How To Boost Your Brand in the New Year

CS-TopTrends2015-02Top Marketing Trends for 2015

How To Boost Your Brand in the New Year

As we begin January, it’s time to look at the upcoming trends for the year and what to take into account when planning a digital calendar for 2015.

 

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Put Mobile First

 

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This year, instead of building and then optimizing your web for mobile, you should be thinking mobile first and then scaling up.

Over 60% of your potential audience is now using mobile devices over other options. Convince and Convert reported in their story about mobile marketing trends that 70% of mobile user searches lead to online action (read purchase) within one hour.

That’s a powerful indication that in 2015, having a site that is not optimized for mobile devices will be a costly mistake.

Focus Your Content

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It’s crowded in the digital media space. If you don’t believe us, search nearly any topic and you will find long lists of content.

In order to make a wave in that kind of crowd, you must deliver the content that audiences are looking for; meaningful, informative and long form.  Releasing content that doesn’t answer a question or fill a need among your followers will fall flat, but producing content that can be leveraged and re-purposed will get you new advocates.

Pay to Play

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Organic reach is a thing of the past.  No one wants to hear it, but its true. Organic reach has been squeezed down to just 0.073%.  Facebook’s change this month to restrict and filter out unpaid promotional information in user news feeds will not just make it difficult, but nearly impossible for unpaid promotional messages to reach their target audience on the platform.

Twitter has recently improved their advertising. Promotional messages on Twitter are perfect for marketing to younger demographics and differ from other platforms paid advertising in a HUGE way; you are paying for performance-based actions, not retweets, replies or favorites. You only pay for engagement, like click through, conversions, follows, app installs and leads.

Video Should Be Part of the Plan

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The average person has an attention span online of approximately 7 seconds online, that’s one second less than that of a goldfish!  Since 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and those visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, it makes perfect sense that videos get more popular every year.

YouTube is currently the second largest search engine behind Google. Vimeo has introduced a pay to view site; Vimeo on Demand. Vine has 40 million users (a 27 million user increase in just over 6 months). Instagram has now added video to its platform.  These new video options offer a plethora of new options to marketers trying to reach their target audiences on these platforms.

Video apps on iPads, iPhones and Androids are getting better, allowing anyone to use video on their site.  Video offers so many things that text doesn’t, it definitely should be part of your plan.

Diversify Your Platforms

You’re no doubt familiar with diversifying when it comes to finances.  But for years, when it comes to social media platforms, the experts have been telling audiences to have a presence on a few of platforms, but be experts in one.

This information is no longer valid.  Don’t work on platforms that you don’t understand, but any brands doing their own social media should be adept at all of the major platforms.

Along with that, brands should also be early adopters.  Every platform may not work well for marketers in the long run, but you should be getting familiar with new platforms for possible usev later.

 

Optimization

SEO and website optimization will become even more important in 2015.  As Google’’s ranking criteria continues to change, it becomes more important that your site is optimized and that it passes all 23 of the Panda questions.

SEO is undeniably complicated. You can try to work through it yourself using Google’s Webmaster Tools, (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools) but now may be the time to spend some money with an optimization company in order to make sure that your site is going to be ranked high.  Many of these companies charge based on the size of your website starting around $750.

Metrics and Analytics

With the changing of the digital space into a pay to play arena, analytics and return on investment will become even more important.  After many years of intangible ROI and costs for social media messaging going up, more marketing managers are looking to data and analytics to help them determine the success of their messaging.

Visual Branding

YouTube and Vimeo aside, four digital platforms that are based on visuals, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat will continue to grow. Finding new ways to brand on these channels will become more important.  Not only should your company be planning a calendar for Facebook and Twitter, these four visual platforms should also have their places in your messaging.

Customer Service

We cannot stress enough the importance of customer service in 2015.  What that means in social media is one on one engagement. Our audiences are expecting a reply in 30 minutes or less, no matter when they are engaging which can be challenging for small businesses.

Your customer service online could be what sets you apart from your competition.  Let’s face it, when your followers respond in some way to you online and you reply back to them, they feel like they are having a conversation and developing a relationship.  Too many companies never respond to their followers and forgo this opportunity to continue business with these engagers.

What Else to Watch in 2015

Like, Share, Buy

Look forward to direct purchasing on Facebook, Twitter and possibly other platforms.  We all know that Pinterest is the largest path to purchase platform, it has morphed into the space where we keep photos of all the things we want in life, so becoming that online mall was an easy transition. Facebook and Twitter have not been as transparent, but both platforms have been testing this online buying option and we think it will be a big push for them in 2015, which will definitely have an effect on the marketing done on these platforms.

Instagram Will Grow

Have we mentioned enough times that you should be on Instagram if you are not already?  Instagram is growing quickly and attracts a user demographic that spans all ages.  We can’t stress enough the marketing options you have using Instagram, especially now that they have video.

Hello, Ello?

CS-TopTrends2015-19Still in Beta-testing and with the promise that marketers will be kept out, many businesses aren’t even looking at Ello yet.  It remains to be seen if this platform will catch on.  It is less user-friendly and interactive than other channels, but may improve before becoming public.

Do we think that they will be able to keep creative marketers off the site?  Certainly, right after pigs fly.

Linkedin will become more than just a B2B site, they will move into B2C

Linkedin has traditionally been used to connect and as an online resume where you can post your education and work experience. With some of the new updates including being able to post articles online, more followers will be influenced by the information sharing and group interactivity on Linkedin.

Anonymous social media

Sites such as Whisper, Secret, and YikYak have become increasingly popular among tweens and teens as sites where they can post in a community while being completely anonymous.  Parents are up in arms over the sites because they can no longer track their child’s movements through.  However, with online security becoming more and more important, we think that these sites will grow in popularity, even though we all know that nothing on the internet is actually anonymous.

Wearable Technology

Apple Watch, Virtual Reality Glasses, Smart Glasses, Drones for Selfies and more.  The Consumer Electronics show in early January previewed many new wearable products.  Even with the decline of Google glasses, other smart glasses are being developed, affordable virtual reality is on the horizon and the Apple Watch is set to come out early in 2015. These new developments may usher in a whole new level of wearable technology in the upcoming year.

2015 Is Going to be a great year for social media make sure your brand is ready to prosper.