Need help with a New Year’s resolution? We’ve got a few ideas for you. Here’s our take on what you can expect in 2015, and what to start preparing for:
Content: Invest more in video.
Marketing Tech Blog found that in one case, adding video to a landing page increased leads generated by 130.5%. In 2015, we’ll start to see an increase in the power of videos as marketing tools by making them integral parts of an organization’s sales funnel. You can start by integrating carefully-crafted CTAs that help your customers find more content, capture their email addresses, or entice them to purchase.
Adding CTAs to video is already relatively straightforward, but tools like YouTube’s Call-to-Action Overlays and video hosts like Wistia are making it even easier.
Social media: Make your website more social.
Social media is extending beyond the realm of the big social media outlets (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Apps like Spot.IM now offer the ability to connect your site’s current visitors, creating an on-the-fly social network composed exclusively of the users who are on your site. It allows your visitors to connect with each other (and you) through real-time conversations, creating a potentially powerful channel for analytics and engagement.
Email: Make your emails contextual.
Big Data is evolving to the point where marketers can learn not simply what their audience is consuming, but also when and where they’re consuming it.
“The real cutting edge of email in today’s world is context and behavior,” said Len Shneyder, director of industry relations at messaging software provider Message Systems. “Knowing when a person is most likely to open their email because you’ve tracked previous opens, segmented those opens and applied geographical location data will make a world of difference.”
This extra data means conversations and interactions that are increasingly tailored to particular users and audiences.
Analytics: Integrate it.
The volume of data generated and collected will continue to increase exponentially. The mechanisms for collecting that data – tools like Google Analytics – are already in place. Organizations should begin integrating that data, and the insights generated around it, across all of their digital properties. This will mean more impact and higher return for your efforts.
Advertising: Start with programmatic.
Programmatic was one of the hottest buzzwords in marketing in 2014. According to new figures from eMarketer, “U.S. programmatic digital display ad spending will grow 137.1% to eclipse $10 billion this year, accounting for 45% of the U.S. digital display advertising market.”
This year will see publishers moving increasingly toward working with programmatic partners instead of traditional ad networks, even in areas like TV and digital video content.
SEO: Prepare to be more visual.
Relevant videos and images that suit the context of website content not only increase the engagement of visitors, they improve overall website search rankings. The massive success of image-driven sites – like Buzzfeed, to name one – are a perfect example of the potential impact that images and videos have on SEO. In 2015, we should see the importance of visual elements for search rankings rise dramatically.
UI/UX: Get animated.
Animations help users understand what is happening on screen. This coming year will see an increase in the proliferation of UI animations and interaction-driven design, as well as the expansion of the toolsets available for creating them. The animation tools available in CSS, with keyframes, transitions, and pseudo-elements, as well as tools like GreenSock and even JQuery, are helping make these types of interaction animations easier to create and implement.
Design: Replace PSDs with working prototypes.
The gap between preliminary visual designs and finished code will continue to get smaller. Tools like InVision are making it possible to share designs with clients and team members as prototypes – in a browser – instead of just flat visuals. This increases transparency for clients and boosts communication for teams, making things like interpreting interaction notes obsolete.
Code: Make your web apps Single Page Apps.
Single page apps offer an experience closer to that of native apps. They’re distinguished by their ability to redraw the interface and display new content without requiring a reload to retrieve and display HTML.
This is achieved in a number of different ways, most notably with frameworks like Angular.js, Ember.js, and Backbone, or even plain old jQuery. These frameworks are increasing in popularity and ease of use, meaning single page apps with polished interactions and reduced load times are becoming easier to code and deploy.
That’s it for now. If you’d like some more help getting ready for 2015, get in touch. We’d love to help.