Coupled with this, there has been an explosion in the use of videos as a marketing tool, with an eye to social media.
Google, which owns the video-sharing giant YouTube, has even started to invest in content from some of the most popular short-video makers – or YouTube ‘stars’ as it calls them.
While becoming a YouTube star may not be on everyone’s list for the New Year, there are some trends that are gathering pace and are worth taking note of. I asked some top PR and marketing gurus for their 2015 predictions.
Author and Celebrity Service and OMG marketing speaker, Geoff Ramm, said: “My crystal ball goes something like this: we will continue to see great viral videos and content - bigger brands will be competing for views and shares like never before.
“SMEs will become bolder by creating OMG moments around global events such as the second royal baby. I also have a feeling we will see the next big social media site to challenge Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Finally, events are as popular now as they have ever been - I predict a rise in the amount of events for companies seeking face-to-face opportunities with both business and consumer audiences.”
Cutting through the white noise
Ross Wigham, head of communications and marketing at QE Gateshead, is expecting more of the strategies we’ve seen making a difference in 2014.
“When it comes to predictions I’m very much with footballer Paul Gascoigne who famously said ‘I don’t make predictions…and I never will’,” he said.
“With regards to PR/marketing I think the next 12 months will continue to see brands looking to use digital and social as a way of reaching out to customers. But here’s the thing – with the market becoming increasingly crowded it will be those who can cut through the white noise and avoid being lost in the social system that succeed.
“How do you communicate with people when everyone is talking (or shouting) at the same time? Good content and strong stories will be king in 2015. Same as it ever was.”
Collaboration will be king
Jen Robson, writer with digital marketing agency, Sparkle Communications, believes working with others will help to create effective campaigns over the next 12 months.
She said: “If I had to select one trend for next year it would be greater collaboration. Working in partnership and playing to strengths instead of competition will become better understood.
“Creating a talented pool of collaborators means you can tap into fresh, innovative ideas and concepts while remaining inspired and ahead of an ever-changing industry. More importantly, working in this way will ensure maximum effect and return on investment.”
Real engagement will propel business success
Finally, Stephen Waddington, European digital and social media director for Ketchum and president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, predicts that brands will start listening more to their customers.
He said: “Brands will truly become social. Consumers deluged with inappropriate content will fight back. Much of so-called content marketing is the equivalent of direct mail in the 90s and noughties - too often it’s inappropriate and spam.
“The difference between what came through your letterbox and what is served on your Facebook page is the volume. Our news feeds are packed with brands trying to hijack a news event or own a moment. At the moment they don't really care about what you think, but in 2015 they’ll have to.
“The brutal truth is that brands which fail to engage with their audiences on a social level will be ignored.”