10 Marketing Predictions You Should Prepare for in 2015


2015 is going to be an interesting year for marketers. Based on what I’ve seen over the years and my decade-long experience, I think there are going to be a lot of changes.

Before you start planning how you are going to market your business, read the 10 predictions below. If you follow them, you’ll have a leg up on your competition.

Download this cheat sheet of 10 marketing predictions you should prepare for in 2015.

Here are 10 marketing predictions for 2015:

Prediction #1: Guest post links won’t be as effective

If you are an SEO, you’ve probably been using guest posts to build links. Why? Because they work extremely well.

Sure, search engines have given warnings that you shouldn’t do this, but many of you ignore these warnings because you still see the tactic working. You have to keep in mind that it takes large companies like Google a while to adapt their algorithms.

Over the next 12 months, I see Google updating its algorithm to devalue a lot of these links. You won’t necessarily get penalized, assuming you are avoiding rich anchor, but those links won’t help boost your rankings either.

Prediction #2: SEO will become harder

Remember how the Panda and Penguin updates shook up the SEO industry years ago? I see Google making more of these updates. As for what names they will call these algorithm updates… who knows?

But what I can tell you is that as they make these updates, it will become harder to manipulate search listings. This means you will have to focus on creating a better product or service. And you’ll have to keep improving the content on your website.

Should this stop you from doing any SEO? Of course, not. Instead, it should make you want to focus on it more because you’ll see a lot of your competitors shifting their budgets from SEO to PPC.

Prediction #3: Old school link building will be more popular than ever

From manually hitting up thousands of sites to leveraging broken link building, these old school methods will be used often.

They have worked over the years and will continue to. Why? Because you have to earn them, and it’s hard to manipulate them.

I’ve seen a few large companies during 2014 build internal teams that focus on these old school link building tactics. I see many other companies doing the same during 2015.

Prediction #4: Social Media will become the cornerstone of blogging

Can you guess why certain blogs are more popular than others? Sure, content has a bit to do with it, but a lot comes down to the social media accounts.

For example, my personal blog is already getting 25,000 plus visitors a month. It’s not because my content is better than everyone else’s, but it’s because I have a large social following.

With that social following, I can make almost any new blog, within my niche, popular.

Companies will start seeing more value in social media, and they’ll spend thousands of dollars a month on building up their social media accounts.

Prediction #5: Marketing budgets will be shifted towards creative approaches

The use of traditional advertising channels such as PPC, SEO, and social media marketing will continually rise. For that reason, companies will start exploring new avenues.

For example, Gary Vaynerchuk plastered New York City with ads for his new book, and he even included his phone number.

gary vaynerchuk

The campaign was so effective that it not only caused his cell phone to blow up, but it helped him sell more books at the same time.

Some of these creative marketing campaigns will yield an ROI, while others won’t. It is all about testing, and you’ll see companies doing more of this in 2015.

Prediction #6: Newspapers will be leveraged more

Newspapers are a dying business. Some people still like reading them, but most people read their news on the web these days.

But the one thing these newspapers have is extremely popular websites. From national ones like The New York Times to regional papers, these companies are looking for new opportunities to make more money.

What they are doing is partnering up with businesses to increase their value. For example, the Union Tribune acquired Discover SD, which was a Groupon-type of site for San Diego.

But before the newspaper purchased the site, it was running deals for Discover SD on its online news site. This created a win/win situation: Discover SD generated more income, and the Union Tribune created a new monetization channel.

Over the next 12 months, I see more companies partnering up with regional newspapers as they already have a large audience and are looking for new ways to make more money.

Prediction #7: Companies will create software to generate demand

Free tools are becoming a really popular form of marketing. From HubSpot’s Grader tool to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, companies are creating free tools in order to generate traffic.

I’ve done this with Quick Sprout, and it works extremely well.

I know I’m going to leverage this tactic a lot more in the future, and I already see other companies jumping on the bandwagon.

It can work for almost any industry. For example, if you are in the mortgage space, you can always create a mortgage calculator. The possibilities are endless.

The best part about creating free tools is that it is very cost effective. It has a better ROI than any other marketing method I’ve tested.

Prediction #8: We’ll see a demand in conversion optimization

I am not talking about conversion optimization only from a service perspective. I believe corporations will start hiring individuals who specialize in conversion optimization.

It’s a unique skill set, but you’ll see a lot more people learning it over the next few years. Why? Because companies are willing to pay a lot of money to boost their conversion rates.

It’s how they are going to combat the increases in advertising costs. Everyone knows they are going up, and the only solution is to increase your conversion rate.

