Digital Marketing: Out With The Old, In With The New

It's that time of year again where we set our sights on the New Year and reminisce about the past. If you're considering keeping pace with your digital efforts from 2014 for 2015, think again. According to Moz, Google had 13 major algorithm updates in 2014 alone. You'd be smart to assume something similar changes will be seen in 2015. Because of such changes, it is imperative to keep up to speed in your digital efforts. First thing's first: It's time to create a digital marketing plan that is relevant to your brand or business. Don't set your sights on the month ahead, instead map out your entire year. The last few months may be broad in ideas, but at least you have a skeleton of ideas in place. Here are some tips to help keep you in tune with the new year!

Mobile Will Rule in 2015!

To no surprise, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time in 2014, with no change in sight. With this much mobile traffic, a responsive design should be a "no-brainer". Your website and digital efforts should be built from the ground up with mobile users in mind. Also, know that being mobile responsive doesn't stop at a phone or a tablet anymore. Wearables have been in the works for several years, but are just now making a name forthemselves. Devices like Apple's Watch and the Samsung Gear||special8482|| are bound to make waves in the new year. Another device being carefully watched by marketers is Google Glass. If wearables like the Google Glass begin large-scale advertising, marketers will have one more platform to master.

Content is Still King!

Excellent content is important as ever, but your quality is dependent on several things. When implementing your content strategy for 2015, focus on creating unique and unseen content. Let your imagination take hold when in the brainstorming stages and find out what people really want to hear and what Google's never seen before. Make content personal with quotes, videos and infographics to help produce the best overall product. If we consistently provide quality content, it tells our readers that we value them and they will likely pay us back in one way or another. After all, our content is going to be more relevant and last as long as we'd like it to so we might as well make it the best we can.

Is Google's Instant Results a Good or Bad thing for 2015?

Google has taken it upon themselves to provide many searches with instantaneous results, which has raised an alarm in most marketers. Many think that these instant results being shown first on the SERP will take the focus from their content. The argument can go both ways depending if your content is going around for the long haul. While some traffic may be taken short term, the long term effects are in your favor. Google is creating learned behaviors in it's users to bring them back for more. The more users search in Google; the better your SEO efforts will pay off in the future.

Facebook Search

In 2014, Facebook rolled out the ability to search for a specific post and not just other users or pages. For instance, if you want to find a post you made about RAGBRAI last summer, you can. Simply search, "RAGBRAI" and "YOUR NAME" to find anything that you or a friend published on the subject. These results will always be personalized to you specifically since you can only see information that's been shared with you or that you directly posted. On their rollout date, Facebook stated, "Today is a step toward helping you tap into the experiences and perspectives of your friends." Just another way Facebook is aiming to stay current and competitive in the social media world. As far as what search capabilities are on their mind in 2015, we will have to wait and see.

Goodbye Urbanspoon, Hello Zomato!

If you haven't already heard of Zomato, get ready for it. Zomato just purchased Urbanspoon for a reported $60 million. After starting in 2008 in India, they've made their way to 20 countries and 130 cities. In purchasing of Urbanspoon, it's estimated that Zomoto's web traffic will go from 35 million visits a month to over 80 million. Their plan to launch in North America is set for March of this year. This leads us to one major question: Will we lose our beloved "shake roulette" option for choosing our daily lunch spot? Let's hope not!

Will Foursquare & Swarm Make it to 2016?

In 2014, Foursquare took a leap of faith, in attempts to destroy their competitor, Yelp. They created two different platforms, Foursquare & Swarm instead of their previous one. Those once loyal to Foursquare have since transitioned to Swarm to continue with their daily check-ins, but this hasn't gone over smoothly. App download and usage have dropped dramatically since the change. Foursquare's new face was designed to not only list nearby results, but to learn what you like over time, thus personalizing the experience. Novel idea if consumers can hang on through 2015! I myself have used Foursquare for years and will continue to use it. It has been my go-to app for finding hidden gems places in unfamiliar cities. For instance, on my honeymoon, my husband and I used it the entire trip, from finding fun breakfast spots, dive bars and private beaches. I will admit to using it less since they've transitioned, but am still holding on!

Quality Link building

Inbound links have and always will be significant in creating traffic to your site. The tactics, in which we want to receive them, has simply changed. Inbound links or backlinks, used to be beneficial when obtained in large quantities, but this is no longer the case. It's time to change focus and aim for fewer more credible links instead of multiple untrustworthy backlinks. One quality backlink will trump the various less credible links. Proper backlinkingcan be done by building reputable relationships with different media outlets and creating quality content for our users. The process can be much more time-consuming and tedious, but we can assure you it is worth the effort!

Pinterest's promoted pins will speak for themselves.

After years of not allowing advertisements on Pinterest, they're finally opening the platform to "promoted pins". Beta testing proved that promoted pins performed eleven times better than the same organic pin. They were also seen to continue to be pinned in the months following a campaign. To learn more about Pinterest ads, they're rolling out what they call the Pinstitute. A way to educate advertisers on how to leverage the best use of their promoted pins. Here is an example provided from Pinterest showing you how to select a pin to promote. With over 10 million current users, Pinterest is an obvious platform to explore in 2015.

Video

With more and more mobile traffic, marketers should be incorporating video into their content strategy if they haven't already. Videos are easily shared via smartphone, tablet & desktop much easier than some text content can. Videos are also a great way to build and explain different aspects of your brand. Socializing a video that lives on your website is another great way to aim traffic in your direction. Advertising with video is also something to keep on your radar for 2015. YouTube has been doing this for some time, but now Instagram has began integrating video ads based on age, gender and country. With a growing audience of 300 million active users and 75 million daily users, it's no surprise that this is one of the next best options for advertising.

In looking back at 2014, we can only be hopeful for the year ahead. The ability in which we reach consumers each day has become invaluable for businesses. What digital marketing trends will you look out for in 2015?