As we begin to gear up for the end of 2014, business owners will begin to look back at their marketing efforts for the year and compose a plan of action for 2015. What worked? What didn’t? To continually reach potential customers, you must stay up-to-date on the ever-changing trends. A recent survey of marketing executives conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 50% of companies will increase their digital marketing spend by an average of 17% in 2015.

Why the spike in digital marketing? For starters, a digital marketing campaign allows business owners to target a specific market, resulting in a more effective advertising budget. Business owners are expected to designate a larger portion of their advertising spend to online platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to increase brand awareness and engage with potential customers. Advertising on social media platforms allows business owners to design the audience they wish to reach. An advertiser can choose to market to a person based on location, gender, previous purchase behavior, interests, and more.

With the rise of connected mobile devices, the digital experience has moved customers towards a more self-service buying method. As a result, business owners are forced to find the most effective way to market in a digital world. Fortunately for them, the possibilities are endless.

How can you make the most out of your digital marketing efforts in 2015? Forbes has compiled a list of 6 predictions about what digital marketing will be like in the coming year. They are as follows:

1: The importance of content. Educating the target audience will become a focus of brands and companies across all industries. Customers want available resources and helpful information at their disposal. Content fulfills this need.

2:  Marketing channels become more connected. Inter-connectivity between channels (for example a website and social media platforms,) will provide marketers with a clearer picture of how customers are interacting with their brand before converting. In a sense, businesses will be tracking a customer’s journey long before they actually make a purchase.

3: Go mobile. Marketers can expect to see advancements in SEO across mobile devices, including indexing and measuring data. The anticipated rise of the mobile trend will also put more of a focus on calls over clicks.

4: The year of data- driven marketing. Advertising efforts will focus on driving measurable results, such as conversions and website traffic.

5: Social media, of course! Social media should no longer be thought of as a trend or new idea. Rather, it should be adopted in a business’ marketing plan from the very start. If you are not present on social media sites, you are missing out on an important branding opportunity.

6: The demise of Google+. Google My Business is quickly replacing the Google+ platform. Business owners are expected to spend less time on Google+ and will focus their marketing efforts in other areas.

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