Two weeks ago we caught up with Scottish digital expert Mike McGrail, and now we’re happy to share some thoughts on all things online marketing from a friend of ours in Germany – Marc Stahlmann, CEO of industry portal OnlineMarketing.de. Think the hot topics in Germany are the same as in the UK? Read on…
So Marc, was 2014 a good year for online marketing? What were the major developments and changes of the year?
In my opinion, mainly three areas were on focus last year: video advertising, mobile advertising and content marketing. These three areas were particularly popular and the uptake in these by the big players and has shifted the focus in the market considerably.
Another insight was the enormous importance of Facebook. It is obvious – Facebook is here to stay and is now well established in digital marketing. Advertising on Facebook actually works.
Content marketing was one of the hot internet topics in 2014. Will it be as popular in 2015 and perhaps even dominate SEO?
The buzz word “content marketing” has been dominating many industry talks in recent months. Numerous companies have realised that a different approach to common advertising can also lead to success. Personally, I think content marketing is a very good approach, because it makes sense for existing and potential customers. However, this approach needs to be more professional. We shouldn’t aim to just generate leads and clicks. We need to take advantage of these new leads and be able to measure long-term effects on the brand.
In my opinion, content marketing and SEO do not compete with each other. SEO is positively influenced by content marketing and content marketing is supported by positive SEO.
Mobile marketing, e-commerce, video marketing – Do you have any tips for our readers on how to use these trends?
These trends are natural developments in the markets and companies should follow them. All three are logical and have been emerging for some time. Smartphones have become incredibly popular and their usage is growing rapidly every day. Therefore, consumers must also be reached via mobile devices. More and more purchases are being made online due to the growing use of media.
Often, the traditional retail shop serves as a temporary showroom only. Therefore, retailers should consider if it would make sense to offer their products or services online as well. SmartTV and the internet have conquered our living rooms and, consequently, a higher degree of customisation is required. It has become increasingly rare to see a product on TV and to buy it in a local shop later. There is a continuously strong demand for personalised and customised products on its way, for example via YouTube, which requires appropriate advertising.
What are Online.Marketing.de’s wishes for 2015?
2014 was a very successful year for us. We were able to grow in all areas and achieve greater relevance. In 2015, we want to make the most of it. Existing for three years now, we aim to get our industry portal more established and take advantage of all our areas of expertise. Our readership, however, is the be-all and end-all. Our readers are our greatest asset. We want to continue to provide interesting articles and we hope to trigger a lot of discussion in the industry.
*Picture credits: Ivelin Radkov / Shutterstock.com