It’s crystal ball gazing time. What are the trends in digital marketing for 2015? Here’s what we see up ahead for Indian small and mid-size businesses.
Focus on results: Companies that have experimented with social media, SEO and SEM will now be racking their brains on how is this all coming together for the business. Where are the leads? Are the leads good enough? Are the leads from the right geography? Have the user signups gone up? Do more people recognize the brand now? These questions will be put to digital marketers more and more.
More about technology: Online marketing will need a huge focus on the various tools, the marketing automation solutions, the analytics dashboards and more. But it also needs a greater, nuanced understanding how website structures work, and a broad understanding of how various CMSs work.
More businesses will want marketers or agencies that understand technology from the ground up instead of typical advertisers/marketers with limited understanding of technology.
More about content: As search engine algorithms get stricter, as the target audience gets savvier, it’s going to come down to real good, relevant content. Not ‘SEO content’, but content that the target audience is looking for. Minus the sell part, of course. So yes, content marketing becomes even more important, going forward.
More about ownership: With different outsourced teams handling SEO, content, design, print collaterals, events and PR, an inhouse marketing team finds itself floundering on the achievement of goals. This is because of ownership issues. The person who has the ownership usually lacks the in-depth understanding needed in all aspects of marketing. Without this understanding, marketing teams will continue to flounder. Companies will now need to find the true owner of their process, inhouse or outsourced.
Getting authentic: If you scan a few social media pages, or Twitter handles of brands or companies, you will see that they come across as static, or giving inane replies to anyone who leaves a comment. Companies now will have to get authentic about their social presence, which requires a tight integration of the outsourced social media team with the inhouse team. While outsourced teams handle part of the content and engagement, the inhouse team has to step up and seamlessly fill in when an outsourced team just can’t. And a clear understanding on how this will be done will need to get established.
Mobile centric: All action has shifted to the mobile. And companies now have to think this piece through. From having mobile friendly websites and content to non-intrusive ways of reaching the right target audience, this part will now become the center piece of digital strategy.