In spite of the fast evolving and ever changing SEO landscape, and associated greater content competition, the vast majority of marketers managed to survive the trials and tribulations of 2014. Several lessons will have been learnt and certain less effective tactics are probably best left behind and consigned to the dustbin of search history.
But let’s now move on and take some time to look forward to the next 12 months with anticipation, excitement and, hopefully, some reassurance for you as a marketeer!
While nobody truly knows what the future has in store, it is still possible to come up with a few calculated and carefully considered predictions. Not all of them will be correct, but it is better to be prepared for these possible scenarios.
Google’s Knowledge Graph will keep on expanding
Although Google has been providing instantaneous answers for various search queries through its Knowledge Graph for quite some time, you can expect this in-built search feature to grow and expand exponentially throughout 2015.
In addition to undercutting online tool vendors by building its own solutions like timers and calculators, you can expect Google’s semantic brain to become even more intelligent. This could be bad news for certain content publishers, but others will want to take advantage of Google’s Knowledge Graph by partnering up with the search engine giant.
Big brands will start to buy online publications and blogs
This topic has been discussed for quite some time and is something that Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, believes will happen. With so much content out there, big brands are struggling to stand out in the crowd and sometimes can’t even build an audience at all by themselves!
However, they could effectively buy their target market by purchasing an online publication or blog. This might not go down well with existing fans or subscribers, but it does give organisations the opportunity to position their message right in front of authentic target audiences that are receptive to their messaging.
Wearable technology will either succeed or fail
Okay, so this might not be a conclusive prediction either way, but 2015 could once and for all decide whether wearable technology is something marketers need to take seriously or just another passing fad that doesn’t require much attention.
Last year, several top industry commentators were suggesting that Google Glass would require a change in approach for many online marketers due to its ability to search for nearby businesses and receive, and display, near instantaneous results to the user. But seeing as Google has put a stop to all sales of its smart glasses, the future looks a little bleak for wearable technology. However, that could change in the near future if, for instance, the Apple Watch and Oculus Rift really take off.
Videos (and YouTube celebrities) will become even more important
When it comes to creating great content, most marketers would likely concentrate on things like blog posts and infographics. But 2015 could be the year that video becomes the content medium of choice, as they are extremely beneficial in a variety of different ways.
Great for product demonstrations or providing virtual tours of a business, videos also grab the audience’s attention, keep viewers engaged and are very shareable. But for brands incapable of creating their own movies, the growing number of YouTube celebrities will come as good news. Pay these hugely influential bloggers to speak highly of your brand or products and they’ll relay this information to their own expectant, and often faithful, audience.
Some social networks will thrive while others could close
Although a recent study found that Facebook remains the world’s biggest social media site, other networks are gaining momentum fast. Instagram is on the rise rapidly and continues to attract scores of new users, while Pinterest’s promoted pins could cause this image-centric network to become its own advertising platform altogether.
But it isn’t good news for everyone, as Foursquare (and/or Swarm) doesn’t receive much attention these days and could quite easily close down. Its location and check-in data is very valuable and may appeal to some buyers, but you fear the time has come for this particular service.
Instant (and transient) will, we believe, continue to rise in dominance so watch this space!
Native advertisements will become more popular
Despite the fact that most of the world’s leading brands still seem to remain intent on pursuing organic reach and exposure through tactics like content marketing, advertisements are still an effective and influential medium. But if you are going to pay for promotion and publicity in 2015, think about choosing native advertisements.