The online marketing landscape is always changing and continuing to accelerate, and for the average business it’s hard to keep up. So, as we begin 2015 here’s what we predict will dominate online marketing.
SEO, Content Marketing & Social Media
Content marketing is what many of us in online marketing consider the “New SEO”. Traditional search engine optimization along with content marketing will co-exist as two separate but mixed practices that will need to rely on each other for success. That said, content marketing is now the primary influencer of search visibility. Businesses which choose not to invest in a solid content strategy will quickly learn that their previous SEO campaigns are less effective and perhaps even damaging to their search visibility.
SEO is soon going to be seen as a single component of online marketing, handling more of the technical aspects such as meta tags, meta descriptions, indexing, penalty recovery, and keyword analysis. Social media marketing, on the other hand, will evolve as an amplifier of all content strategy. While businesses have been busy creating quality content, less focus has been put on promoting and distributing that content. That will change in 2015.
While social platforms continue to restrict visibility of brands and businesses, and with search engines frightening business owners with increased complexity of their search algorithms, businesses will turn to the one marketing strategy that they have complete control over – their email list. In 2015 the focus on email marketing will mix with content marketing to soften the lines between email and content.
As businesses continue to adopt their content marketing strategies, they’ll soon begin to learn ways to use their content in email marketing campaigns more effectively. This will streamline their marketing efforts to make their marketing messages more cohesive.
When it comes to email marketing businesses will begin to realize the need to differentiate themselves from their competition. In a 2014 study, survey respondents reported a significant decline in how often they purchased a product or service from email messages they had received (35% said “never” in 2014 compared to 25% in 2011). This research proves the importance of businesses creating a more human-level marketing strategy with their email campaigns rather than just attempting to make a fast sale.
While optimizing for mobile traffic has been a huge priority for businesses in 2014, in 2015 we will more of a demand for mobile strategy. This means not only having a responsive website, but focusing on mobile-optimized content.
As we know Google has been placing more emphasis on mobile-friendly websites; in fact, they’ve stated that mobile usability is now “relevant for optimal search results.” This emphasis is apparent in the recent launch of a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools called Mobile Usability.
Finally, with the continued adoption of social media, businesses will realize that their customers are on social media channels to interact with their friends, family and co-workers, not with their business. Those businesses which are capable of connecting with their audience on a human-level will see higher conversion rates, better customer loyalty, quicker audience growth, and happier consumers.
A businesses ability to connect on a human-level will be the single most important factor in their social media marketing. Those businesses who engage and cultivate relationships with their social media audiences will see tremendous benefits in 2015.