In 2014, we’ve witnessed digital marketing spending average one quarter of marketing spend, and Gartner’s recent Digital Marketing Spending report asserts that over half of the companies surveyed plan to increase their digital marketing budget by 17 per cent. Global brands lacking digital savvy were playing catch up in an attempt to finally acknowledge and address where the industry has been going for some time: toward faster, mobile, real-time, more targeted, automatic marketing. For a long time, advertisers were viewed as the predominant tastemakers, but now technology has literally put the power in the peoples’ hands. Consumers, now accustomed to the control and thirsty for more, will drive the next wave of marketing trends for 2015 with more influence, agency and social power. Here’s what to expect:
Influencer marketing will soar
Social media influencers are the new celebrity ambassadors. Visual platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine have transformed everyday consumers into brand influencers. These “instastars” have amassed a large legion of followers and fans just by being socially savvy and relatable– and it’s been a huge benefit to brands, which is why we’ll certainly see more influencer/brand collaborations in 2015. The market for these influencers will steadily increase and we’ll also see more technology suited to leverage opportunities and match brands with relevant influencers in a way that’s organic, yet mutually beneficial.
Social media Desaturation
To say social media is crowded is an understatement. Though social networks are a gold mine for native advertising, users don’t want to be bombarded with ads, relevant or not. Therefore, brands that have struggled to standout on social media in the past will really have to rethink strategies for 2015 as things just got a little bit tougher with Facebook’s announcement to limit reach for brands’ unpaid, organic posts starting in January 2015. The message is clear: step up and get more creative with native advertising or allocate a larger budget for social media.
Mobile is a strategy, not a campaign. Learn it. Live it.
We’re seeing more brands embracing mobile, but as a campaign and not a full-fledged strategy. In fact, The CMO Council published a report stating that, of 250 marketing participants surveyed, only 17 percent had mobile strategies fully integrated and operational with their overall marketing. That needs to change in 2015, and it will as more companies come to understand the value of mobile marketing as a unique ad experience and way to engage consumers with content specifically crafted for mobile. Screens are larger and consumers are hungry for highly-engaging visual content they can access via mobile device. Brands that can oblige will win.
Content marketing channels are opening up
The content you create, curate and share can be one of your best marketing tools. However, it’s not just about branding, but actually being a thought leader with a presence on a variety of different channels. Blogging is nice, but it’s time to think bigger. If content is still king then content marketing channels are queen. To get content marketing right in 2015, you will need to understand where your power to influence lies, whether it be via blogs, social videos, podcasts, or elsewhere. Opening up your channels allows you to hit a variety of targets with a consistent brand message.
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Marketers will take more risks than ever before
The stakes are higher and attention in shorter, so don’t be surprised to see traditional marketing fade more into the background. 2015 will be all about taking high risks in exchange for immense rewards. From advertisers experimenting with Snapchat, to social media accounts like iHop taking a trendy approach to their marketing, which are all efforts to appeal to younger demographics, brands are stepping out of the box to grab consumers and standout amongst the growing competition. May the odds be ever in your favor.