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The WordJack Team’s Predictions for Web Marketing in 2015

Predictions for Web MarketingI asked the web marketing experts on the WordJack team what they thought about the trends of 2014 and what their predictions are for online marketing in 2015. Here are some tips and interesting insights from their responses.

What do you think was the biggest trend in online marketing during 2014?

  • “More and more people are doing mobile searches. That just makes it as important as it’s always been to optimize your website correctly and make sure it’s mobile friendly.”
    –Dano, Marketing Manager
  • “It was maybe not so much a “trend” as an event, but for Canadian businesses, the CAN-SPAM legislation had fairly large impacts for businesses in terms of their email marketing processes and their obligations in keeping good records for their email contact lists. I’m not sure that the changes to the law have increased the amount of spam out there, but it certainly adds extra onus on Canadian businesses who want to communicate with their customers.”
    –Isaac, Production Manager
  • “The biggest trend, in my opinion, is competition. Small and medium businesses are really ramping up their digital marketing and investing more in online advertising. It’s not just big brands investing in digital branding, social media marketing and SEO anymore. You need be on that playing field and create an online experience to maximize conversion in a competitive market.”
    –Cindy, Marketing Manager
  • “It’s not so much a technological trend as a mindset trend, but I noticed a lot more small & medium-sized businesses determined to take control over their online presence in 2014.  There were two distinct camps here.  The first were people who built their presence several years ago, often with a major media company only to find out that their presence was now inflexible, outdated and (worst yet) owned by the publisher.  The second camp was comprised of people who had built free websites using some of the website builders out there, only to find that they weren’t able to get the site to rank on major search engines.”
    –Matt, Sales Manager

Were you surprised by any 2014 marketing trends or events? 

  • “The rather large decline in Facebook popularity came as a surprise to pretty much everyone this year. This isn’t to say that Facebook is dead (far from it), but it will likely see a lot of changes being implemented in 2015 to try to push its growth curve back in the right direction.”
    –Brandon, SEO Specialist
  • “I was surprised at how many people are readily sharing their location information over social media so frequently. We saw this before with Foursquare, but it used to be contained to those types of sites. Now it’s showing up everywhere, & consumers don’t seem to mind telling everyone where they are all the time, even though they usually have the option not to disclose it.”
    –Sarah, Production Coordinator
  • “The Queen of England’s first tweet!”
    –Rebecca, Marketing Manager

What types of marketing campaigns do you find to be most effective currently for small businesses?

  • “For most small businesses, I believe that a combination of Google PPC, Facebook Ad Campaigns and monthly e-mail marketing campaigns is the way to go. I’d argue that if a small business was to focus on only one of these campaigns, that should choose Google PPC (AdWords); however, I suggest that realtors should choose Facebook ad campaigns, as they tend to offer less expensive, higher quality clicks for that industry.”
    –Amy, Marketing Manager”
  • “I’m a big fan of content marketing because I find it authentic and effective. Videos, blogs, website content and social media posts help SMBs connect with their existing and potential customers, and help them get found online, as well. It’s win-win!!”
    –Rebecca, Marketing Manager
  • “I still think you can’t underestimate the power of an effective landing page. We blogged in 2014 about the importance of effective pages. Then, in terms of getting people there, email marketing, social campaigns, paid clicks or SEO can all be effective feeders to a good page.”
    -Isaac, Production Manager

Which marketing channel/opportunity is coming along slower then you expected?

  • “For local businesses, I’m disappointed with the limited success of re-marketing.  The data certainly shows results for national businesses and brands, but for businesses targeting a local market, I have yet to see a great case study.  I’m interested in watching the future for re-marketing ads.  I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like the “invasiveness” of these ads . . . so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts.”
    –Matt, Sales Manager
  • “For local business owners, I think social media has been a big disappointment. It’s very rare to see leads come in through Twitter, Facebook or Google +, as compared to PPC and organic search results.”
    –Dano, Marketing Manager
  • “I’d like to see more businesses embrace promotions and special offers online. We know that this one of the most effective opportunities in web marketing. Businesses need to get serious about having compelling offers or promotions to attract new customers.”
    –Rebecca, Marketing Manager
  • “Can I say all of them? My point is that there doesn’t seem to be any trends/sites/brands that surge to prominence and absolute domination anymore. There’s a new app every day for coupons, loyalty clubs, shopper deals, local search or online reviews. Then when you think about the possible strategies across Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Facebook and more, you realize the opportunities are really spread around. A good web marketing approach is choosing a few that can bring you customers and use them most effectively.”
    –Isaac, Production Manager

What do you expect to be the biggest or most important area of web marketing in 2015?

