Online Advertising in 2015: A Year of Emergence, Changes

Digital Marketing’s Growth over Past Year provides Glimpse into Future

By Ryan Crockett, 26 December 2015

Those of us in the business of online advertising are no strangers to major industry change, and the past 12 months have been no exception. In our ever-shifting digital landscape, we see apps, devices, entire online communities rise and fall from the cradle to the grave in the blink of an eye. A single year can encompass meteoric success for some emergent technologies while spelling doom for others.

Online advertising seems to change as quickly as science will allow, and as information and computer technology develops at an exponential rate, so to does the digital marketplace we operate in. 2015 has been an exciting year for clean tech, mobile devices, and livestreaming social media that connects us like never before. As online advertising evolves, old or outdated trends must make way for the new.

Taking the time to review how things have changed in the past year provides keen insight into the future of success in our business. Let’s take a look at the two most dramatic social-digital changes in online advertising we’ve seen in 2015 and what they might mean for the year to come.

The Drastic Decline of Organic Facebook Social Media Reach

It has come to be known by many names this past year (We’re partial to “Reachpocalypse”) but even if you haven’t seen the data to back it up yet, you likely already suspect that organic reach on Facebook is practically dead. Long gone are the days when well-crafted, high-quality posts on the world’s most popular social media network could mean audience expansion and likes by the dozens. It’s not enough to just share good content on Facebook anymore, and it’s easy to understand why.

As online advertising specialists are forced to pay to reach consumers, Facebook’s stock has absolutely skyrocketed. The social hub has become a marketing money-making machine in the mold of Google-past, and it’s been felt by even the most adept social strategists. Instagram has actually become a much more reliable outreach method for organic social, despite their lower numbers and lower activity when compared to Facebook. However, Mark Zuckerberg owns Instagram too and you better believe we will eventually see a similar decline as paid ads become more powerful on that social media site as well. Strike while the iron is hot!

A Personal-Visual Online Advertising Connection: Photo, Video, & Streaming

If you think of online advertising or the digital community as a landscape, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are mighty mountains that cast a shadow over everything we do and see on the Internet. On the top of each those mountains waves a flag stating “Content is King,” which has been a major key to marketing success since the birth of our industry. Proper use of highly searched keywords and the creation of highly engaged written content was once the key to expanding a business online. However, with the rise of visually-oriented social sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope, it’s become apparent that the written word no longer has the same clout with users in 2015.

With the great advancement of mobile technology, we are all now amateur photographers and videographers with the ability to publish our work online for everyone to see. With this ability also comes the capacity for instantly sharing in real-time between individuals. The explosion of Snapchat can be seen everywhere: brands like Mashable, the Huffington Post, even the NFL have Facebook and Twitter profile pictures advertising their accounts to increase their following.

Expect this personal, visual, real-time connection between businesses and users to dramatically increase in the coming year. This is the critical trend for 2016: As the digital world gets smaller and our telecommunications soar to even greater heights of connectivity, so will our ability to connect with others, friends and brands alike.

Posted in: Digital Marketing, Social Media