Digital Marketing Year In Review: 2015

Digital marketing made some serious strides in 2015, and it’s the perfect time to reflect on the most significant developments of the year. With a thorough understanding of how the past 12 months have progressed, they’ll be able to begin 2016 with a strong foundation for marketing success. Here’s a look at the digital trends that made 2015 such a big year for marketers.

Content gained momentum
While the content marketing movement may have taken root a few years back, 2015 saw the trend become a full-blown marketing phenomenon, according to a blog article from KoMarketing contributor Casie Gillette. In fact, content marketing saw so much success in 2015 that 76 percent of B2B marketers plan to boost their investment in this area when 2016 rolls around, according to the source, citing CMI and Marketing Profs.

Of course, organizations are working through some growing pains as they develop and refine their content marketing strategies, the source explained. The source stated that a mere 30 percent of companies believe that their content is truly effective in driving marketing goals, suggesting that there is plenty of room for improvement as 2016 gets underway.

Search saw improvements
Marketers have learned to play by Google’s rules over the past several years, and 2015 only proved that the search engine giant is the ultimate authority when it comes to online visibility. This year saw the rise of rich answers – snippets of information from a selected source that deliver targeted responses to questions.

The KoMarketing article cited a study from Stone Temple, showing that nearly one-third (31 percent) of July 2015 searches led to a rich answer. This means that brands will need to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries to occupy these valuable spots on the search engine results page.

Mobility became a must
The prevalence of mobile devices is apparent to anyone, but marketers noticed that the usage of mobile platforms changed slightly in 2015, with smartphones and tablets now being used as shopping platforms rather than browsing tools. An article from Business 2 Community explained that today’s shoppers feel far more comfortable making purchases on the go than ever before.

“Mobile = Money, and nowhere this year was that more obvious than the record-breaking Thanksgiving sales weekend that spanned from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, where mobile hits accounted for a whopping 49 percent of all shopping visits across e-commerce sites,” stated contributor Amrit Kirpalani.

Automation proved essential
With so many individual trends to keep track of, it’s no surprise that brands have become more interested in a method of marketing management that streamlines all of these disparate elements. Enter marketing automation software, which grew in popularity by a significant margin over the course of 2015.

Between campaign development, management and analysis, automation systems have become a central part of modern marketing success, and 2016’s winners will surely have such a system on their side as they navigate the new year.