When you're looking at the factors that'll be the most influential in determining search engine rankings, it's essential to remember that long-form, high-quality content with plenty of social media actions is going to be one of the biggest deciders. Something else that's worth bearing in mind is that longer content is usually going to bring in more attention on social media, so it wouldn't even matter if social signals weren't resulting in higher rankings, there's still plenty of benefits from adding depth to your content.
It's sure to say that SEO's going to remain as a primary aspect of the marketing mix, but it's on track to be more and more about technical features such as meta tags, indexing issues and keyword research. Search engine rankings are set to become driven by content marketing.
1. Content marketers are going to evolve their email marketing.
Email marketing's typically seen as a good way of distributing already existing content and to promote content and products to all the subscribers listed. But that's all going to change - the old model is steadily decreasing in its effectiveness and marketers are going to need to look at new ways to make use of email content marketing.
A Hubspot survey was recently carried out that found that people are actually less likely than they've ever been before to buy something from an email that they've received. Add that to the fact that spam's becoming more of a nuisance to people and they're more easily picking up on what's what. The solution to the issue is to create compelling, relevant email content that's enjoyable and engaging for your subscribers.
2. Social media marketing is going to link with content marketing.
One of the biggest methods for businesses to distribute their content is via social media sharing, seeing as it's so effective in amplifying content. It's certainly true to say that the majority of marketers already knew about this, but in 2015 we're going to be noticing businesses paying much more attention to social media. It's pretty much essential for any distribution model.
Social media distribution and the increasing amount of focus that's being put on it is going to result not only in a boost to organic usage, it's also going to boost paid social media advertising. Social ads will be used by smart marketers to massively extend their content's reach, generating leads by gating content that's being advertised.
3. Advertisements won't be clear as before - marketers will have to opt for ads that integrate with content.
You might have already noticed the increase in native advertising in big name publishers such as Forbes, BuzzFeed to local publishers like Dhaka Insider. Banner ads are becoming more and more unpopular, which is largely down to consumers clicking on to the fact that they're seeing an actual advertisement. One of the few benefits of banner ads will simply be brand visibility. Branded content, sponsored content, advertorials and other native ads will dominate as the most effective and popular advertisement strategy.
Similarly to how it works in the movies, advertisements are going to have to be cleverly placed within excellent content rather than coming across as remotely spammy. Advertisers and publishers are going to work together to make sure that paid content's working transparently and seamlessly with existing content. Steve Carell working at Ecigsopedia explains how native advertising works for them, "Native advertising brings absolutely amazing results when you compare it with text based/banner ads. It works best when you can create content informs, educates and entertains. Native advertising brings a whole new meaning to advertisements for both advertisers and publishers."
4. Guest blogging's going to rebuild its reputation as a good content marketing strategy.
People began to steer well clear of guest blogging after Matt Cutts called it "done" earlier in the year. It turned out that his comments were misinterpreted and he later explained that he was simply trying to discourage marketers from using guest blogging just as a link building strategy.
Legitimate guest blogging isn't about advertorials or article marketing; it's about providing relevant, great content to high-end publishers. And there's not much more to it, there's no secret formula at all. It's all down to the actual quality of what you're providing people with.
While we've seen guest blogging taking a lot of abuse throughout the year, in 2015 we're going to see it rise once again as a highly-effective strategy.