Prediction #9: Marketing tools will become free

Google Analytics is free; Optimizely released a free plan; and even products like Hellobar are available for free.

The number of marketing products that are free will drastically increase over the next 12 months. It’s because small and medium businesses can’t afford to pay for them.

Companies are willing to give you their products, albeit on a limited usage base, free because they know you’ll eventually grow in size. And when you do, they’ll end up charging you.

Marketing tool providers are now basing their decisions on life time value metrics versus going for the short term income. This should benefit a lot of small and medium businesses.

Prediction #10: People will start building their personal brands

It’s very rare for individuals to focus on their personal brands. But it’s proven to generate a positive ROI for businesses.

Just look at my name. My Neil Patel brand is actually larger than some of the businesses I own according to Google Trends. And I’m able to leverage it to drive more signups to my business.

Why can’t you market both your business and yourself? I’ve been doing it for years, and it has done wonders for me.

You’ll see more people hopping on the personal branding bandwagon because it will eventually cause their businesses to generate more income. Plus, companies like hiring people with strong personal brands as it helps create solid brand evangelists.

Just look at Guy Kawasaki and Apple. They both benefited from each other.


2015 is going to be an interesting year. With the search engines making things a bit more difficult and the business world becoming more transparent, you’ll see new opportunities open up.

Don’t ever be afraid of change. Instead, learn to adapt. And if you can adapt before your competition, you can win.

So, what marketing predictions should you prepare for in 2015?

P.S. If you need help preparing for all of the big marketing changes that are going to happen this year go here.


  1. Nice read.. Golden age of Internet is over seemingly. So much competition now. Looks like Social Media will be very important to build up that personal brand and leverage it. But it’s been getting harder to build up too. haha

    Good read, thanks for writing this!

    • Adrijus, glad I could help. I definitely think innovation and unique ideas will be ever more important this year.

      • Yeah, it’s gonna be ‘growth hacking’s year! Newest buzzword! 🙂

      • Neil patel,

        Very very happy new year 2015 to you! And I really agreed with the someone of the points you have mentioned.
        Like on the personal branding as we are noticing so much demand from our clients for their personal branding. I got more than 10+ clients for their personal branding urge.

        And second conversion is also will be in so demand, as there is no use of marketing, If conversions are not on the top.

        Regards, Altamash

  2. Saurabh Shukla :

    Superb article Neil, very well written and well explained. I also heard about that guest posting will be less effective, now its confirmed 🙂

  3. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Neil,

    Glad to hear that “Newspapers will be leveraged more”. Hopefully see some great and exciting ideas from them.


    Christopher Pontine

    • Christopher, they are catching up with online trends so it’s ever more important to work with them .Thanks for the feedback!

  4. You can lump local TV station and radio station websites in with newspapers for #6
    They are all scrambling to figure out new ways to leverage their websites for new revenue. For anyone with a local focus there are real opportunities.


  5. Thanks a lot Neil, you help a lot for how we can do marketing for this year 2015.

  6. Great post! We’re in the midst of acting on some of these predictions while we gear up for 2015. Happy New Year!

  7. excellent predictions, though I’m terrified to hear that SEO will become harder. I’m making it a goal for 2015 to start developing my personal brand.

  8. Prediction #1: Guest post links won’t be as effective – I agree with you on SEO perspective, but guest posting on top sites brings traffic and also improves personal branding.

    What you think?


  9. Randy Kauffman :

    I think the most important aspect is the Conversion Optimization. This is the area that can be proven effective with simple GA goals and values.

    Great Article and good insight. I agree with most of it.

  10. Great post as always Neil, thanks for sharing your insight.

  11. vagabondElmer :

    I can’t agree with you more Neil! I have a small content & social media management biz and the trend of search engine optimization through advertising model its picking up steam.

  12. I think we will also see an increase in “influencer marketing” as people begin to leverage online networking (Facebook groups, linkedin groups) to build relationships with influencers who have a following in the niche they want to reach.

  13. Kyle F. Reinson :

    This is a very good list. I am curious to see how social media can be sustained only because of its topical nature. Gaining followers and getting attention often takes strange visuals or celebrity hooks. It also remains a situational marketing effort, not something that can always be predicted and leveraged.

    Great thought leadership, Neil!

    • Kyle, while it can’t be easily predicted we can gather some trends and iterate of them. Thanks for the feedback!

  14. Good post Neil. Interested to see how all these play out. I’ve also read a lot of 2015 posts form bloggers saying in general they’re committing to better quality content. It seems that as the years pass and SEO tactics come and go, nothing will beat the value of pure good quality content.

