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Top 2015 Digital Trends to Watch For
What digital trends should you expect for 2015? How should you shift your marketing strategy to take advantage of these opportunities, and where should you concentrate your efforts? Learn what’s ahead from our digital marketing experts.
Mobile Search Will Continue to be the Driving Force of Growth
Katherine Jianas, Associate Media Director
The biggest growth opportunity lies within mobile. Of the 6.8 billion people on earth, 4 billion have mobile devices, and in early 2014, mobile surpassed desktop (for the first time in history). In 2014 there were 146 million mobile shoppers, up 23 million from 2013, and the percentage of mobile buyers (those who actually complete a purchase on their devices) is also predicted to increase. Brands that do not have a mobile website and a mobile search strategy will be left behind.
It is predicted that advertisers will spend about half of their paid search budgets on mobile by the end of the year. Marketers should take advantage of location data to gain information on who the searcher is and where they shop, and layer on keyword search intent in order to reach consumers at the prime moments of consideration and purchase. Cross-screen messaging that allows marketers to target individuals as they move across devices as well as attribution will become even more important, as brands focus on increasing mobile conversion rates.
Bing’s SEM Market Share Will Increase
Kimberly Honore, Media Director
According to eMarketer predictions, Bing’s share is expected to increase in the upcoming years, with 15.8% of share in 2015, and 16.7% of share in 2016 (when you combine Microsoft and Yahoo). This means that you’ll want to ensure you're allocating SEM budget towards Bing, especially if you are already tapped out on Google or have a target demographic that resonates well with Bing.
SEO Will Require Tracking Across Multiple Devices
Gregory Lee, SEO Director
Tracking across devices and strategies that take into account user intent will be crucial for SEO this year. 2014 saw the first year with Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, designed to provide better results for queries verbally spoken to devices. Then in February 2014, voice search was launched on Chrome for desktop, allowing voice search on any device type. Hummingbird was designed to better understand user intent and provide better results. Throughout 2014, Google dialed back the appearance of flashy rich snippets such as Google+ author images and the local search carousel, with the explanation that it provides better experience on a wider range of devices, though this also correlated with increased share of clicks on paid search results. Late in 2014 we also saw a decline in the appearance of other rich snippets, such as video…leaving plain looking listings in their place. The carousel that showed 9 or more businesses was replaced by a glimpse of the top 3 business and controls to filter or see more. Only queries with stronger search intent and users who are determined to see more will find more choices among specialized vertical searches that had previously populated the SERPs. To capitalize on organic search in 2015, your SEO strategy must make use of user intent and track keyword ranking results across all devices. Keywords are still important for SEO (you’re still bidding on keywords for PPC aren’t you?). But your SEO approach in 2015 must take into account user intent of your audience so that the right content is served on the best platform to your users when they look for you online.
Social Conversions will Increase as Technologies Become More Turn-Key
Ashley Reed, Social Media Director
In 2015, we will see social media conversions rise with new offerings that reduce the barrier to conversion by providing a seamless, less complex customer experience. Twitter and Facebook’s “Buy” buttons will make it simple for users to make purchases with only one or two clicks, without leaving the platform. Amazon’s Amazon Cart is another example of a brand leveraging social commerce to streamline social users’ path to purchase. Third-party tools like Soldsie and Chirpify that integrate with social networks will also facilitate improvements in social commerce. Solutions like these will become more sophisticated this year, which will allow marketers to more accurately attribute conversions to social (a task that has undoubtedly been a huge pain point in the past).
Paid social will also be instrumental in driving conversions. Facebook’s algorithm changes drastically reduced organic reach, and Twitter has hinted at the prospect of a similar model. Pinterest just completed their Beta test of Promoted Pins, rolling it out to all advertisers January 1st, and Instagram will likely soon follow suit. eMarketer predicts that social ad spending will increase from $6.92 billionq in 2014 to $8.76 billion in 2015, and a recent study from Converto and AOL found that paid ads resulted in a 25% lift in conversions. Brands should plan to increase their investment in paid social this year; however they should be strategic in their targeting to ensure the right content reaches the right audience in order to boost conversion rates.
Cookies will be Replaced by People for Online Digital Measurement
Jerelle Gainey, VP, Technology & Data Services
The cookie is crumbling. Though the cookie is currently the predominant solution for targeting and measurement, its days are numbered. There are a several factors contributing to the ‘crumble’. Brands are increasingly advertising across multiple digital channels, the rise of mobile advertising and Do Not Track options, cookie deletion and device proliferation. Your “home” desktop is no longer your primary device; everyone is using at least 2 to 3 devices – your work laptop, your home laptop and tablet and mobile device. This contributes to almost ¾ of people having more than one cookie.
People-based measurement enables a level of accuracy that is not currently possible using cookie-only solutions. The use of people based measurement solutions to enable advertisers to accurately measure consumers across channels, identify audiences and estimate campaign reach will play an increasingly important role in augmenting the capabilities of cookies in 2015. As the usage of people based measurement increases, identity will no longer be limited to a single device, enabling marketers to reach the right consumer, on the right device, with the right message at the right time.
Are you ready to capitalize on these shifts in the digital landscape? Where are you focusing your efforts this year? Let us know in the comments below!