By Darren Gilbert

Just over half way into 2015 and marketing trends will have, by now, taken hold. Of course, some trends are slower in coming to fruition than others but that doesn’t mean they aren’t here.

Video as a medium as evolved

2015 is the year that video has come of age in the marketing world. One only has to look at the amount of content produced on YouTube, the increasing use of video in marketing campaigns and presentations or even the rise of vlogging. Video also opens up so many new doors for engagement and interaction with your customers.

“When it comes to video, people are watching and engaging with more and more video content – especially native video on Facebook and Twitter,” says Gullan. “But it will still be some time before we see that spectacular transform into content creation on a large scale.”

One only needs to look at a great example of mobile/video functionality, says Gullan. Fort Minor’s 360-degree music video for their new single, Welcome, allows users to move their phone while watching to give a complete view of the entire production. 

Organic search has been afforded greater share of the budget

Whether you accept it or not, organic search (or SEO) is important for business.

Thus, as Charlie Stewart, CEO of Rogerwilco, says, you should expect a greater share of budget allocated to it. “Gaining Google’s tacit endorsement by appearing at the top of natural search listings has long been a key factor in influencing buying-decision-making behaviour.”

However, over the last few years, South African business has become better informed and appreciates the value of good SEO, adds Stewart. We have recognised that “it’s a tacit that needs to be tailored to their specific environment rather than bought in off-the-shelf packages”.

More businesses have become social media savvy

The penny has dropped for many brands who make use of social media. Social media isn’t something that you should do because everyone else is doing it. Likewise, you shouldn’t be on a particular platform because everyone else is too. Rather pick your platforms based on your customers.

“South African brands have generally been very focused on page likes and top-level numbers when it comes to measuring success,” says Gullan. “Now, brands winning at social are the ones who recognise engagement and resonance are the more important metrics.”

Content marketing has seen a massive growth spike

Besides the increased interest in video, content marketing is also making a strong statement in 2015. In fact, according to The CAM Foundation, it’s the most commercially important trend for 2015.

“Content marketing is a great way to engage with customers and to provide them with expert knowledge to help them during their buying process of any product or service.”

Meanwhile, Bongani Gosa, creative director at Breeze Website Designers, agrees, “Consumers have information at their fingertips and can make their pick from a myriad of businesses like yours. In this fight for attention, you cannot afford to not know about content marketing.”

What are your thoughts on the marketing trends of 2015 so far? Do you know of any others that we haven’t mentioned? Tell us below.