3 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Start in 2015

SMS Text
3 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Start in 2015 | SEJ

Digital marketing works like traditional marketing; there are trends that need to be watched, and savvy marketers need to stay ahead of the curve. As we start 2015, there are trends emerging which will become incredibly important in the next 12 months. Identifying these trends, understanding how they work for your business, and implementing them before you get too far into the New Year is crucial for taking down your competition.

Regardless of whether your business is 100% online, a brick and mortar business, or somewhere in between, digital marketing must be part of your game plan. If you don’t already have a marketing team in your employ or contracted out, make that your first resolution of 2015. Only a pro should be behind these three major digital marketing trends:

Video and Image-Based Marketing

“Content is king”, but content doesn’t necessarily need to be written text. In fact, numerous studies have shown additional numbers of consumers are more likely to enjoy video or other image-based advertising which is why social media platforms like Vine and YouTube are gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, it’s just more appealing to check out a short, high-quality video or scan an infographic rather than read a 450-word blog.

3 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Start in 2015 | SEJ

That means all of your digital marketing outreach, from e-newsletters to what you have on your blog, should be more image-centric. Of course, not all demographics are going to prefer images and videos over text, so dig into your big data and give your audience what they want.

For example, a business that offers retirement advice for baby boomers might have a better shot at sticking with written content—but a new energy drink company targeting the 18-24 demographics? Videos all the way. And your video better be entertaining.

All Mobile, All The Time

In 2014, the era of mobile readiness arrived—but few people were on board to match it up with their digital marketing efforts. This means the majority of people online are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to get to your site. The age of desktops is coming to a close, and marketers need to adjust their layout using responsive design and overall mobile readiness. How do your virtual newsletters and other outreach show up in a mobile world? Mobile users want the design to match the home page of the webpage so they know where they are and how to easily navigate. They don’t have time to re-learn a new site.

You likely will need to add a mobile version of your site, an app, or both to your strategy. Mobile readiness also requires constant testing, tweaking, and fine-tuning. In other words, you likely don’t have the time or skills to do this yourself. When hiring a web designer/app developer, make sure they’re on the mobile bandwagon all the way. You need someone to lift up your digital marketing efforts into the mobile world and make it sparkle. This is big advertising.

Native Advertising is the Only Online Advertising

Native advertising: It’s those ads “hidden” in other content to make it look organic and it can be done really well or really poorly. If you’re a BuzzFeed fan, you know it by those articles that are stamped “promoted” and sometimes, they can be just as engaging as the “real” articles. However, it’s hard to create native advertising that doesn’t squeeze in that pitch at the very end. Make your video advertising less proper, less stiff. Have fun with it. Your audiences will appreciate your efforts. (Go on Instagram and look at the video advertising that occasionally appears in your feed for some great ideas.)

Native advertising can’t seem overtly manipulative, which can be a tough one for digital advertisers. However, it’s crucial because audiences are over the hard sell and they can sniff out a pitch like a bloodhound. Hone those native advertising skills and you’ll be one step ahead of those fumbling to make a “listicle” that looks natural.

As 2015 starts, make sure you’re keeping up with all the trends to make sure your business is reaping all the rewards. What trends are you seeing that businesses and marketing professionals should be paying attention to?


Image Credits

Featured Image: Bloomua via Shutterstock
Image #1: ra2studio via Shutterstock

Liv Longley
Liv Longley is in charge of Marketing Communications in the United States for Searchmetrics. Working closely with Searchmetrics global teams, she provides valuable knowledge into... Read Full Bio
Liv Longley
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Hey Liv, seems like these shouldn’t be trends but should already be things that are standard in digital marketing.

    Visual over text based marketing messages, always!

    Every year is the year of mobile, meaning if you’re not thinking mobile, you might be losing out to your competitors.

    The best native advertising is to get something to go viral… something very difficult to do.

    Anyways, if digital marketers have not embraced these, they should start right now.

  • Great points about video especially when used in an email series, welcoming new customers and explaining a complicated process simply.

    This year I think there is going to be a huge focus on customer experience and value optimisation.

    One thing I would say is along with native there is a huge resurgence in display using RTB which offers huge scalability and precise targeting. Another one to watch out for in 2015.

  • Hello Liv!
    I don’t think the three trends you have mentioned will start in 2015 because they have already started a long time ago. My personal opinion is that things like Social Media contests will become more and more compelling in 2015 and most of these contests will probably be mobile devices oriented.
    I have one question for you and your audience. Do you think having a website with responsive design is the better option than having a mobile version of the same website?

