It feels like forever since I’ve written a proper blog post for Learn Inbound! It has been a crazy month, what with starting with HubSpot (which is everything I dreamt it would be!), Christmas, a few wild nights in Donegal for New Year, and then trying to get everything finalised for the very first Learn Inbound Event. The last six weeks have been among the best of my life (the only thing that really tops it is seeing Bryan Adams (yes Bryan, not Ryan) live twice in the same weekend a couple of years ago…AMAZING.
I’m not joking.
This week, I’ve decided to do create the mother of all predictions posts. We’ll revisit this time next year to see who exactly owns a crystal ball, and then ask them for the lotto numbers.
Here we go…
As the title suggests, this post presents no less that 28 social media predictions for this year. There were some BIG changes in 2014, so if that is anything to go by, 2015 is going to be a whopper. The top of the list looks something like this:
1. Video Becomes the Content of Choice
2. Information Density Creates Hurdles
3. SlideShare Becomes the YouTube for Business
4. Social Conversions Become Easier
5. Paid Ads Become Unavoidable
I agree with most if these. The only one I would really have an issue with is number four. I think there is still a huge awareness/learning curve waiting for marketers when it comes to social conversions. Many of them do not believe that social media drives conversion. In my opinion, until they change their mindset, it will not become easier.
Web design is a funny thing. You spend so long developing or redesigned your new site. You love it for the first month (OK, maybe a quarter). Then before you know it, it looks dated. Yes, it’s a vicious circle. Because web design trends move and develop so quickly, I challenge anyone to come up with a website that has a truly timeless design. It’s impossible. Here’s what the top of the web design predictions list looks like:
1. Parallax scrolling for everybody
2. Card design (like Pinterest boards)
3. Ghost buttons
5. Micro UX
I think these predictions are a bit lazy. Parallax is a bit of a “has been” trend by now, surely? And now that WordPress offers it as a template, it’s going to hit our screens in an overkill kind of way. It’s going to be everywhere. What’s that word….ubiquitous?
Furthermore, speed? A trend? I wouldn’t see it as a trend. It’s more of a case of having to. If your website isn’t fast, people will leave. Simple. Speed is happening; it’s not going to happen.
Ah good old Rand and his crystal ball. These predictions are more general, but I think they are spot on. His top five are as follows:
1. We’ll see the first major not-for-profit University in the US offer a degree in Internet Marketing, including classes on SEO.
2. Google will continue the trend of providing instant answers in search results with more interactive tools.
3. 2015 will be the year Facebook begins including some form of web content (not on Facebook’s site) in their search functionality.
4. Google’s indexation of Twitter will grow dramatically, and a significantly higher percentage of tweets, hashtags, and profiles will be indexed by the year’s end.
5. The EU will take additional regulatory action against Google that will create new, substantive changes to the search results for European searchers.
I think number four is particularly interesting. Google is always trying to make it’s search results more interesting and relevant. Could Twitter be the way it does this? Can they rely on the quality of information on Twitter? Time will tell.
Of course, Neil Patel always has his two cents to contribute on everything. The top of his list includes:
1. Guest post links won’t be as effective
2. SEO will become harder
3. Old school link building will be more popular than ever
4. Social Media will become the cornerstone of blogging
5. Marketing budgets will be shifted towards creative approaches
Sorry, Neil. Predictable predictions. Nothing groundbreaking here! Guest posts – Matt Cutts harped on enough about them in 2013/2014 for us to know they are not as effective as they were. SEO will become harder – duh. Old school link building – isn’t that the way it should be done? Links should be earned, not manipulated. Social media – that’s where our audience is, of course, it needs to become the cornerstone of blogging. Marketing budgets – we know that visual and interactive content yields greater results so OBVIOUSLY, that’s where we’re going to focus our budget.
If you’re a CMO, you need to read this. If you deal with CMOs, you also need to read this post. Here are Kissmetric’s top five predictions:
1. Major Brands Will Start to Buy Media Companies to Fulfil Their Content Marketing Needs
2. Brands Will Tap into the Power of Partnerships with Influential Content Creators
3. Content Marketing Personalisation and Recommendation Tools Will Become More Widespread
4. Your Stories Will Be Everywhere
5. Marketers Will Begin to Experiment With Wearable Technology as a Marketing Channel
I think that these are reasonable predictions, and some of them are ones that I recognise from expert predictions from 2014. I do think that content marketing personalisation is going to be massive this year (you might think content personalisation is a mature concept right now, but let me tell you since joining HubSpot I can see there is a whole other level of content personalisation that is yet to be realised by the greater market). In addition to this, yes I think that more and more people will begin to experiment with wearable technology, but I cannot see it taking off. What do I know, though!?
I was lucky enough to harvest some predictions from thought leaders in our industry.
Their predictions are far too detailed to list here (OK I might be too lazy to copy and paste!), so why not check them out by checking out our predictions blog post?
We have input from Andy Crestodina, Ann Handley, Mark Schaefer, Ian Cleary and Joe Pulizzi.
There you have it – our round up of our favourite predictions for 2015.
What are your predictions?