2015 is going to be an interesting year for marketers. From the unique position of digital marketing recruiter, we got a bird’s eye view of last year’s sweeping changes across the industry. And we expect even more to come from internal and external causes this year.
Before you start planning how you are going to market your business this year, read the predictions below for a leg up on your competition.
Here are seven digital marketing predictions to prepare for in 2015:
#1: Guest Posting will Drop in Effectiveness
If you are an SEO, you’ve probably been using guest posts to build links. Why? Because in recent years they have worked extremely well.
Sure, search engines have given warnings that you shouldn’t do this, but many of you ignore these warnings because you still see the tactic working. You have to keep in mind that it takes large companies like Google a while to adapt their algorithms.
Over the next 12 months, we see Google updating its algorithm to devalue a lot of these links. You won’t necessarily get penalized, assuming you are avoiding rich anchor, but those links won’t help boost your rankings either.
How Google is Taking Action on Guest Blog Abuse for SEO
Video from Google Webmasters
#2 SEO will be Even More Difficult
Remember how the Panda and Penguin updates shook up the SEO industry years ago? I see Google making more of these updates. As for what names they will call these algorithm updates … who knows?
But what I can tell you is that as they make these updates, it will become harder to manipulate search listings. This means you will have to focus on creating a better product or service. And you’ll have to keep improving the content on your website.
Should this stop you from doing any SEO? Of course, not. Instead, it should make you want to focus on it more because you’ll likely see some of your competitors shifting their budgets from SEO to PPC.
#3 Social Takes the Driver’s Seat for Effective Blogging
Can you guess why certain blogs are more popular than others? Sure, quality content plays a huge role. But a lot comes down to the social media accounts.
Many of the most popular blogs don’t have better content than everyone else’s. But they gain huge amounts of traffic and viral traction from their immense social followings.
With a strong and nurtured social network, you make almost any new blog within a niche popular.
Companies will start seeing more value in social media, and they’ll invest heavily in resources and talent to build up their social media accounts and demonstrating social ROI.
Get the social media talent you need to succeed this year. Download our free social media manager interview checklist now!
#4 Marketing via Newspaper will Happen in More Numerous and Creative Ways
Physical newspapers are a dying business. Some people still like reading them, but most people read their news on the web these days.
But the one thing these newspapers have is extremely popular websites. From national ones like The New York Times to regional papers, these companies are looking for new opportunities to make more money.
What they are doing is partnering up with businesses to increase their value. For example, the Union Tribune acquired Discover SD, which was a Groupon-type of site for San Diego.
But before the newspaper purchased the site, it was running deals for Discover SD on its online news site. This created a win/win situation: Discover SD generated more income, and the Union Tribune created a new monetization channel.
Over the next 12 months, expect to see more companies partnering up with regional newspapers as they already have a large audience and are looking for new ways to make more money.
See one way newspapers and advertising are evolving together.
Video from Seriously Simple Marketing
#5 Organizations will Offer Free Software to Generate Interest
Free tools are becoming a really popular form of marketing. From HubSpot’s Grader tool to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, companies are creating free tools in order to generate traffic.
Neil Patel, an influential web marketer, has done this with Quick Sprout, and it works extremely well.
It can work for almost any industry. For example, if you are in the mortgage space, you can always create a mortgage calculator. The possibilities are endless and often extremely cost effective.
#6 Demand in Conversion Optimization will Rise
Companies are willing to pay a LOT of money to boost their conversion rates.
We’re not talking about conversion optimization only from a service perspective. Corporations will start hiring individuals who specialize in conversion optimization.
It’s a unique skill set, but you’ll see a lot more people learning it over the next few years. Why? Because companies are willing to pay a lot of money to boost their conversion rates.
It’s how they are going to combat the increases in advertising costs. Everyone knows they are going up, and sometimes the only solution is to increase your conversion rate.
#7 More Marketing Tools will become Free
Google Analytics is free; Optimizely released a free plan; and even products like Hellobar are available for free.
The number of marketing products that are free will drastically increase over the next 12 months, in part because because small and medium businesses can’t afford to pay for them.
Companies are willing to give you their products (albeit on a limited usage base) free because they know you’ll eventually grow in size. And when you do, they’ll end up charging you when you need their product more extensively.
Marketing tool providers are now basing their decisions on life time value metrics versus going for the short term income. This should benefit a lot of small and medium businesses in the short term stay competitive.
Preparing for the Future
2015 is going to be an interesting year. With the search engines making things a bit more difficult and the business world becoming more transparent, you’ll see new opportunities open up.
Don’t ever be afraid of change. Instead, learn to adapt. If you can adapt before your competition, you can win. (TWEET THIS)
So, what other marketing trends are your preparing for in 2015?
More 2015 Digital Predictions
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