During the last #BizHeroes chat of 2014, we asked participants to share their predictions for 2015. We ended up with over 300 great ones. So many that we could write a book!
Instead of actually writing that book, I thought I’d write a roundup highlighting the ones that are likely to happen this year.
As a result, this week’s Social Media post is different from the ones you usually read on this blog.
1. The Mobile Takeover
@ThinkSEM: “Social marketing will be done with mobile in mind. It will be even more based on authentic engagements.”
@rippleboost: “Marketers should stop focusing on a separate mobile strategy and instead integrate mobile into all strategies.”
eMarketer predicts that mobile will dominate nearly all key search metrics this year. In its Q3 2014 US Consumer Device Preference Report, Moveable Ink reports that smartphones account for 48% of all email opens. Finally, 50.3% of e-commerce traffic now comes from mobile.
As the aforementioned stats prove, mobile is not an option anymore. Whether it’s a website, campaigns, or search, marketers and brands will have to start optimizing for the mobile experience if they want to reach a worthy chunk of their audiences.
Actually, here is another number to put everything in perspective. According to Netbiscuits, 9 in 10 people will visit a competitor’s website if it offers a better mobile experience.
2. Visual Storytelling Still Rules
@aroru26: “Visual content and responsive design climbing to the top of a hill called Social Media Marketing”
Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Canva, HaikuDeck, Snapchat… Visual storytelling has never been more important.
That statement may not surprise you. However, it is worth mentioning again that those who want to make a social splash with their articles and campaigns will have to create and/or include a lot of visual aids like infographics, photos, videos and slides.
With average attention spans getting shorter, (presently at 8 seconds on average in the U.S.) tidbits of targeted, useful, and entertaining information will have a greater and more positive impact than long chunks of text.
3. Curation and Creation: A Match Made in Heaven
@ThinkSEM: “Content marketing will fuse together curation and creation. Also, we will see an increase in diversified content.”
If there is one thing we saw in 2014, it’s the rise to stardom of content curation. According to the Third Annual IMN Content Marketing Survey, 82% marketers now curate content. And with the huge amount of content available out there, the state of things is not about to change.
“How huge,” you ask? As many as 25 billion new pieces of content on any given month! Every minute, 67,000 photos are uploaded on Instagram, 3,400 items pinned on Pinterest, and more than 127,000 emails sent. Further, between 60 and 70% of the content created by B2B marketing departments isn’t used.
Content creation will always matter, of course. However, in 2015, winning the hearts and minds of consumers will imply a mixture between original and sourced content. The marketers and brands willing to find the gems for their audiences instead of tooting their own horns will stand out from the crowd of publishers in their field. This, in turn, will allow them to drive qualified leads, attract new customers, and build stronger loyalty.
4. A More Human Form of Marketing
@IvaIgnjatovic: “Content marketing has to be more, specific, valuable, targeted content combining everyday life elements. Pop content w/ info.”
There was a time, not long ago, when marketers just had to send the same dull and boring messages to everyone for sales to happen. Unfortunately for them, things have changed — and quickly. Technology has given consumers a voice that they are not afraid to use.
For example, do you know that more than 8 in 10 consumers will shop from brands that offer highly personalized discounts? 80% of people will recommend a brand based on their mobile web experience, with millennials leading the charge. And yet, only about one third of marketers ask them what they want.
This year, the phrases “buyer’s journey” and “audience personas” will be everywhere. Strategies will have to speak to people and on their social platforms of choice. They will be customized and human, with a focus on better and faster customer care.
Not sure how you can do that? Check out how Taylor Swift has humanized her own brand. She is not just a talented artist, but she also knows how to reach her fans in a meaningful way.
5. The Relationship Between Brands and Consumers Redefined
@CarlynServices: “brands + real people/stories = success. More interaction between brands and customers”
@_LisaRich: “Brand relationships with customers are going to be even more important!”
@MadisonJonesHR: “For content to gain an audience, it needs to be sourced from the audience. That human element is crucial. Listen to them!”
Brands and marketers do not just need to act in a more human way. They also have to understand the relationship that ties them to consumers. How people find you and what they expect from you has never mattered more!
In one of its latest studies, GlobalWebIndex reveals how increasingly important this relationship will be this year:
- Consumers mainly use search engines (50 percent) and consumer review sites (44 percent) to research brands online.
- Recommendations are still one of the top discovery sources (41% of online users)
- Social networks may be where people hang out, but they still want to interact on brand websites (47 percent of Internet users)
- When following you on social media, consumers expect knowledge sharing (30 percent), information on your latest products and services (27 percent), and entertainment (24 percent)
- The best way to find advocates? Reward them! That’s what at least half of Internet users want.
6. Data Analysis Takes Center Stage
@rachelloumiller: “I see humans leveraging big data to further personalize customer experiences online and off”
@KDHungerford: “Companies are going to invest in Small Data & humans to identify the clues or moments that make the difference for customers.”
Have you visited your Facebook page, Twitter account, or Pinterest account lately? You now have access to more detailed metrics than ever before!
While this data doesn’t tell you everything about your ideal audience, (Dark Social Media everyone?) it’s a great start. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with and understand it will allow you to tailor your message and better reach specific segments of your audience.
7. Conclusion: Less Is More
@KDHungerford: “2015 is the year people (marketers, brands) realize only quality content earns eyes & shares. Less = higher ROI than more.”
This year, people will “run away” from the noise and engage with content and campaigns that are quality-centric and offer a customized experience. Clear goals and objectives will yield the best ROI!
What are your social media predictions for this year?