Digital technologies have changed traditional marketing as we know it. There is now so much information out there about every industry. And consumers have lots of choice about what they want to read, see or how they want to interact with online media. Unless you are providing significant value for your target audience, you marketing content can easily be ignored. Consumers are tired of being sold to, they now require permission to be sold to and will choose to ignore your brand message when you don’t provide the best value possible.

The growth in mobile devices has made it even more difficult to connect with the right audience and keep them engaged. Consumers now have short attention span. Your content can easily be ignored even when you think you have produced the best online media content possible.

There is a nearly 50/50 split between local mobile search and local desktop search. By 2016, local mobile search is expected to exceed desktop by more than 27 billion annual queries, according BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast. The growth in mobile search has significantly changed where content should be shared or displayed.

These are four of the most important trends that are shaping digital marketing today.

1. Content marketing is still hot right now!

Content marketing is now more vital to online marketing success than ever. According to a study by AOL and Nielsen, more than 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day. One of the best ways companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. Right now the push is all about creating content but soon it will be all about content measurement.

Advertisements are going to have to be cleverly placed within excellent content rather than coming across as remotely spammy. It works best when you can create content informs, educates and entertains. Content marketing has brought a whole new meaning to advertisements for both advertisers and publishers.

“Content strategy is one of the most interesting and rewarding areas of digital marketing. From a channel perspective it sits across customer experience, social media and organic search”, according to Mike Teasdale, Founder and Planning Director of Harvest Digital.

In their bid to boost their content marketing efforts, some huge brands may buy robust content media houses that already exists. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says companies might bypass the hard part and simply buy a content powerhouse that already exists: “ In 2015 we will see a large move among brands to buy media companies, flush with cash and short on patience to build loyal audiences.”

2. Mobile media delivery is now more important than ever.

Mobile apps are now becoming the official channel to drive content and services to most consumers. Downloads of mobile apps will increase to 268 million by 2017. Those downloads will generate a revenue exceeding $77 billion, according to Gartner. Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers.

From entertainment content to productivity services, from quantified-self to home automation, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. Apps will consistently provide an opportunity for brands to reach and engage with customers in a direct way.

Businesses will spend a lot more resources on creating and delivering useful mobile ready content. Most companies will continue to invest in apps that make it easy for their costumers to interact with their products and content.  The future of marketing lies with mobile formats that provide a better way for brands to interact with consumers. Mobile marketing will continue to be a big business.

3. Instead of promotion, successful companies will focus on education

With hundreds of thousands of new websites and millions of new pages added to the Internet every day, the biggest challenge for every new business is getting found and getting credibility. With success stories from the likes of HubSpot, KISSmetrics, Quicksprout, Buffer, Groove etc., there is no denying the fact that business blogging or content marketing can significantly improve your marketing efforts.

These companies consistency provide some of the best information about their industries and they continue to educate their customers with great content. They have gradually become thought leaders on various topics in their industry. Prospective customers find useful information on their blogs and those users could easily become their customers. A lot more businesses will embrace the idea of consumer education and will invest in creating useful content.

4. Brands that have embraced storytelling will begin to focus on storymaking

The new marketing today is about telling stories to prospective consumers and buyers who want to hear it. People are more likely to listen, respond, connect with media they can connect with. Successful brands will begin to embrace storymaking (the art of gathering and spreading customer success stories and content on how they are using products and services).

Companies that are successful at storytelling are integrating their company’s history, goals, culture, values, and audience into every component of their content marketing strategy. And they are connecting with their audience like never before.

Consumers are now in control of what they view, what they share, and how they view what they see. Marketers no longer push their messages across, because you could be pushing your prospective customers away. You need to pull customers in with engaging, useful content and sharable content.

And they will in turn share your great insight, information and educative material with other like-minds who could eventually sign up for your product or service.

A lot has changed in digital marketing over the years. Traditional digital marketing techniques are changing. There is a lot more focus on inbound marketing techniques instead of just search engine optimisation practices. Social sharing is increasingly becoming more important for SEO purposes.