Changes and advancements in the digital marketing field are accelerating as fast as technology. As 2014 comes to an end, Forbes magazine recently published its’ list of online marketing trends expected for 2015. There are some great take-aways for financial advisors to consider when planning their 2015 online marketing strategies.
- Mobile-optimization will become more important than ever. Businesses will finally incorporate mobile into all areas of their digital marketing: a fully responsive website, mobile ads, and separate content specifically for mobile website users. Businesses will also begin to realize the necessity of having a mobile social media strategy which considers how mobile users consume and interact with social media posts.
- Social media ad spend will sharply increase as brands realize the importance of social media marketing. Businesses are seeing positive results from their investment in social media, including increased exposure and traffic, and are seeing paid social ads as the way to scale these results. Twitter’s new advertising options (currently in beta), where payment is triggered by specific actions like: website clicks, app downloads, and email opt-ins, will mean small- to medium-sized businesses will be more likely to invest in these objective-based campaigns.
- Content marketing will be bigger than ever. According to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report, 93 percent of B2B marketers said they used content marketing in 2014, and 42 percent said they considered their strategy effective (up from 36 percent last year). As marketers continue to see the benefits of their content strategies, money previously earmarked for search engine PPC (pay per click), SEO (search engine optimization), and social media will be re-allocated to content marketing efforts. A major struggle, however, will be finding ways to stand out amongst the throngs of other content vying for attention. Case studies, video content, research-intensive content, and content which abides by the 12 quality metrics will give businesses an advantage over their competitors.
- Email marketing will receive a renewed focus. Brands will begin to realize the necessity of differentiating themselves from their competitors when it comes to email marketing. A renewed focus on email marketing will intertwine with content marketing to blur the lines between email and content marketing.
- The lines between SEO, content marketing, and social media will become more blurred. SEO will come to be seen more as a subset of online marketing, dealing with technical aspects such as meta tags, indexing issues, penalty recovery, and keyword research. Social media, on the other hand, will come to be seen as a necessary amplifier of any content strategy. Businesses will also increasingly realize the other important benefits of social media, including increased brand recognition and brand authority, improved customer insights, and higher conversion rates.
- Brands will scramble to humanize. With the rise of social media, brands will realize their customers are on social media channels to interact with other people, not with brands and corporate-sounding lingo. Brands connecting with their audience on a human-level will enjoy higher conversion rates, better brand loyalty, faster audience growth, and happier customers.
- Marketers will find new ways of making native advertising less promotional and more relevant. With steadily decreasing click-through rates over the past few years and the increase in popularity of native ads, marketers and publishers will constantly be looking for new ways to mimic editorial content, while remaining transparent to website visitors. Next year will see collaborations between publishers and brands, whereby sponsored content is specifically created to be shown alongside the primary content. In this way, native ads will not be promotional in nature, but instead will offer relevant and engaging supplementary content.
*Advisors – please ensure your use of social media is compliant with your firms’ policies.
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