Targeting specific demographics with advertisements is as old as marketing itself, but new technology is letting businesses be far more specific about to whom they would like to pitch ads or even which groups even see their ads. This fall, Facebook launched two new advertising platforms, Atlas and Facebook Audience Network. The social media giant promises marketers greater control over who sees their online ads with this network than ever before, because of the social network’s incredible database of user data.
Facebook’s expansion of its advertising platforms will open the floodgates for micro-targeting in 2015, but this trend will become even more prevalent in 2016. Even political campaigns used micro-targeting in this year’s elections. In 2016, you are sure to see the effects of their honing techniques with even greater detail for the presidential election.
As businesses adopt micro-targeting, their buyer personas well become more defined. Like targeting, buyer personas—representations of the company’s ideal customer—are not new. They will become increasingly important as businesses learn exactly who their customers are and create advertising campaigns specifically for them, excluding the types of customers that typically have low success rates when interacting with company products.
Retargeting is a way for advertisers to maintain a customer advertising relationship, even when the potential customer moves away from the company’s site. A cookie that tracks online activity is placed on a person’s computer that allows companies to repeatedly show ads to that person. Retargeting has been around for several years, but Facebook Audience Network, which features retargeting capabilities, will accelerate this trend in 2015.
For B2B companies retargeting may be especially effective. Businesses rarely make a purchase on their first visit to your site. They may not need to place an order right then, or the company might have a chain of approval to move through before purchasing. Retargeting keeps your company in front of potential customers’ eyes after they visit your site.
Quality Content Marketing
The quality of content marketing has steadily improved over the past few years, and it will continue that trend in 2015. Of course, as the quality of the content used for inbound marketing improves, its cost also escalates. Companies should be prepared to pay more for a single piece of content in 2015 than in 2014, but you may be able to order less overall content. Quality trumps quantity; the cost of posts, infographics and other high-converting content will reflect that in 2015.
Paid Content Placement
As businesses invest more in individual pieces of content, expect them to also pay more to it. Paid content placement, despite what Google might try to encourage, will increase in 2015. This has already become commonplace on social media. For instance, when Facebook updated its algorithm in 2013, there was a 44% decrease in the amount of non-sponsored, corporate content users saw in their news feeds. In 2015, paid content may be commonplace across the entire internet, not just on social media.
Mobile is another trend that has been around for a few years, but business websites are finally starting to reflect this trend. Mobile specific websites became standard in 2014. Artistically, web designers have responded to the mobile trend with minimalistic designs that work well on smaller screens.
In 2015, businesses will likely begin including less information on their websites, to accommodate mobile visitors. Sliders will be less common on home pages than they were a few years ago. Many landing pages may only include the company name, location, contact information and basic purpose.
Another trend to look for in 2015? The age of apps-based advertising and customer experience. Look for more companies to bring their mobile advertising into the app world with service-based applications and adds in other companies’ mobile apps as well.
As 2015 approaches, prepare for more targeted advertisements, more expensive content, and simpler messages. Adapting to these changes will require rethinking your marketing strategy. Businesses that quickly adjust to these new trends, though, will be positioned for success in 2015.
Katherine Wood is Managing Editor at Talent Tribune, a data-driven HR blog powered by Software Providers.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net