    • Hi Carly,

      Thanks for the feedback. In regards to your question, are you asking from a SEO or user experience standpoint? Having responsive design vs. a mobile version depends on a few factors like your site, market, audience etc. Responsive design is not always best for conversions, but the best way to understand what works would be through a data driven answer. I would recommend a/b testing it with one or several landing pages. Let the data be your king and testing be your queen 😉


      • Carly Hiller

        Thank you for your answer, Liv. I will have to read more about the topic before I decide the right option for my new website.

    • Carly:
      I have seen quite a few debates on this point and to be fair there are pros and cons to both methods. It really depends on what you value most for your site.

      The three most important things to consider here are:
      1. User Experience – Advantage Mobile Version
      >The advantage is in the fact that with a m.domain site you can give a perfectly designed page for mobile, bettering the user experience. Not to say you can’t do this with responsive design but you need to really know what you are doing and pay attention.
      >When I say pay attention an example would be…I have seen responsive design where content length is appropriate on desktop but not at all appropriate on mobile.
      >Things to consider: Does your desktop version and mobile version look similar as to not confuse users? Is the mobile experience simple and easy for users? What about your site load speed…be careful you don’t sacrifice it with a poor responsive design pulling too many files.

      2. SEO – Advantage Responsive
      >If you choose to have a mobile subdomain you need to realize that this site is separate from your main domain. This means it must rank on its own with content and links to the site. Are you planning on ranking with this site or just using it for people searching for your brand name?
      >We’ll also include upkeep here. With a mobile version you have two sites that you need to maintain (something not easy for smaller companies)

      3. Cost – Advantage Depends
      >Creating a mobile version for your site is generally a much cheaper option upfront.
      >But you need to think of your site as an investment. The responsive design costs more upfront but you only need to maintain one site in the future (especially for future updates in mobile technology and design). If you make changes to your main domain you need to make these same changes again to your mobile site to keep a similar look and feel, add promotions, etc.
      >So how long do you plan on keeping the site, can you afford the investment right now…it really is depends.

      There is no clear winner. It depends on what your preferences and resources are. For more information you can visit Google’s site on mobile development. https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/

      My preference (if you have the resources) is responsive web design with dynamic serving. (You can read more about dynamic serving on the google site linked above).

      I know it’s a long comment but hopefully this helps.

      • Carly Hiller

        Hi Brandon,
        Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I will have to think about the pros and cons of the two options. I’ve learned many new things regarding SEO while reading your comment.

  • Great article. Simple. I feel that because visual media is definitely more eye catching, and more pleasurable than reading a bunch of words, That offline marketing (specifically flyer distribution) works well along side the trends today. A good image based flyer produces results too.

  • Varun Arora

    I am damn sure that Video and image based marketing will be the king of marketing technique in 2015 because people don’t have time to read a article or blog if you convey your message by using image or video its will be beneficial for you and user as well.

    • Nice post Liv Longley,

      And hi Varun Arora,

      I have to disagree on that, content marketing works very well and will always works. To make content viral:

      1. Find the content that worked well in the past.
      2. Create a similar content of more than 1000 words but with adding a different approach (give a twist)
      3. Promote, promote, and promote (main)


      Bhim Rai

  • marina visconti

    yes increasingly to the fore. also more advanced technology. and for marketing a product is cheaper and easier to be promoted on the internet. rather than ad campaigns through print media / newspaper or on television it will cost quite expensive. and I think the audience really prefer to see ads on video rather than reading an article

  • Content marketing is never dead

    • I completely agree with you Akash.

  • this is what i was looking for it vey informative

  • Thank you for this helpful information. Its nice to see my action plan being confirmed by other professionals.

  • A great point about “image marketing”. The fact is that our attention span gets shorter with the increased amount of content and images are easier and quicker to consume. Words are transforming into images – static or moving video. Thirty-second video ads were once the norm. Nowadays, that’s too long for most online users. 10 or 15 seconds is the digestible bite!

  • Podaraci za Svatba

    I believe the big companies like Coca Cola, Mercedes and Sony will surprise us with their Marketing campaign in 2015. The technologies are evolving every month and the options for promoting your business are increasing. Maybe, a 3D or even 4D Marketing campaigns are about to be launched this year…

  • Great post, Liv– I Definitely agree “the era of mobile readiness has arrived.” Mobile will be a dominant force in 2015. Those who don’t integrate a strategic mobile approach into their marketing will quickly be outdone by competitors who embrace the mobile customer experience.

    Thanks again for writing this.

  • Great article. Re re-marketing across social media, I’ve used Perfect Audience before. Pretty simple user interface and low rates; good for small biz starting to test re-targeting other than GDN.
    N.b. no affiliation with Perfect audience!!!


  • Thanks Liv for your such insightful posting. I think content is the king and it will remain to be the king no matter whether it is text or visual. Apart from that mobile marketing will also play a vital role.