation more effectively nurture their leads, giving them a key competitive advantage.
It’s automation that moves us closer to one-to-one marketing.

5.     SEO Will Increasingly Rely on Signals from Content and Social Media

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for making sure people find your website when they search for what you do.
While the more technical aspects of SEO (page titles, meta descriptions, keyword research) remain important, search engines like Google are putting ever greater emphasis on quality content and social media signals.
SEO, content development/creation and distribution, and social engagement are deeply intertwined and the lines continue to blur.
To be successful, you must work toward integrating these activities into a cohesive, comprehensive online marketing approach.

6.     Optimization for Mobile Is Essential to Success

In 2014, we reached a tipping point with mobile: roughly half of people accessing the web are doing so from a mobile device. And the trend suggests mobile Internet use will increase further in 2015.
That means that your website needs to be optimized for mobile, your content needs to be easily digestible from mobile, and your calls to action need to be accessible through mobile (e.g. a clickable “call us now” button on the mobile version of your website’s homepage).

Looking Forward

The Internet is rapidly evolving. The tools, technologies, and capabilities available to businesses today allow us to reach a wider audience with a greater degree of personalization than ever before.
Companies who take advantage of these trends will have the most success with their online marketing efforts; generating more new leads, converting more leads into customers, and keeping those customers coming back.
>> Core Online Marketing is an outsourced digital marketing agency with a focus on business results. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your company grow in 2015.

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Ben Molfetta
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