What's in Store for Digital Marketing in 2015
In 1991 Sir Tim Berners Lee launched the world’s very first website. 25 years later, there are 3 billion Internet users online and the world has created one billion websites and counting.
The amount of information we are storing and searching is growing exponentially. And yet, only a fraction of the global population have Internet access – there are still a further 4 billion people waiting to come online, located mainly in the Middle East and Africa.
All of the developments we’ve seen to date in Digital Marketing are merely the rumbling of wheels before take-off. From social networks to devices, video to search engines, here’s what to expect in 2015 and beyond!
The Flight of the Millennials
It’s no secret that Facebook has lost the ‘awesome’ factor with its youngest demographic. In 2015, we’ll see Millennials continue to leave Facebook in favour of other social networks, such as Snapchat and (Facebook-owned) Instagram. Latest figures from Piper Jaffray’s twice annual teen survey has U.S. teens now describing Instagram as "most important," whilst in the same survey, Facebook and Twitter lost ground. The survey also found that 83% of teens in wealthy households were on Instagram.
The continued migration of young users in 2015 will suppress Facebook’s ability to reach and be relevant to 13-18 year olds and leave it in a place it’s not used to being… looking up at the cool kids, wanting to be more liked.
Crunch Time for Google+
This might just be the year that Google+ receives a much needed overhaul; completely reworked, rebranded or put out to pasture altogether.
Google+ has a dedicated core user base in the many millions, across many countries. It also has some undeniably positive attributes (such as its Communities feature, Hangouts and the recent interactive polls). However, it has not succeeded in becoming a real social network rival to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, FaceTime or even Snapchat. It’s not the ‘go-to’ platform for any particular age group, demographic or device. It’s not particularly big in Japan, the UK, the US or anywhere else.
Unless Google takes drastic action, such as an acquisition or strategic partnership with another platform, it may be time for Google’s investors cut their losses and get back to their core strengths –of which Google+ is not one.
Smartphone and Tablet takeover
Only four years ago, in April 2010, Apple launched the first iPad. Many people thought it would never catch on. Later that year, the fourth generation iPhone launched, selling 1.7 million units in the first three days. It smashed Apple’s sales records for a new product.
In 2014, Smartphones and Tablets now account for two in every five search marketing clicks, compared to just one in twenty back in 2010. Laptops and desktop computers are seeing a rapid decline in popularity as Tablets take over as our favourite device in the home, as the Device Click Share graph below displays. At Latitude, we predict that by summer 2015, Smartphones and Tablets will account for more than half of all search marketing clicks.
However, a word of warning. If your site doesn’t provide an excellent user experience across all devices, you may be penalised, as Google will continue in 2015 to integrate new algorithm elements to reduce the organic visibility of sites that provide a poor mobile and tablet experience.
Video Ads on Mobile
Video rose to the forefront of the advertising arena in 2014, but in 2015, it will be all about getting video ads integrated with mobile devices. This means that all online video advertisements will need to be created with mobile devices in mind to maximise the engagement levels with the consumer.
To be effective, video ads streaming from a mobile device will need to be quick and seamless so they don't unnecessarily disturb the user's browsing experience. Attention to the length of the ad, font and image sizes, when the ads appear and how they stream to the user will be key considerations for all.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
We have moved on from a world where billboard and magazine adverts are shot out in the dark to consumers who have little control over what they see or ingest. In 2015, personalisation will become the key way of increasing engagement levels and gaining the attention of consumers, as brands now recognise it as a much more sophisticated take on traditional database segmentation.
To enable personalisation of marketing messages, you must first have the data, freely supplied by the user or information inferred or collected with tags from your site and matched up with third party data (such as that owned by Callcredit Information Group). Tailoring web experiences to different segments of users through personalisation redefines the purpose of previously static web page or banner ad, delivering messages to users that speak directly to them, increasing engagement and performance as a result.
The Rise of Programmatic Premium
The programmatic marketplace as a whole is maturing and expected to continue to mature in 2015 to include higher-quality inventory and new ad formats. It has been predicted that programmatic ad spend is set to account for 63% of all display advertising spend by 2016, with eMarketer attributing the expected rise to the rapid adoption of private marketplaces and programmatic direct deals.
Programmatic premium is a means of automating much of the Display advertising buy/sell process, allowing advertisers to purchase impressions in real time while maintaining the high cost and power of premium inventory. This automation of premium inventory means that marketers are able to access premium placements quickly, easily and without the need to get advertisers to commit to large amounts of spend, opening the door to testing different publishers, formats and data. The data aspect is key, as premium publishers will undoubtedly have a wealth of information at their disposal to enable them to segment their site visitors and when this is combined with an individual advertiser’s first party data, the targeting becomes precise.
If you are regularly publishing high quality content on your website, you can rest assure that your site’s organic visibility on search engines will remain healthy. In 2015, we’ll see Google continue to improve the intelligence level of how its algorithm can detect content quality from a more human perspective, rewarding and penalising sites accordingly. Localised content that is engaging and has a social focus on a website will also gain more authority in relation to organic visibility.