Are you wondering which digital marketing trends are going to dominate 2015 and which ones will die?
I asked 10 marketing experts what their thoughts are on digital marketing trends for 2015 and was shocked to hear a lot of similar predictions come up. I didn't brief any of them on what the other experts had said so every answer was genuine and unprovoked.
One thing is certain...there is a dramatic shift towards paid social media advertising in 2015 as organic reach continues to decline on Facebook and potentially other networks as they surge in popularity. There is only so much attention to go around and 2015 will see businesses fighting tooth and nail to get their slice of the action.
Here's what the experts had to say when I asked them which digital marketing trends they see dying in 2015 and which trends they see catching more steam.
1. Get Ready For Paid Social
2015 will see both the death of unreasonable expectations from organic social media and the corresponding further growth of paid social.
Countless business owners have come up to me and said that they're doing everything they should be doing on social media but achieving little, if any, results.
This is happening because every business owner is competing for your attention against other people as well as bigger brands with more resources to spend on both organic and paid social.
If social media was made for people and not for businesses, businesses will always be at a disadvantage. This disadvantage is clear today and the only way to both beat your competition and compensate for those disadvantages is to establish a budget for paid social to supplement your organic storytelling.
Founder, Maximize Social Business
2. Content Libraries Are The New Attraction
I see the act of list building via the single bait piece such as an eBook going away and being replaced with the use of content libraries that attract community members.
In other words, instead of signing up to get blog posts or a generic email newsletter, list builders will offer access to a growing library of useful information that someone will join and consume based on the content that interests them most.
Founder, Duct Tape Marketing
3. Communities Will Overtake Pages
As social networks like Facebook gear more and more towards "pay to play", more people are gravitating towards platforms, groups and communities that allow for one-on-one conversations with others and a feed that is minimally "filtered".
Awesome organic reach on Facebook is still possible and you can get great results with paid ads but the hey-day of businesses solely relying on a profile or page has passed.
Across social networks there is a shift towards Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Google+ communities, Twitter chats, Pinterest boards and hashtag conversations. It's a shift back to conversations that we control vs. newsfeeds that are out of our control.
It's in our DNA to tell stories, connect, debate and discuss. It makes sense to me that we will see marketers get creative to find more "human" ways of interacting with fans and pay more attention to platforms that allow more direct communication. It's a more enjoyable interaction, builds trust and ultimately results in sales and revenue.
Founder, Socially Sorted
4. The Death of Silo Marketing
Silo marketing will die by necessity in 2015 and rightfully so. Silo marketing in social media began early on as businesses gravitated to one social network and focused solely on that platform for their marketing. This was the restaurant that only had a Facebook Page or the business that had a great YouTube channel but nothing else.
In 2015, that doesn't work...it's about integration.
Content on your blog is critical. It must be amplified and engaged with on social media to drive visitors back to your site where lead capture moves them into your email nurture process! Content, social media and email will all work in tandem to deliver results.
5. Pinterest Is Out, Instagram Is In
I have noticed a distinct drop in the interest and discussions around Pinterest recently and a sharp rise in folks interested in Instagram. As a caveat, I have never been very good at Pinterest as I'm a B2B company servicing B2B clients.
I find this rather fascinating, as they are both similar and absolutely reliant on visuals. From what I can see in my very focused world, for some reason, Instagram is pulling ahead of the game and that's where I'll be investing more of my time in 2015.
Viveka Von Rosen
Author, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day
6. Social Media-Specific Campaigns Are No More
One digital marketing trend that I think is dying is social-media specific campaigns. In 2014 we started to see a small shift in businesses no longer using Facebook to host their apps (campaigns) but a majority of businesses were still relying on the single social network as their "hub."
In 2015, I believe we'll see a big shift towards businesses being "platform-agnostic" and using campaigns that work everywhere with differing levels of engagement.
Zipcar UK is an example of a business who stopped hosting their campaigns on Facebook and embedded them on their website instead. As a result, their participation has increased 717% and campaign page visits have increased 203%.
