Marketing is not a static concept. The ideas and tools that worked for marketers 100 years ago are ancient compared to those in use today. Even the tactics, tools, and concepts employed just a decade ago are outdated to some degree. Marketing is a fluid concept that changes with time, technology, and shifts in economies and cultures. One need look no further than the fact that digital marketing, which didn't even exist as a separate concept even 20 years ago, is the dominant force in the field today.
With trends coming and going faster than many can track, it's time to take a look at the digital marketing trends that have dominated in 2015 to date. Some of these trends were predicted by analysts in late 2014, and others experienced meteoric gains because of changes in the social landscape.
Perhaps the most important tool in any digital marketing campaign, visual marketing through network sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr have proven the strength of photos and videos in digital marketing. Instagram alone reports that 40 million photos are uploaded to its site every day. The largest brand (by number of followers) on Instagram is Nike, with 18.2 million followers and more than 46 million posts on their hashtag.
Not only do brands need to include social media in their marketing efforts, but they need to employ visual marketing in the process. Even Twitter users see a significant boost when images are added to short posts. Tweets accompanied by an image have an 18% higher chance of earning clicks, receive 89% more favorites, and receive 150% more retweets.
Mobile-First Marketing Strategies
The influence of mobile devices on consumers is staggering. Mobile devices dominate the everyday life of most individuals, as they constantly look at their devices to check texts, reply to emails, and update social media accounts. An estimated 80% of internet users own a smartphone that they use on a daily basis to research products online, in addition to their many other mobile activities. Smartphones make it easy for brands to move closer to their customers by focusing in on them with mobile marketing strategies. It has proven to be one of the most effective customer engagement tools available to any brand right now.
Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns
This one couldn't be predicted by any analyst. It is hard to predict the waves of change in societies and cultures around the globe. The most poignant example of this in 2015 has been the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. In the wake of the court's decision, brands joined individuals online in using hashtags such as #LoveWins to celebrate the decision. Market research has shown that 69% of people share content online that allows them to feel more connected and involved with the world. When brands extend their campaigns to adopt causes, it helps humanize the brand and increase its appeal among consumers.