  • “In 2015, I see virtual reality marketing starting to take off in a big way. One of the biggest hesitations consumers experience when shopping online is that they are unfamiliar with the product; consumers have no means of seeing the product in person, testing the product, experiencing the product from all angles, etc. In the future, I expect the user experience will dramatically change, especially with the emergence of Facebook’s Oculus Rift.”
    -Amy, Marketing Manager
  • “I think it’s going to be extremely important to find ways to get noticed. It’s getting harder & harder to do with more & more companies embracing the importance of web marketing. Business owners are realizing that it is absolutely critical to have an online presence, or their businesses will fail. However, all that “presence” is adding up to a lot of noise for consumers, & people are growing numb to all the advertisements & information overload. Businesses will need to focus on finding ways to have more interesting content than their competitors, more eye-catching graphics, getting around ad filters, & any other ways they can think of to get positive attention.”
    –Sarah, Production Coordinator
  • “Search Engine Optimization is always changing and should be at the top of your online marketing strategy. Content is the key!!! Blog regularly, create pages on your website targeting specific keywords, and make sure your online presence is established (and citations are consistent).”
    –Cindy, Marketing Manager
  • “Social marketing! Social platforms both big and small are becoming more and more common place in everyday users’ lives. More and more platforms come out each day, more and more apps make it easier to use them, and even slightly older platforms like Instagram & YouTube are growing through the roof in popularity. Not only that, more and more SEO weight is being factored into social platforms/actions than ever before, making widely diverse social marketing a must for any small business in 2015.”
    –Brandon, SEO Specialist

What online marketing advice would you give to local business owners for the coming year?

  • “If you haven’t started marketing your business online, start now! If you have started, keep going. Just having a Facebook page & website isn’t enough. Decide what kind of personality/voice you want your business to have when interacting with your customers, & then use it. Post regularly. You don’t have to compose a long, flawless article every time. The frequency of your posts is more important. Answer questions on your social media sites, blog, etc. promptly & with that voice in mind. The more you can show your customers that there is a real person behind your business, the more they will interact with you & the more they will trust you & be willing to give you business.”
    -Sarah, Production Coordinator
  • “The importance of mobile marketing is not going away any time soon, and although mobile devices have been around and popular for years, users are just now really starting to use them for EVERYTHING. More and more online searches/website visits are coming from mobile devices, and this trend is only growing, so if I were to give 1 important piece of advice for small businesses in 2015, it would be to make sure you cater well to mobile devices.”
    –Brandon, SEO Specialist
  • “Get a website, optimize it with blogs & keyword-rich pages, create some enticing offers, and run some Pay Per Click ads.”
    –Dano, Marketing Manager
  • “SMBs are often so busy with their day-to-day operations that they don’t have a clear vision about who they are as a company. You don’t need to hire someone to do a complicated branding exercise in order to establish the reason you exist and what you offer to your customers. Do you offer a better value? A unique solution or service that no one else has? Is your focus on customer education your strong suit? Is your product or service better quality than the next guy? Think about what should motivate your potential customer to buy from you rather than your competitor, and you will have your answer. You should always be focused on who your ideal customer is and how to attract them. Once you have that established, you can focus all of your marketing around that vision.”
    -Rebecca, Marketing Manager
  • “Be focused, and try to measure what you’re doing. Lots of website traffic is great, but how many visitors were from your local area? How many calls or email inquiries did your website get you? How many people really open your email campaigns? Have website improvements led to search engine ranking improvements? It’s all available and measurable, so make the most of it.
    -Isaac, Production Manager
  • “Diversify your marketing portfolio. It seems commonplace to hear a client say ‘I just need a mobile site’ or to hear a marketing agency say ‘you need to engage socially’.  While neither statement is false, the truth is that a small business can’t be successful with just a single strategy. Everything online is so intertwined that there is no single silver bullet for success.  The winners are the ones who find a way to have a balanced marketing portfolio where their website, social media, content, email, click and search optimization strategies all work together for maximum effectiveness.  Oh yeah . . . and you’ve got to find a way to do all of that and still have time to run your business.”
    –Matt, Sales Manager
  • “Don’t be intimidated by online marketing. It can be very overwhelming, but with the right plan and confidence, you can achieve incredible ROI. Synergy is the key to success. You need to make sure your brand is established online and create an experience for prospects across all online platforms. Having a marketing/promotion plan will help you map your strategy and set your goals for 2015!”
    -Cindy, Marketing Manager

WordJack Media provides a wide range of website design and online marketing solutions to clients throughout Canada and the US, including Collingwood ON, Ottawa ON, Barrie ON, Miami FL, Lakeland FL, Orlando FL, Charlotte NC, Hickory NC, Asheville NC and more. Contact WordJack Media today for more information about how we can help your business win on the web!

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