10 Online Marketing Trends from 2015

The line between marketing and sales has blurred.

No longer do you need to focus on one-on-one interactions. Thanks to the internet, you can engage with potential and existing customers on a global scale.

Here are 10 online marketing trends from 2015.

1. Customer education is at the forefront.

Customers are now better informed than ever before. Thanks to websites like YouTube, Twitter, and online news portals, customers can stumble upon the information they need to make smarter buying decisions.

Retail websites like [email protected] and Buy.com have made customer education a priority. The former encourages shoppers to take the time to read about the products and the latter equips its audience with the knowledge they need to make smarter buying decisions.

Whether you’re an online store or an online-savvy brand, providing valuable information about your products represents a sound investment in your brand’s long-term growth.

2. Email marketing stands out as a cost-efficient and powerful display of engagement.

It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective and popular forms of online marketing. According to Aperture Market Research, email marketing platforms generate billions of emails every day. That’s a lot of potential engagement.

Marketing emails can be an invaluable tool. They provide you with the opportunity to [verb]: engage with customers, promote a call to action, and build a relationship.

The digital marketing world may be evolving, but one thing has not changed: delivering value to your customers is still the key to success.

3. SEO is undergoing some significant changes.

If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either an SEO professional, or someone who wants to become one.

If you’re considering a career in SEO, you should keep in mind that the practice is always changing. The tactics used to optimize a website for search engines may change over time, as the practice itself is always evolving to fit the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

The line between SEO and digital marketing is blurring, and that’s a good thing. As search engines evolve, your job as an SEO will never be done. Always be on the lookout for new [SEO] trends and methods. You can even become an expert in multiple industries.

4. Influencer marketing is changing the game.

Traditional forms of marketing, like radio ads and billboards, have always been effective. However, the ability to spread a message through social media and word of mouth, makes influencer marketing unique.

Influencer marketing isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay.

From popular bloggers and YouTube creators to seasoned marketers and brand ambassadors, companies of all sizes are discovering the power of influencers to grow their business.

If you want to be successful, it’s time to evolve with the times and learn how to use influencers to promote your brand.

5. Live chat is replacing email marketing.

Thanks to the rise of the ‘social media manager’ and ‘community manager’, more businesses are looking to establish themselves as a valuable resource for their customers. Live chat is one of the best ways to provide customers with the information they seek while also showing that you’re someone special.

This trend is especially apparent on retail websites where you may have multiple departments, each with their own live chat platforms. An established brand may even have a live chat conversation with a retail customer before they make a purchase decision.

The key is to make sure that the content you provide through live chat is easily accessible to your customers. If a customer asks for help while browsing your products, that information should be easily found and accessible. Additionally, customers should feel empowered to explore the site without fear of missing out on any vital information.

6. Video content is taking over.

Thanks to the rise of digital storytelling, video is taking over as the preferred form of content.

In a world full of video, it’s difficult to stand out among the noise. However, if you put the right video content in front of the right audience at the right time, your video will stand out above the rest.

In our digital world, video content is becoming more important to engage and retain our attention as consumers have shorter attention spans.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, people are more likely to remember video content than they are text content. Additionally, video content is increasing in popularity as photos are declining. People are even more likely to remember images than they are words. However, you should not just throw up a video without a purpose. Make sure that you’ve put thought into the content you plan to release and that it will be worth your audience’s time.

7. Mobile marketing is evolving.

Thanks to improved digital technologies and a rise of smartphone users, mobile marketing is evolving.

Many marketers are beginning to see mobile marketing as an inseparable part of their digital strategy. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 86% of consumers have used their phones to research products before buying them. Additionally, 56% of consumers have made a purchase because of information found on their phones.

Though smartphones are helping to establish many new marketing trends, traditional marketing methods like radio ads and billboards still have value. Marketers should not abandon these methods but rather transform how they’re used in order to reach the right audience on the go.

8. Affiliate marketing is evolving.

Many online marketers consider affiliate marketing to be the ‘grandfather’ of internet marketing. The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple: you promote a product or service, and when someone clicks or makes a purchase after being redirected to the website, you receive a commission.

Though affiliate marketing has been around for a while, the internet has vastly expanded the practice. There are currently over 500 million websites with the world’s most popular ones generating billions of visits every year. That’s a lot of potential customers.

Many marketers consider affiliate marketing to be the ‘grandfather’ of internet marketing. The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple: you promote a product or service, and when someone clicks or makes a purchase after being redirected to the website, you receive a commission.

In these challenging times, many businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. One of the best ways to do this is to consider becoming an affiliate marketer and generating revenue while spending less. If this sounds like you, then learn how to implement affiliate marketing into your strategy.

9. Location-based marketing is vital.

With the rise of on-demand businesses and the on-the-go consumer, businesses need to find ways to reach the audience they most likely to convert, whether they’re in a shop, on the road, or in a restaurant.

Though traditional marketing methods still have value, you can bet that consumers are more likely to be engaged with a product or service if it’s near or around where they are.

If you’re running a business, consider how you can use digital marketing to reach your customers wherever they are. Additionally, many businesses are turning to digital marketing to establish and grow their presence in a particular area.

10. Multi-channel marketing is essential.

After establishing the previous nine trends, it’s time to build on top of them. Though digital marketing is about establishing and growing a presence online, businesses must understand that it’s only part of the equation.

Thanks to the internet, customers are able to discover your business wherever they may be. However, in order to generate leads and make sales, you must [verb]: engage with your audience on different platforms.

Instead of simply having a website, you should have a site that’s integrated with social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook. If you want to connect with your customers on a deeper level, consider setting up live chats, subscribing to blogs, and engaging with them on social media platforms.

At the end of the day, marketing is always evolving to fit the changing world. Though many of these changes are positive, it’s essential that marketers continue to learn and adapt.