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Happy New Year! Welcome back to work! If you’ve already derailed your diet or given up on your resolution to quit gluten in 2015… no worries.

Here are five 2015 marketing trends you can resolve to implement instead. And you can totally get them done with a doughnut in hand.

1. Video

Content overload. Content shock. Information density… If you don’t know what this is, just Google these terms and you’ll find about 62,000 results, which essentially sums up the problem. Everyone and his uncle is blogging right now. Every year, more companies crank out textual drivel… er content… And on the whole, this makes it harder to get your legitimately helpful content found—let alone read—among target audiences.

Video is not a brand new solution, but we expect it to be one the most effective 2015 marketing trends. During every stage of the buying cycle, online video—especially narrated video—can save your readers valuable time. If you’re explaining something complex or dull, video helps audiences process and retain your message much faster/easier. If you want to improve click-through rates, adding video to your email is definitely worth a try. Most important: leads and customers prefer video over white papers, case studies, and even live demonstrations with reps.

We’re planning a future blog on all the different ways your business can create video content—from super low-budget solutions to uber slick productions. Stay tuned!

2. SlideShare

Remember the electric slide? That synchronized dance everybody did at weddings in 1991?

In 2015, SlideShare for B2B marketing might be even bigger than that. One expert predicts, “SlideShare [will] emerge as the key social network for business professionals to find and share bite-sized pieces of content…”

So what is SlideShare? It’s a website that lets you post presentations (slide decks) or videos, and helps your content show up in more search results—both in organic search results (20% of SlideShare visitors come directly from Google) and among SlideShare results (because increasingly, executives use the site as a kind of business-focused search engine). Since most companies already have loads of great content in presentation form, there’s no heavy lifting here. However there are some guidelines to keep in mind when optimizing your existing slides, or converting white papers etc. for SlideShare.

Between 2011 (when the free media site posted this How To presentation) and 2013, monthly traffic has more than doubled—now surpassing 60 million visitors and 3 billion views per month. As a free network user, you can see how many of these people are viewing and downloading your decks. If you opt for a paid account, you can access even more analytics.

3. Contextual Marketing

Context was the big thing at HubSpot’s Inbound conference last fall, and for good reason. With the new content optimization system (COS), we now have the tools to deliver anonymous personalization and smart content to site visitors and leads, based on all kinds of data we can collect and analyze. Smart content cuts down the time it takes for prospects to find relevant, timely information. Smart content also helps you stop generalizing about your value and benefits with the same static message.

Imagine how many more leads you could generate with dynamic CTAs, appearing on cue for specific buyer personas. Imagine how much more information you could collect, if your leads never had to answer the same landing page questions twice. It’s pretty exciting.

If your B2B website isn’t already on a Pro or Enterprise version of the COS (or on the HubSpot platform for that matter), ask us what you need to make contextual marketing happen.

4. Ultra-Bare Websites

Don’t get too comfortable in your winter-weather layers and accessories. Simple, uncluttered websites seem to be taking over—some with just a single page of scrollable content and link-anchored sections. These ultra-bare websites feature lots of whitespace and oversize images or animated gifs.  Often they only present one or two calls to action.

On the upside, bare websites are more conducive to responsive design. On the downside, they don’t always encourage return visits or conversion path progress. Here’s a great example from a B2B company that clearly knows a lot about website design. What’s your vote?

Miceli Studios5. Truly Helpful Content

Helpful content. We say this every year, especially as HubSpot partners who are pinky-sworn to delight our customer audiences. But today’s marketing best practices can sometimes contradict the top priority of being helpful. Take blogging frequency for example.

There’s a stat out there about the 82% of companies that blog daily and acquire a customer through their efforts. But for most B2B companies, daily blogging is a terrible idea. Do you really have something insightful and useful to share every day? Do you really care about the information in your content (i.e. are you taking care to update old posts), or do you mostly care about volume and keywords?

Rounding out this list of 2015 marketing trends, I predict (smart) marketers will perform their content audits, review their buyer personas/journeys, and make an effort to produce truly helpful, high-quality pieces. If that means 3 blogs in March instead of 30, I think their company leaders will be—or should be—happy with the results.

Free Download: 4 Best Practices for Your Content Marketing Program

 

About the Author

Liz O'Neill
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Liz O'Neill

Content marketing specialist (and current Director of Marketing at C&S Insurance), Liz O'Neill enjoys writing informative, engaging copy about pretty much anything—helping companies and their customers cut through all the digital noise; find each other faster; form deep, abiding relationships; and ride off into the sunset (while Instagramming the entire journey).

 Tags: B2B Marketing Marketing Strategy and Planning

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