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Website Design and Digital Marketing

6 Internet Marketing Trends for 2015 Affecting Your Business

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 05:06 -- Hugh Daniel

What are the digital marketing trends in 2015 that will affect every business, from small websites to big-box store gateways? How can you take advantage of them to improve your visitor experience or get new buyers, even with limited time and personnel resources?

#6 - The Increasing Importance of Digital Marketing 
Digital (or internet) marketing has been treated as a bonus marketing effort, complementing more traditional activities. Websites, social media, PPC advertising, email marketing and targeted blog posts are all included as digital marketing activities. In 2015, it will be recognized that digital marketing should not be treated as a side effort, but should get more attention and be integrated into the overall marketing plan.

So if you have been relying heavily on traditional advertising or other channels for new customer acquisition, it is time to consider increasing your use of digital marketing tools and build them into your strategies.

#5 - Use More Images
The trend is towards writing shorter, more meaningful text, and to rely more on relevant images, including photos, graphs, illustrations, infographics or internet mimes, to communicate effectively. 

To go with this trend, take a look at all your communications across different media to see how you can include quality images to enhance your message so that your audience will more quickly "see" your point.

#4 - Multi-channel Messaging

Marketing teams will be looking for ways to deliver consistent messages (promotional, branding and relationship building) across a wide variety of mediums; traditional advertising, social media, website content, email marketing, paid search and banner advertising.

Plan your special promotions or your primary branding statement with a consistent message, then make sure that all the communication channels available to you deliver that message in a coordinated release.

#3 - Use Social Media to Create a Personal Connection
Social media is a personal medium and businesses are becoming more aware that people do not want it cluttered with overt sales pitches. It will be used to provide real value in a meaningful customer relationship, not just for another "buy me" message. 

If you have not already done so, now is a great time to set up your Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp!, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts, as well as on other more topic specific social media. You have a following, even if it is a small one. Use these channels to communicate messages of value to that following and your "likes" and "followers" will grow and lead to positive interactions. Repurpose your posts for each social media outlet so you do not have to write new posts for each one.

For an excellent article with many tips for using social media for business, click here for the article, Social Media: 66 Tips and Tools to Grow Your Business.

#2 - Get Ready for Mobile
"On Cyber Monday [2014], mobile sales accounted for 22 percent of online sales, an increase of more than 27 percent compared to the prior year according to IBM Digital Analytics." (CNBC.com) This trend is expected to continue in 2015. In the upcoming year, mobile device users (smartphones, iPads, tablet PCs, etc.) will have greater expectations that the websites they visit will be mobile-friendly. 

Take a look at your website with a mobile device to see if it is "mobile friendly." Although modifying the website for a responsive design will probably have an associated cost, this cost may be justified to improve the user experience.

#1 - Content is Still King
The Google Search Engine Optimization Guide lists many items to work on, but it also says, "Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here." The trend in 2015 will be to keep working on SEO details, but to focus most heavily on providing high-quality, high-value relevant content on websites.

So whether preparing blog posts, email marketing or content for your website, be specific and clear in your writing. Go for quality, rather than quantity, and offer true value within your content. Definitely avoid "stuffing" keywords, but make sure that important terms are used in the content, both specifically and semantically, so that search engines know what your content is about. 

You have an opportunity be an early adopter of these six trends and to bring in the New Year with a resolution to look for ways to build better relationships!

Internet usage and digital marketing concepts are growing and evolving and it can all feel overwhelming at times. But true to the joke about "how to eat an elephant," keeping up with the changes can be manageable if you just do it "one bite at a time."

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