End-of-the-year lists can be a nice way to reflect on what was significant, successful, or downright awful over the past twelve months. But for those of us in tech, reflection is equivalent to thinking backwards. The end of my year is an opportunity to think about what's next—and how my company fits into it.

Trends in digital marketing can be challenging to see because of the speeds at which tech advances and the tides of the marketplace. But there are indicators of what is to come if you look closely.

Here are five trends I expect to see in digital marketing in 2015.

1. Employee advocacy

Brands already rely on social media to compete in today's market, but they increasingly are realizing that consumers aren't interested in talking to a company on Facebook or Twitter. Consumers want human connections.

In 2015, brands will harness the social media connections their employees already have. Brands will do this by connecting with employee advocacy communities to start employee advocacy programs of their own. Brands will find that their employees, by acting as ambassadors within their own networks, make deeper connections with potential clients.

The employee-advocacy method is low-cost and practical, and the gains are huge. Brands such as IBM and Cisco have already caught on and are reaping the benefits.

2. Video

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image of Russ Fradin

Russ Fradin is a co-founder and the CEO of Dynamic Signal. He is a digital media industry veteran with more than 15 years experience in online marketing. He is also an active angel investor in the digital world.

Twitter: @rfradin

LinkedIn: Russell Fradin