December 2014 is upon us, and as I have done for the last two years, I thought I’d summarise my thoughts on the year that was in digital (well, some of it at least). I like to do this in tiny little chunks of 140 character joy. So here we go…

Social media

  • Outsourced community management started to die in 2014. Businesses (finally) see true value and are investing ‘in-house’
  • That doesn’t mean they know how to make the most of it though, and strategic help is still needed
  • Conferences around the subject still look at the same old stuff, especially in B2B
  • People still struggle to see that need for their organisations to really understand why they’re ‘getting social’
  • Social media matured this year, in a way that means the lovely ‘free’ days are over. Believe it
  • Facebook’s ad model is an absolute beast and very easy and cheap to test and learn with. Expect more in 2015
  • Display will grow again in 2015, led by social ads
  • Dark social – only going to get bigger in 2015. Facebook is sending more traffic to your site than you think!
  • Facebook and Twitter are still the big boys. Last year I said G+ was making a dent. Dent fixed
  • A lot of brands etc ran out of social media ideas in 2014. The fact is, there really isn’t anything new anymore
  • Imagery is still oh so important, especially in mobile experiences
  • I don’t think Snapchat will ever be a place for brands to really prosper
  • Twitter has got a tough year coming up, they need to fix 1st time user retention
  • This was the year that I pretty much gave Facebook the flick from a personal perspective
  • Hashtags continued to be abused!
  • Analytics got even better this year, with slick stuff coming from Google
  • Hard metrics came to the fore, which is so nice to see
  • Pinterest is still a powerhouse, but where does it go from here? It’s own currency perhaps?
  • LinkedIn is still a strange beast. Their ‘Pulse’ feature fills your stream with crap. An importnat connector though.
  • Tumblr went kind of quiet this year, big things coming in 2015?
  • Instagram is on fire and a great place to hangout. Hope they don’t screw it with ads #nofilter
  • I tweeted less this year. I still love you though

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Content marketing

  • Did brands get better at it in 2014? I think so, but there’s a huge opportunity in 2015
  • Content personalisation and context will be the thing to focus on in 2015. Give people options
  • Context may finally truly blend the ‘real world’ with people’s devices. The tech is there!
  • Your approach to content better change in-line with the increase of paid social media activity
  • Don’t expect your content to fly without a little push, there’s just far too much out there
  • Pay, test, change, pay, test, change.
  • Devolve even more content creation power to your dedicated audience next year
  • Blogger outreach? In little bursts, with very well researched targets at low levels
  • Native advertising – a stupid term that we heard far too much of in 2014
  • Having said that, brand content is the way to go in 2015 for true affinity
  • BLOG, BLOG, BLOG
  • We’ll see ‘vinestars’ etc being used on a much bigger scale in 2015. With mixed results
  • Medium – we’ll see big things from it in 2015
  • I’ll be blogging three times per week in 2015, still the number one reason people contact me
  • Too many people only think about the ‘search value’ of content
  • Data visualisation will still be a big thing, but in smarter ways. See Stipso for example.

General observations

  • There’s still a huge digital skills gap, with no end in-sight
  • Agencies etc looking to only hire grads are stupid. The people that ‘get digital’ aren’t necessarily going to Uni
  • Too many tech startups are thinking about marketing too late in their process
  • A lot of the big Ad agencies aren still struggling to make the most of digital
  • Scotland has so much going on, we need to shout about it hard and fast
  • Chat is the killer app. Can we have a WeChat copy in the ‘west’?. It’s Chinas’s hub.
  • I paid more attention this year to emails from brands than ever. Still killer when done properly
  • Seeing things through the eyes of a toddler is a nice way to live
  • Wearables get very boring, quickly.
  • Crowdfunding really hit the headlines in 2014, but I still thing understanding in the UK is poor
  • I found out I like running this year. Brilliant for thinking.
  • I enjoy being on TV, did a lot of it this year!
  • Networking is actually essential, this is the year my being ‘out and about’ paid off
  • Trello, Hotjar and Slack. Lovely stuff.
  • I got on a list of people who know about stuff. That made me feel good
  • Mousaka is amazing
  • Phones are getting bigger and bigger
  • I still can’t handle seeing blokes wearing trainers with their suits on the way to work. Please stop
  • Big earphones make you look like an antenna
  • Movies were awesome this year
  • Netflix is the absolute mutt’s nuts
  • The market wants and needs people that understand the full digital gambit and beyond. Don’t pigeonhole.
  • If you read this far, give me a ‘hell yeah’

Here’s to 2015. Have a great festive period. We’re running a digital marketing advent calendar over on our Twitter feed, follow for a daily tip. Scroll down if you’d like to subscribe to the Velocity Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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