Podcasts, once left for dead, have emerged as the “new hot thing” for professional marketers and native video is going mainstream – even for the bean counters who manage giant marketing budgets.

The top social media marketing trends and tools for 2015 were hotly debated at the recent Social Media Marketing World in San Diego and your trusty Lumentus reporters were on the scene.


Mike Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, shone the klieg lights on the latest trends in his keynote presentation. Based on the upcoming 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, his findings focused on podcasting, native video and, of course – for the bean counters who are now redirecting many more beans for social and other digital tactics — measurement tactics heading into 2015.

New Opportunities in Podcasting

Termed the “Serial Effect,” podcasting has re-positioned itself as a viable tool for social media marketers. Serial, a viral podcast based on the murder trial of a Maryland teen, drew millions of listeners over its 12-episode reign. The series garnered national media attention from CNN and The New York Times and renewed a public interest in podcasting. It now serves as the beacon for podcasting success.

This is reflected in the 2015 industry report. Although only 9.7 percent of marketers currently participate in podcasting, 42 percent want to learn more. This is a 14 percent increase from 2014.

Successful publications have since taken notice. Slate, TIME and Entrepreneur have all launched podcasts to eager audiences, using the medium to give their brands a tangible voice. Podcasting is also used to repackage popular content, capture new audiences, generate trackable data and inform future marketing efforts.

Podcasts have shaped entrepreneurship as well. Personalities such as Tim Ferriss and Michael Hyatt have pioneered the industry, using their podcast series to share their work and attract a fan base.

The Year of Native Video

Native video (video content that is uploaded to or created on social networks) was identified as another major new trend. Considering the ever-shrinking attention spans of consumers, this should come as no surprise.

Native video has found a home on various social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram and Vine. By playing automatically, it is more conducive to the user experience, engages consumers and boasts impressive audience retention.

Social media marketers are paying attention: 57 percent are currently using video and 72 percent plan on increasing the use of video and want to learn more.

Facebook’s native video is now posing a threat to video powerhouse YouTube. The leading social site posts video content 360 percent more than it did in 2014. According to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, “video is a big priority” for 2015.

Measurement Moving Forward

Measuring social media marketing continues to be a challenge. While 78 percent of marketers believe social media increases traffic, only 42 percent know how to effectively measure it. Some 88 percent of marketing professionals want to improve their measurement tactics.

Both podcasting and native video come equipped with methods for measuring success. Listeners often tune in to a podcast for a full 10 minutes, while Facebook native video generates 30 percent more clicks than YouTube posts.

This unique ability to capture attention for long periods of time allows marketers to collect more data, track progress over time and strategically build their following.

Capturing consumer attention is increasingly difficult, but essential in this competitive online landscape; the time users spend engaging with content is that much more valuable.

Overall, SMMW15 was about becoming a better communicator. Podcasting, native video and new measurement tactics will better enable marketers to be more effective – and accountable – in 2015.