In part two of our collaborative article on digital in 2015, some of our industry leading clients share their successes and plans for the future. We also look to our peers at 3WhiteHats and The Peloton for expert advice on what to expect this year.
Where we’ll see the biggest success is from the brands who dare to be different and who aren’t afraid to let their personality shine through in the way they communicate with their customers. They know how they want to talk, they know what they want to say and they have an audience that is eager to listen. Get this right and the rest will follow.
This builds a network of brand advocates and however we look at it, word of mouth marketing will always be the most successful channel. Empower your audience and your customer to talk about their experience and make sure that experience is a positive one.
The best start-ups will be the ones that aren’t afraid to do things their way instead of following traditional patterns. The most successful businesses will be the ones who play a game where there aren’t any rules, where ideas are the strongest currency and where there are no limits on what is possible.
I hope that in 2015 more established businesses will follow this trend and have the courage to trust in creativity, have conviction in their beliefs and have the determination to make sure they succeed.
The uptake of smartphones and tablets, coupled with screen sizes getting bigger, and faster mobile Internet speeds means video viewing on mobile devices will increase significantly in 2015. Last year, YouTube revealed that half of all it’s video views originated from a mobile device and the IAB reported the average Brit now spends 5 hours a week watching TV, video clips and films online – evidence that this shift is gathering pace. Therefore, use of video is crucial for your business this year, as it will broaden your reach significantly.
Great content can bump up your businesses search rankings, convert potential customers and make your website more usable for visitors. Your business should invest in 1) understanding and developing online content and 2) using customer data to personalise content according to the customers profile and where they sit in your sales funnel.
Marketing Automation software combines traditional marketing activities like CRM, email marketing, content management, search engine optimisation, lead scoring and analytics into a holistic suite of tools, which help lift response by delivering relevant and timely messages to prospects. Implement it well, and you will nurture prospects with highly personalised, useful content and convert prospects into customers, and customers into loyal referring followers. Historically, businesses in the technology industry have lead the way in the use of marketing automation but this software is now within easy reach of small business marketing budgets and must be considered for 2015.
We’re going to be seeing growth in ad features for AdWords, the continuation of display networks trying to convince us of their effectiveness and, crucially, continuation of Social Advertising’s growth.
Trends in the networks themselves aside, 2015 for me will be the year paid advertisers start joining up their thinking across multiple platforms. Using Social Advertising through Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter in a better combination of efforts with search PPC and remarketing. Whilst we are all doing it, conversations both in agencies and client-side don’t have the same confidence as they would running a simple Adwords campaign.
Another exciting innovation will be in tracking single users across multiple platforms. Following Facebook’s acquisition of Atlas in 2013, I’m hopeful we’ll see some huge insight into the mobile, tablet and desktop user journey, which will only help us in optimising ad targeting further still.
Email marketing will continue to be our priority as it’s the vehicle that generates the most sales for us. We certainly won’t be ignoring other channels though.
PPC advertising plays an important role for us and our social media engagement is definitely on the up. By integrating these channels and tailoring the messaging on them, we’re able to reach a wider audience which helps us drive sales.
Measuring results will always be imperative and Google Analytics is very useful in showing how multiple sources influence buyer behaviour; we find the combined effect of all touch points have the best effect.
We asked Judi to discuss where she and her team have found success in 2014, and what new frontiers they will be exploring this year.
We’ve seen great success from our online and offline marketing campaigns in 2014, but for us, email is at the forefront. We spend a lot of time working to ensure that our data lists are kept clean and up to date, using reporting to identify brand advocates. Although no one should get too hung up on last click attribution, email is where we see the best return.
We’re all about content at Watergate Bay. Our aim is to create targeted, relevant content for each community we want to reach, always with a focus on quality. Great content is so important for creating a sense of brand experience, and the combination of our in-house team and a select few local photographers provides us with the fantastic quality photography that is central to conveying that experience.
We continually aim to make the most of our content, ensuring we achieve as much engagement as we possibly can from every piece, that we push it to reach as wide an audience as possible, and really make it work for us. This year we want to make it work even harder. Our content sits on the blog, and is then pushed out to our audiences through social media and email. In focusing on creating video, games and interactive work that is truly sharable, we believe that we can reach even further.
Our strategy is continually evolving. Moving into 2015, our aim is to create a more seamless experience for the customer, further bringing the online and offline together. Currently, our social media is central to our marketing activity, and firmly sits in that department. But as well as being a platform for sharing content, it’s a key element of our customer service and a place to build relationships. This year, we want to train our Customer Relationship Managers, our front of house team, to incorporate social media into their roles, bringing their external facing skills to this channel.
If you’re adopting another platform as part of your strategy, embrace it. You just have to go for it. You’ll know then for certain if it works for your business.
In this constantly changing and evolving industry, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve.But there are core elements that will never be different. In keeping your content relevant, your passion genuine and your approach to advances in technology flexible, your strategy will evolve with the industry, and you won’t be left behind.