As the year draws to a close, the most switched-on companies have already started looking towards the year ahead and possible marketing and branding trends in 2015, concentrating on how they can best be utilised to stay ahead of the curve.
Thanks to the ever-expanding range of methods available, content marketing will continue to grow in importance next year. Content marketing should be a given part of any brands strategy, as all good marketing should provide the customer with remarkable and appropriate content that adds to their brand experience. Visual content is one of the fastest growing forms of content marketing and has been shown to be the method that people are most likely to trust. Videos are growing in popularity and it’s crucial to engage with this platform. They are no longer exclusive to YouTube; Facebook videos, Twitter vines and Tumblr GIFs are increasingly relevant platforms. Closely related to content marketing is inbound marketing, which is also forecast to grow. As most people now search online for solutions for problems, businesses must ensure that they capture these opportunities by having relevant content that leads people to their website and converts them into clients.
Content must not only be meaningful and carefully considered, but it must also be personalised and tailored to specific audiences. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to target marketing at specific consumers and personalised interaction is now the minimum that people expect from brands. Whilst 86% of enterprise companies are practicing some form of personalisation, less than 20% are undertaking personalisation in real-time. In order for it to be effective, personalised marketing must be constantly evolving and adaptive. It’s crucial to invest the time and the money to thoroughly research and understand the target audience in order to start and maintain a meaningful and relevant dialogue.
Social media is of course here to stay and will be an inherent part of branding trends in 2015. Facebook is set to continue to dominate this platform for the immediate future at least. However, don’t just assume that Facebook is the best channel for your product or service; other social platforms are becoming increasingly effective marketing tools and therefore it’s important to take the time to research what’s right for your brand. Businesses must also ensure they tailor their approach according to their chosen channel and its specific target audience. By devising an intelligent strategy, businesses can hugely benefit from social media as it’s set to become a bigger influencer in consumer sales, with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter attempting to position themselves as direct sales channels. Social media can help to boost revenue indirectly as well. SEO and social signals are becoming more entwined, as a high number of social shares indicates high-quality content and relevance and therefore is more likely to feature on organic search rankings. Social shares will result in increased traffic to a company’s website and this will convert into increased profits.
People, as customers, consumers and clients, want to develop a two-way relationship with brands. The phenomenal rise of YouTube vloggers, people who record their thoughts and observations from their bedrooms and are paid around £4,000 for mentioning a product in their videos, is a clear example of this. We all know that the days of marketing simply being about companies shouting at consumers are over. Now consumers are becoming increasingly likely to interact exclusively with brands that they believe share their values, beliefs and that have a tangible purpose and authenticity and transparency are watchwords for companies in 2015. At Mobas, we ensure that our clients deliver their promise at every touch point and have a strong internal and external brand that will resonate in their market. This is crucial as, in order for organisations to effectively broadcast their brand and their vision, attention needs to be paid to the internal culture of the business. Leaders must ensure that employees understand and embody the brand in order to become brand ambassadors and drive the vision forward.