    • Steven, that’s very true and has been for years. Sounds like you are on the right track — and have been 😉

    • InternetLocalListings :

      Agreed, Steven–tried and true! There are of course things you can do to help, but all in all, it basically boils down to consistently providing quality content. 🙂

  15. As usual superb post Neil 🙂

    Agree to you bro that guest post is not so effective now. But other alternative you explained are awesome !!

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Ashutosh, glad you found it helpful. Guest posts work well when you focus on quality content. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  16. Hi Neil,

    Shhh…. don’t disclose my strategies for 2015,

    beside this is great blog as always 🙂

  17. Neil,

    Great article, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I will definitely be implementing some of these into my business.

    Thank you.

  18. Jeff Domansky :

    Neil, as always a valuable post. One trend I see gaining importance is business storytelling. Regardless of the media channel or the tools, having a creative and effective story will always help make a difference in our marketing efforts.

  19. hai neil, very good list,

    but for newbie what could be prepared, and how in order to learn quickly

    thank you

  20. Thanks for sharing Neil! I should start doing these tips!

  21. Shafiqul Islam Barat :

    Thanks ‘Neil’ for this kind of informative article. It’s really very helpful to me. Thanks again 🙂

  22. Great article! Nice insights.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  23. Great post, Neil! I wasn’t expecting #10, but it’s spot on. People want to get to know the faces behind a company. I’m liking prediction #9 too. Who doesn’t like free marketing tools?

    I’m interested to see how these pan out over the next year.

  24. I keep saying to all the companies that I work for to shift their thinking to creative approaches rather than just SEO and PPC. Glad to see I am proved right. Cheers dude!

  25. Jacob Hurwith :

    Hi Neil,

    Terrific post. These tips are extremely helpful.

    Being a GA genius, I thought you could answer a problem I was having. Under our campaigns, it seems like GA is not updating in real time any more for AdSense. If you go to previous days, it shows up but when you try to search current day, it does not. Are you seeing a similar issue?

    Thank you so much Neil.


  26. Great artiacle neil

  27. Hi Neil,

    really nice summary. I strongly agree on giving free versions of SaaS!

    We also created some predictions for 2015, if you feel like, check it out!


  28. Hi Neil,

    I’m normally somewhat adverse to New Year predictions posts, but I’m definitely glad I clicked on this one (Thanks Hiten Shah). I’m particularly excited about these predictions because they each focus on smarter marketing versus supertrends or mainstream attitudes.

    The rise of creating free software is really exhilarating. From a startup perspective, I think free software can really level the playing field for those smaller organizations that are unique and innovative – where using some of these tools can springboard their growth or at least bring them to the necessary “aha” moments that can take them to the next level. From a marketing perspective, free software offers a glimpse into the minds behind your product and, thus, the value of both your offering and the team that drives its roadmap.

    Thanks for the great post Neil … wonderful creative inspiration!

  29. Great article. It’s actually a relief to hear the prediction of the decresaed effectiveness of guest posting. Lately, I have noticed that it’s not as effective as it’s used to be and I thought I was going crazy!

  30. Wendy the Wedding Planner :

    Here is what bothers me about SEO. It’s hard to know who to hire to do SEO for you. There are plenty of BH methods out there and many claim they can get results and are legit only to later find that it did not work or you “did not pay enough and wait long enough” for the results. Bringing it in-house is good if you have someone who knows what they are doing but those individuals are hard to find as they can make more money running their own company. That said, it will never be an easy game with a fixed option. It will always be a matter of trial and error and adapting to the latest solutions. Thanks Neil.

  31. Hey Neil,

    I am learning a lot from your site, why delete my comments.?

  32. Stacy Jackson :

    I totally agree about personal branding becoming a major trend for 2015. As an entrepreneur, I know how important it is; and I’ve gotten some business from job seekers who want to improve their personal brands. I hope more people begin focusing on their personal brands before they need a job, though — or it will be more difficult to compete when the time comes to find a new job (at least in some industries).

  33. Thanks for this great article. I am 100% agree with your above statements.

  34. usaha tiket pesawat :

    seo will be harder but i still keep doing it with my best

  35. Thank you Neil for amazing content. 2015 is our year and I believe that branding yourself is first step to succeed. I will miss the LV event but I will catch up on Livestream. You ROCK!

  36. Manchester Web Design Agency :

    Agree with your points Neil – SEO is definitely going to get harder!

    I’d also add UX to the big trend setters for 2015. If getting more traffic is becoming increasingly difficult, then converting the traffic you do get will become vital, and UX helps do that.

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  61. We’ll see a demand in conversion optimization

    I am not talking about conversion optimization only from a service perspective. I believe corporations will start hiring individuals who specialize in conversion optimization.

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