4 Trends That Will Drive Your B2B Digital Marketing Campaigns in 2015

Which industry developments will shape the most successful B2B digital marketing campaigns next year? We look at four emerging trends for 2015.

Picture of Matt Duxbury Matt Duxbury

Published: 27 Dec 2014

5 minutes read

4 Trends That Will Drive Your B2B Digital Marketing Campaigns in 2015

The new year holds a lot of promise for the digital marketing industry. More than half of companies are set to increase their marketing budgets by an average of 17% in 2015 (according to Gartner) and even Lord Sugar has decided to get in on the act. Although Mark Wright's plan for an SEO-focused agency has already attracted criticism from industry insiders, his triumph on The Apprentice at least serves to highlight the plentiful opportunities that still exist in the digital marketing space.

So what can we expect for the next 12 months? From the many predictions being made by industry experts, here are four leading candidates we think all marketers need to consider for their B2B content marketing campaigns in 2015 (if they want to avoid hearing the words "you're fired!").

Return of the podcast

A couple of years ago, the humble podcast seemed quaint and a bit dull - a format that had been left behind in the new era of video and streaming media. However, instead of fading from view entirely, podcasts made an impressive comeback in 2014 (the year the 'pod' that spawned the name was discontinued by Apple) and their renaissance looks set to continue in 2015.

As Kevin Roose explained in New York magazine, the upturn in the podcast's fortunes appears to be driven by in-car technology. With the likes of Google and Apple releasing connected-car platforms, and most new vehicles equipped with the technology to play audio from a smartphone through their speakers, it's increasingly easy for people to consume podcast content during the drive to and from work.

This presents a growing opportunity for brands to reach a captive audience - either by placing advertising with existing podcasts or developing their own as a content marketing exercise. B2B marketers who have forgotten the podcast may need to refresh their memories next year.

Mobile takeover continues

New wearable technology like the Apple Watch is set to add further impetus to the mobile revolution in 2015. B2B marketers will need to think carefully about how they optimise the user experience for a 'mobile first' audience.

This means going further than simply building a responsive website. John Gagnon, Bing Ads evangelist at Microsoft, told Forbes last month that "calls are the new clicks" for 2015. He said calls driven by mobile search are expected to reach 65 billion by the following year, which means marketers will need to develop a clear and seamless mobile browsing experience with compelling calls to action.

Tracking the buyer's journey

With a multitude of analytical tools at their disposal and better integration between them, marketers will be able to track each stage of the buyer's journey with greater certainty in 2015. That makes it possible to identify exactly how each customer is moving from the top of the funnel down to the bottom - for example, viewing the entire journey from the moment a prospect clicks on a paid ad, views product pages on the website, downloads a piece of content, registers for a free trial and finally becomes a customer.

Once B2B marketers achieve this visibility (and tools like HubSpot will continue to help them get there), they'll be able to focus their efforts on optimising each stage of the funnel for even better results.

The end of Google+?

Rumours about the impending demise of Google+ are nothing new, but could 2015 be the year it actually happens? Several events heightened speculation around the social network this year, including the removal of its mandatory integration with Gmail and the departure of Google+ chief Vic Gundotra.

Of course, Google has denied that the platform's days are numbered. Some observers predict that while Google+ won't be killed off, it will continue to evolve from a platform to a form of infrastructure that connects the other Google services (YouTube, Drive, Gmail etc). Whatever happens, it's clear that marketers will need to follow future developments closely when deciding how much of their B2B digital marketing campaigns to invest in Google+.

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