When we’re bidding adieu to an old year and hello to a new, we like to read (and write) about predictions for the New Year. I’m not immune to the New Year excitement bug, even though I tend to work on holidays (rather than party).
This year, I’m a little more excited than normal. Although I have no pretensions to prophetic abilities, I’m seeing signs that 2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for Internet marketing. If you’re in the digital marketing space like I am you should probably get excited, too.
The way things are looking, I’m willing to venture that as long as you are strategically investing in online marketing, you’re going to see some big gains in the next few months.
I’m banking on the statistics, not just my gut. That’s why this article is chock full of charts. Check out this list of reasons why I’m prophesying big gains for 2015.
Gaining mobile search traffic and optimization is relatively simple.
For the past few years, it’s been popular to talk about the explosion of mobile — mobile growth, mobile revenue, etc.
There’s an obvious reason for this. From 2008 to 2012, mobile exploded. Over a four-year period, mobile experienced a CAGR of 129%.
But what about now? Has mobile finally plateaued?
Actually, no. It hasn’t. Quite the opposite in fact. In fact, over the next four-year period, it’s predicted to grow even more.
Evidently, mobile is still growing. But how do you cash in on the mobile market?
It’s not too hard. First, you need to make sure you have a fully responsive site that is mobile friendly. Be sure to check out Google’s mobile friendly test to make sure that your site is approved in the mobile SERPs.
Second, if you gain online revenue, then you need to make sure your checkout process is optimized for a mobile experience. It’s one thing to have a responsive site, but quite another to have a fully mobile-optimized checkout process.
Finally, it’s important to gain the top organic search result. As proven by SEO Clarity, the top position in the SERPs is especially important for mobile searchers as indicated by the high percentage of first-position clickthroughs.
This three step process virtually guarantees an uptick in mobile revenue during 2015:
- Fully responsive site
- Mobile-optimized checkout
- Top-ranked mobile search results
Millennial shoppers respond to Internet marketing.
When we think about “Internet marketing,” we have to think about the market — the group of people who will search, find, and buy our goods and services.
Who is the biggest market sector in 2015? It’s millennials.
Millennials do something that no generation before has done. They don’t go to brick-and-mortar stores as often.
Even though they comprise a large percentage of the spending population, they are visiting less often and spending less money at stores, comparatively, to their older counterparts.
Where are these millennial shoppers spending their money?
According to some statisticians, 82% of a millennial’s shopping time is spent online.
They buy a lot of their stuff online — from health products to movie tickets. Many of them even do grocery shopping online. Few things are not on a millennial’s online shopping list.
We have millennials to thank for the major boost in online holiday spending via mobile.
Besides being big online spenders. Millennials are receptive to online marketing. Social platforms are where they spend their time, make their relationships, listen to recommendations, and interact with others.
Online shopping and revenue has done nothing but go up.
Ever since the beginning of the Internet shopping age, online revenue has gone nowhere but up. And up. And up.
Remember, how back in the beginning, we were all blown away by the rise of online revenue?
Well, here we are a decade later, and we’re nowhere near the peak. Online revenue will still rise as time goes on.
To put it in financial terms, investing in online marketing is like investing in a bull market. The most obvious marketing move is not to pull back, but to lean in.
All major industries with the exception of auto (in 2013) have grown, as indicated by ad revenues compared YoY from 2012 to 2013.
The chances are pretty good that your Internet marketing dollar will have a solid ROI this coming year.
Online interaction and social media allows for top-notch customer interaction and retention.
If you know much about marketing, you know that your existing customers are your best source of revenue.
If you can maintain your customers by serving them well, then you are in the perfect position to retain those customers.
How do you serve them well?
Increasingly, it’s through online interaction. The social networks are the primary way that digital brands interact personally with their customers.
As reported by Statista and Mashable, “social networking is the no. 1 online activity in the U.S.”
This is where customers are present.
It only makes sense to drive relationships using these platforms. As indicated by the research, many online brands use social media to improve customer relationships twice as effectively as email.
Let’s be honest, though. Social media is not a primary driver of conversions. But it is a driver of relationships, which help to maintain customers, even if it’s not in a way that we can easily define with conversion and clickthrough rates.
But it’s not just social media sites themselves. In fact, customers are more likely to be influenced by their online interaction with you as a brand than by your presence on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
We have more tools than ever before.
Welcome to an era where we have an app or online tool to solve virtually any problem.
Never before has marketing been this easy. Whether you need data, task optimization, SEO enhancement, testing information, localization tools, collaboration networks, syndication tools, social media listening tools, social media management apps, or marketing automation resources, it’s at your fingertips.
There’s nothing that you can’t do without some sort of online service.
Disclaimer: There’s one risk associated with this huge variety of tools. It has to do with strategy. Tools don’t strategize for you. They only help you to implement your strategy. Use as many tools as you want, but don’t expect them to do your strategy for you.
We have more access to more resources.
Not only do you have all the online marketing tools you could ever want, but you also have more resources than you could ever use. Here are some of them.
More and more online workers are doing so in location-independent situations. Many startups don’t even have a physical office.
What do you do if you want to hire a mobile designer in 2015, but you can’t find him in San Francisco where your startup is based?
Then you hire him wherever you can find him. Istanbul. Moscow. Orlando. Mexico City. Ypsilanti, Michigan. It doesn’t matter.
You have all the workforce resources you need in 2015, because they’re working online, not in traditional offices.
Agencies can do your marketing tasks for you — like handling all your CRO, creating your content, managing your social media, or whatever else you need.
There’s a lot of different marketing tasks that you could be doing, but don’t have time for. The solution is straightforward. Hire an agency to do it for you.
Sometimes, the biggest gains in business are discovered by hiring a consultant who can tell you what’s wrong, and how to fix it.
Let’s not forget about information. Personal blogs, business blogs, podcasts, ezines, webinars, training videos, infographics, whitepapers, research, tests, statistics, and data is available to you. It’s just a few Google searches away.
Basically, in 2015 you have everything you ever need to explode with digital marketing power.
The way I see it, we’re gearing up for a very good 2015.
I tend to be optimistic, which is why I like news like this. In this case, however, I don’t think that my optimism is altering my perception of reality. Look at the numbers. Check out the trends.
What do you think? Is 2015 going to be a big year for you?