Building a marketing campaign for multiple channels is expensive and with audiences expanding their presence, businesses will shift their offerings to be "everywhere" so their messages can be seen.
7. No More Algorithm Chasing
The trend I hope that is dying in 2015 is lazy marketers chasing the Facebook algorithm. You should be aware of it and pay attention to changes, but chasing the algorithm is like a dog chasing its tail. It leads to nothing but heartache and pain.
In 2015, I think we're seeing businesses move back to posting more original content (videos, graphics and blog posts) and posting less memes and fluff on social media. We've lost the human touch on social media and it's time we got it back!
Author, Facebook All-In-One For Dummies
8. The Content Marketing Revolution
I see a lot of social media marketers shifting towards re-branding themselves as content marketers in 2015.
This is part of a bigger trend among all kinds of marketers, especially search optimizers and PR professionals.
A year from now, when everyone calls themselves a content strategist, clients and employers will need to dig deeper to learn what the preferred channels are for that professional.
2015 will also be the year that people learn the difference between marketing automation and content marketing. Too many companies have signed up (and pay big money) for marketing automation tools but they're really only using these tools as glorified email marketing systems.
This will be the year that businesses get smart about this. Many will cancel their marketing automation contracts and others will learn that they need to actually be active in marketing before it makes sense to automate it.
People who drank the kool aid are putting down their cups and realizing that they don't need an expensive marketing automation platform to do content marketing. This will be a revelation for many businesses in the New Year.
Author, Content Chemistry
9. Paid Fans & Followers Services Will Die
The number one digital marketing trend I see dying in 2015 is the "get more fans & followers" trend. As crazy as it may sound, it's still a goal too many businesses are pursuing. Don't believe me? Go in Google Keyword Planner and check the volume of searches for "get more fans", "get more followers" or even "buy followers". You'll be shocked.
This is not sustainable. Businesses will soon all realize that this was useless and that they need to take a different approach.
The trend I see growing in 2015 is that businesses will start to be much more selective with their social media efforts and reducing (or even stopping) them when no evidence of benefit can be demonstrated.
On the other hand, they'll become smarter at figuring out what works and then focusing their energy there. The market is maturing and that's a good thing!
10. The Year of Social Advertising
2015 is the year of social advertising. Now that many of the social sites have some type of ad platform, and Facebook is basically requiring businesses to have some ad budget for anything promotional, it is time for business owners to understand social ads.
The targeting that you can do on social sites is amazing and businesses should be taking advantage of it. Plus, there is a great capability to track your conversions and understand which targeting and platform works best for you.
Understand how to do split testing, optimize your ads and track your conversions on each platform and you will be effective.
Author, Facebook Marketing For Dummies
Digital Marketing Trends For 2015: Key Takeaways
- Businesses will increase budgets for paid social in 2015
- We'll be seeing a shift with social media experts re-branding themselves as content marketing experts
- Businesses will get "platform agnostic" and leverage multiple social media platforms as opposed to putting all their eggs in one basket
- Chasing algorithms is not a sustainable strategy in 2015
- It's time to take Instagram more seriously (especially for B2C businesses)
- Decrease focus on one social media platform in favor of a more integrated approach
- More focus on one-on-one communication via groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and through Twitter chats
- The big attraction for email subscribers in 2015 will be content libraries instead of free eBooks or reports
- The paid fans/followers trend will die
Take what you will, it's fascinating to see how many experts felt compelled to mention the subject of declining organic reach and the need for paid social ads. Social media still offers the best demographic targeting abilities through it's advertising systems but catering your content to an algorithm that's constantly changing will not be sustainable.
My personal takeaway from all the advice given here was to focus on creating incredible content while seriously considering increasing your budget to expand the reach of that content. Also ensure that you have a compelling offer to convert those visitors into email subscribers - the classic "free report" and 20-page eBook might not cut it anymore.
What are some digital marketing trends you see dying in 2015? Which do you see catching steam? Let us know in the comments below.