The year 2015 proved to be a defining one for continuing advancements in the digital space. An article published by Forbes in November 2014 predicted successful marketing strategies for the next year. The term “agility marketing” was used to describe companies that obtain more consumer data, are capable of faster adaption, have shorter lead times and provide real-time marketing. The successful digital marketers in 2015 have learned to adapt to these new methods brought upon by the transition of traditional to digital.
1) Google’s announcement in April of its modified search algorithm— which rewards websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms– is arguably the top marketing movement of 2015. Because the number of mobile users has surpassed desktop users in recent years, this new addition to the algorithm forced almost all businesses to optimize their websites to improve user experience on mobile devices in order to stay competitive. And of course those late adopters who still haven’t optimized for mobile are either blindly unaware or don’t realize how not being a part of the 21st century is impacting their business. Mobile SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become more important as a result of this algorithm change. In addition, Google announced their use of machine learning, or an artificial intelligence system, as a part of their search algorithm process– foreshadowing future technological advancements for the year 2016.
Other notable digital marketing movements in 2015 include:
2) An increase in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and SEO campaigns. Adam Thompson, 10x digital director states, “2015 continued the general overall trend of PPC being gradually more complicated, with more features, tools, etc.” He goes on to explain that the ability to target Google ads to a list of email addresses, a feature that was previously used by Facebook, was introduced this year. In addition, “2015 was relatively quiet in the SEO world, although content-based link earning is still the king. Editorial links continue to be the goal targeted by all the good SEO’s, yet Google is still far from perfect at filtering out or penalizing spammy links,” he added.
3) Personalized communication in the form of content marketing as well as producing platform specific content has seen a huge increase in 2015. Businesses are gaining a better understanding of publishing content that both builds brand awareness and communicates effectively with their audience. With each social channel and the variety of each audience group, content creation must be customized in order to see maximum engagement. The article 5 Marketing Trends in 2015 That You Can’t Ignore states, “your content marketing plan, your email communication—even your offline marketing efforts—need to be more about connecting with, educating and engaging your supporters and less about the pitch.” For digital marketers (and those who want to be an active part of this group), these changes in the industry are important milestones for the year and need to be heeded for optimal marketing practices.