As we’re now into the middle of December, it seems that 2014 has been and gone in a blink of an eye; we guess time flies when you’re working hard and having fun.
At The Media Octopus we’ve had a fantastic year: we celebrated our first birthday in October, have acquired an extensive range of clients while trebling our team in size to meet the growing demand for our services. Our efforts have been also recognised, with nominations including Best Newcomer and Best Agency at the Talk of Manchester awards, plus our Head of Agency, Rich Wood, recently won the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year title at the Downtown in Business Mancoolian 14 awards. It’s non-stop in the digital marketing world!
With plans already in place to further expand our team as we continue to develop innovative strategies for new and existing clients, we thought we’d take a look back some of the key trends marketers should be thinking about for digital strategies coming up in 2015 to ensure you’re ahead of the game…
MOBILE COMES FIRST
This may not be breaking news, but the age of the smartphone is here and people are spending more time on mobile than ever before. With 90% of US millennials admitting to having their phones by their side 24/7, according to stats from a June 2014 study by Mitek and Zogby Analytics, Facebook has also shown that while overall daily active users grew by 8% in 2014, mobile daily active users increased by 15% while mobile-only daily active users grew by a significant 34%.
This is important as where Facebook goes, others are likely to follow so be aware of a the growing social on mobile trend. When trying to please those impressionable and influential youngsters, smartphone-optimised sites and apps are becoming increasingly important to have from a brand perspective, so don’t be left behind. When planning future campaigns for 2015, start with mobile and plan to ‘scale up’ on desk/laptop as opposed to the other way round.
IMMERSION OVER INTEGRATION
Customers expect information to be accessible in an instant at the click of a button – whatever device they are using. Integration is not enough any more; the need to create a consistent brand experience across multiple platforms, both online and offline, is much more important than a niche platform approach.
Brands need to have a presence and offer information wherever their target audience are searching; listening to the mobilised consumer is crucial if they want to be at the forefront of their mind during busy and demanding lifestyles.
ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Understanding the user experience has always been paramount, but 2015 will be the year e-commerce brands really step up their game. With more competition popping up within various industries fighting for customer attention, brands must be more savvy when it comes to thinking about not only capturing their attention, but also keeping them attached and engaged throughout the acquisition journey.
Tracking customer acquisition, implementing loyalty schemes and offering a seamless experience between desktop and mobile will be a focus for brands aiming to retain consumers in the purchase cycle. Brands also need to consider developing a more personalised approach for each individual, from automation to direct response feedback, to provide a more customised experience in the purchase cycle.
Forget thinking about social media as a free-place market and invest in smart social advertising. This is the way forward as social advertising spend continues to rise and Facebook’s ad products continue to lead the way in terms of sophistication, as others follow and launch ad products.
Brands should think about digging deep on audience segmentation and targeting on advertising on the smart platforms most suitable; take advantage of it now while organic reach and engagement is high.
BE SMART ABOUT CONTENT
Content has always been a crucial part of the marketing mix across various channels, from websites and newsletters to paid search and social media. The challenge still remains: creating content that is valuable, meaningful and informative, which remains the same for the approaching year and will continue to be a focus point for marketers across various industries.
The key here for 2015 is being smart with leveraging and re-purposing good quality content. Finding avenues to distribute a strong piece in multiple ways to get more from it is the way forward – for instance, a white paper could be translated into an infographic, Slideshare, video and podcast, squeezing out the insightful information into different media forms to suit various audiences.
VIDEO IS HERE TO STAY
We talk about video quite a lot – you may have seen our infographic on making social video work for your brand – and there’s a strong reason behind this. It’s becoming a highly valuable addition to marketing strategies, but is extending from simply putting a TV ad on YouTube and considering video marketing ‘complete’. With other platforms like Vine, Instagram video and Vimeo, there is increasing interaction with video outside of YouTube which marketers should consider for 2015.
Identify how video can be integrated into your marketing channels and see past the preconception that it is difficult and expensive; look into creative ways of producing content to present key information in the most effective ways.
So there we go, just some of the upcoming trends we can expect in the approaching year. If you’ve got any other insights or pointers we’ve missed, please comment on the post or tweet us @TheMediaOctopus and tell us!
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