Congratulations! You invested heavily in digital marketing in 2014 and it paid off for you... big time!
While you should be proud of yourself, this is not the time to pat yourself on the back or rest on your laurels. If you haven't figured it out already, the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. New strategies, new technologies and new opportunities are always popping up.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you head into the New Year:
- Invest in Social Media Advertising: To get your content effectively distributed and displayed through social media, you are going to have to pay for it in 2015. The content landscape has gotten awfully crowded of late. As businesses become more sophisticated about creating content, getting your messages to your target audiences is going to be harder and harder. Now is the time to look heavily into investing in promoted posts and social ads on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Such ads allow you to leapfrog over the competition and place your brand at the front of the content line.
- Keep an Eye on the Growing Impact of Wearable Technologies: Advertising on wearable technologies (Google Glass, fitness bands and watches, etc.) is going to explode in 2015. These devices track everything from your heart rate to your blood sugar levels to your mood. Imagine what that kind of data can mean for real time, highly targeted, advertising possibilities. This is a topic worth following closely this year, because we have just scratched the surface of the possibilities being opened up by these amazing new devices.
- Consider Native Advertising: Native advertising- where brand content mixes almost seamlessly with editorial content- will continue to become more ubiquitous and more sophisticated. Consumers are looking to be informed, entertained and engaged. They don't really care if the source of such content is a traditional news outlet or if it's a brand. If you have the ability to create high-quality content, then you should, by all means, think about investing a portion of your marketing/advertising budget on native. While purists may bemoan this blurring or the lines between pure editorial content and branded content, the news delivery landscaped has been changed forever.
- Take Advantage of Trends in Big Data: 2014 saw a huge leap in the way advertisers gather and analyze enormous amounts of data. In 2015, these data collection tools will become more sophisticated and more ubiquitous. Spending on data collection and analysis is expected to grow exponentially. The intelligence gained from such data will drive new marketing strategies and such marketing campaigns will be delivered by automated marketing technologies.
- Take Care of Cyber Security and Privacy Issues: The number of cyber attacks in 2014 was alarming, culminating with the enormous breach at Sony. If your business isn't doing everything in its power (and budget) to shore up your security, you are not just making a mistake, you are playing Russian Roulette with your business.
- Stay Informed: The biggest trend of all will be the constant evolution of the way business gets done in the digital age. You can't afford to merely keep up to speed. Businesses that succeed are the ones who can stay just ahead of the curve. There are some awfully smart people out there. Some of the people worth listening to carefully are Gary Vaynerchuk, Rebecca Lieb, Shonali Burke, and David Berkowitz (no, not that David Berkowitz).
- Unplug: We all how easy it is to let business consume our lives. The digital age has made it way too convenient to work from any place in the world at any time of day. It is for that very reason we all need to make the conscious decision to disengage from business and reengage with life, family and friends.
Wishing you all the success and happiness in the world! Happy 2015!