digital marketing trends

13 digital marketing trends booming in 2015

One fine summer day, a man poured a bucket of ice water over his head, nominated his cousins to raise money for ALS and uploaded it onto the internet. In 28 days the ALS Association was able to raise $85m in total, with $168,000 in only the first week as compared to the $14,000 they received in the same timeframe in the previous year. Such is the power of the social media.

crowdfund

The internet brought with it a revolution era in the marketing world, making it indispensable for businessmen to adopt strategies that include digital marketing and social media in order to win the marketing rat race. Online marketing via channels such as YouTube or Twitter helps level the competition between big and small, or even start up businesses, giving each a fair chance at attracting potential clients. Smaller businesses can use this as an advantage to grow and settle down in an otherwise highly competitive market.

2015 has been an amazing year when it comes to creative campaigns, brought to you by digital marketing, of course. Here are 13 marketing trends that are booming this year thanks to our social media.

Digital marketing trends

1. Sharing personal adventures

Almost two years ago, when Skype realized it was an almost dying brand, it left travel blogger Mike Corey in Istanbul with no idea where he was and only access to Skype and Twitter.

skype

There he would find his next clue as to where to go. It was this 15-day journey that caught every day users’ attention once again and made them reconsider it as more than just a corporate IM toy.

Following a personal story online like that makes users feel like they are living the adventure too. This form of engagement helps them see the benefits of brands and feel like they have been a part of something great, thus helping build leads.

2. Creating Original Video Content

Viewers want campaigns that engage and delight them by focusing on telling good stories or entertaining them. It’s all about getting their attention.

In 2013, When Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger was released, fans went crazy over twitter claiming how much they loved it. Wendy’s turned them into a series of downright hilarious music videos that went viral in no time and turned into a massive hit with almost 7.5 million hits on Facebook, compelling CNBC’s Jim Cramer to call the campaign “genius”.

With videos like the Coca Cola’s choose to smile, Valspar paints’ color for the colorblind, and clean and clear’s see the real me, 2015 has not once failed to surprise us when it comes to original video content.

visual content

3. It’s called a #hashtag

In June 2014, Procter & Gamble made use of the hashtag #LikeAGirl to create an effective social media campaign for their brand, Always and followed up this year too with a Superbowl initiative.

P&G

Needless to say the campaign was hugely successful because of the positive and smart use of the term “like a girl” which is normally used in a not-so-respectful way.

Holly Pavlika, senior vice president of brand strategy at Collective Bias stated it as, “a shining example of how a brand can affect social change.”

4. Storytelling

How did your business inspire people to achieve greatness? This is the part where the world sits down around you, quietly waiting cross legged with their hands under their chin for an awesome story. This is where businesses like Microsoft said, ‘gather around kids’ and came up with Microsoft stories.

storytelling image

With real personal stories it is easier for people out there to judge how what is real and how much of it is made up. Producing inspiring stories on business sites and blogs has been a great trend this year and an effective one at that too. Views and engagement allows them to increase their leads, customers and, obviously, better revenue generation.

5. Find out what they want and give it to them… literally

How many of us Game of Thrones fans have been dying to find out what it’s like to sit on the iron throne and rule the seven kingdoms? We all loved HBO for partnering with Uber to let people witness that feeling that one fine week in April this year. You could order the cab to come for a photo session or actually ride the throne to your destination if you opt for it – all from your Uber App.

uber throne

It didn’t take a lot of time after the announcement for people to download the app and pretty soon, people were ready to reach four hours late to work, just to arrive like royalty. Marketing campaigns like these are like birthday wishes come true.

6. Hyper-Personalization

Until last year businesses were making use of digital marketing by personalizing their brand. This year we saw hyper-personalization. Location targeting, as well as enhanced use of algorithms has been paired up in order to bring to the user the ‘ultimate consumer experience’. Different businesses used different strategies of hyper personalization in order to engage their target audience and make it all worth their time.

hunt for the pump

This year Reebok brought us a chance to win a pair of Reebok sneakers (typical) through an exclusive instagram game (whaat??), “hunt for the pump” that allowed users to virtually run to different landmarks posted on their account (No Way!!).

7. Go Positive Viral

Everybody loves staying in the loop and viral videos are the best way to stay with the world. We witnessed the success of viral videos with JetBlue’s Happiest Travel Day and WestJet’s Christmas Miracle. There’s no debating that it’s the fastest way to create brand awareness.

happiest travel day

8. Real Time

Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie was a ground breaking event, after which marketers never saw Real-time the same way again. This strategy turned out to be “genius marketing” where a mass audience can be reached in a far quicker and cheaper way. After that brands went crazy over events such as the World Cup, Olympics and Superbowl for more real time marketing through live tweets, updates, snapchat events to reach as many people as possible.

9. Create your own events too

It’s not like you sit and wait till the next event comes around and then get to work. This year we saw businesses creating personalized events to draw the public’s attention, including the Facebook Football Awards. Fans could basically vote for fantasy football leagues as well as create their own ‘starting dream team’.

facebook football

10. Emojis

In April 2015, twitter brought the Star Wars Emoji. The crowd went wild. Everybody tweeted and retweeted. Then Taco Bell had an idea. Pretty soon, the petition for a Taco Bell emoji started going around and people actually signed it. The petition was a victorious one and more than 32,000 people had supported it.

change.org

Like Taco Bell, many businesses can make use of the tiniest components of social media such as emojis to attract prospects and leads through channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Vines and others.

11. Marketing Memes

Generally, a meme is an idea or style that steps into pop culture and spreads crazy rapidly. Now it is the fastest way to create brand awareness. From coca cola to Nike’s “just do it” memes can carry your brand to the ends of the world faster than you can say “oh my god it actually works”. Some would argue that once memes go viral you can lose your control over it, and can morph itself into a beautiful butterfly or the marketer’s worst nightmare. Either way, it’s effective in reaching masses.

12. Visual influence

Today we live in the age of visual influence, where content on Instagram and YouTube holds greater power than any of us expected. Brands are always eager to create better visual content with the help of other brands through various means. YouTube started launched a number of videos to teach businesses how to use visual aids such as video content and infographics for better marketing strategies.

13. Omni Channeling

Let’s face it, our clients are completely different from each other and clearly have different needs. Some like shopping online while others absolutely despise it. In order to cater to everybody’s needs, brands need to have more than one way to engage with clients. In 2015, we have seen businesses, big or small, create many different routes to reach clients. Not only may you be selling products in your outlet, but now it’s very important to have websites, apps, catalogs or social media pages like Facebook and Twitter to make it easier for people to reach you.

The growing popularity of Social Networking sites like Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube can help bring a revolutionary change in your business and not only help boost leads and revenues, but also help create a positive profile for your brand that helps people see you as more than just a business. The more you engage with the public, the more real will their feelings be for your brand. It’s not about selling products to people anymore. It’s about creating a personal connection with the people who buy them.

About the author / Aisha Khalid

Aisha Khalid is a content marketer who writes about conversion optimization and copywriting. Some would say she is obsessed with optimization techniques that take meh content and transform it into something that readers can gobble up. She’s on a mission to stomp out all corporate, boring speak giving way to words that actually matter.

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