As 2015 draws to a close, it is being branded by digital marketing experts as a milestone year which has changed the way businesses interact with their customers online. SponsoredLinx CEO Ben Bradshaw tells us what lessons your business can learn.
Bradshaw said an array of innovations introduced in the last 12 months had shaken up the digital marketing industry.
“For small to medium sized businesses everywhere, 2015 has been the year of digital. If you’re not online, then you’re missing out.
“It’s not just younger generations who are comfortable spending money online anymore. An increasing number of people throughout all age groups are becoming attached to their smartphone and using it to make purchases.
“Businesses need to understand the technologies and applications which are driving this change as the growth in mobile commerce will only accelerate next year,” he said.
To help businesses better understand this new landscape, SponsoredLinx has compiled a list of the biggest digital marketing advances of 2015.
1. Micro-Moments from Google
Micro-Moments was the buzz-word of 2015 and paints the scene of the new battleground for businesses everywhere. Essentially Micro-Moments is a new marketing term, introduced by Google, which describes fleeting moments in which consumers want to learn, do, find or buy something.
At these times, people are increasingly turning to their mobile phones to act instantly on these impulses. Businesses must develop a mobile marketing strategy that reaches customers in these Micro-Moments.
2. Google My Business
Google has implemented significant changes for its Google My Business platform and transformed how Google+ pages and locations are managed. With greater flexibility for adjusting business hours and a new-look dashboard and navigation panel, Google are going to great lengths to make managing Google My Business much easier.
For business owners it means greater visibility for important business details when potential customers are interested in your business.
3. Search Remarketing (RLSA)
Google announced in its blog this year that marketers can now leverage over 200 analytical dimensions to build unique audiences for your remarketing needs. There really is no excuse to not lure customers who have not (or have) converted back to your website.
For those businesses suffering from ‘shopping cart abandonment’ issues, remarketing is the online tool they need to bring those customers back to convert. It is also a great tool to bring back loyal customers with suggestions of products they may want to purchase.
4. Everything is becoming visual
Facebook’s video platform push has achieved phenomenal success, gaining around eight billion views daily. From an advertising point of view, the implementation of Instagram ads and the video push are equally as important.
Both are big news and really show how the future of media is on hand-held devices. It all comes back to the importance of having a secure mobile marketing strategy in place to meet customers where they are spending their time.
5. Material Design as Graphic Design Increases in Importance
Even though Google released Material Design last year, it really only became widely used this year. Codenamed Quantum Paper, it’s a design language which merges classic principles of good design with technology.
While the impact for business owners is not instantly recognisable, with the growing importance of visual content, using a Graphic Designer who knows their industry inside out is crucial to producing and using modern visual content.
6. Google AdWords for SMEs
Google advertising for small businesses has become a lot more accessible and it no longer requires an enormous marketing budget. Small businesses can market their brand alongside big name brands on Google because the AdWords Pay-Per-Click (PPC) system has levelled the playing field.
7. Mobile Optimisation
On 21 April Google launched a new search algorithm which rewarded websites that are optimised for mobile phones. Dubbed “mobilegeddon”, the algorithm is designed to encourage more businesses to make their websites mobile friendly.
If people can intuitively interact with a website on a tablet or smartphone, they are much more likely to venture beyond the site’s homepage. Responsive design is now a must for any new website which is developed.