You've probably read a post or two that recaps the past year (yes, we did one of those, too.) But now that it's 2015, it's time to start looking ahead instead of behind.

It's time to make plans, to get prepared for the future, and to build a strategy that helps make this year more successful than the last.

None of us can see the future, but we can make some predictions that will help guide our paths based on trends, new areas seeing growth, and by evaluating what works (as well as what doesn't anymore.)

Here are a few of our predictions for marketing in 2015:

1. Paid Advertising on Social Media

Facebook has already jumped into paid advertising with both feet and even announced that in 2015, business pages will pretty much have to pay if they want their promotional materials to be seen by, well, anyone. The good news is Facebook's advertising platform has improved dramatically over the past year and enables pages to target users better than ever before.

But you can expect to see this trend continue to grow on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, too. As all of these social networks find their footing with revenue-generating opportunities, advertising seems to be the first area they'll push.

2. More Copywriting, More Content

Content Marketing is no longer just for the early adopters. Everyone is doing it, and if you're still not, it's time to get on board. 2015 should be a year in which you regularly publish valuable blog content, create lead generators (like free eBooks, templates, checklists, etc.) and start collecting email addresses so you can stay in touch with your audience and help them through the sales funnel.

3. Video, Video, Video

Online video is quickly becoming one of the most powerful marketing tools throughout social media. Old and new platforms like Vine, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and many others are making video creation easier than ever. And since video combines both audio and visual elements, you can communicate a powerful, concise message in just a few seconds.

4. Influencer Collaboration

One of the most popular ways to expand the reach of any marketing effort is to partner with a powerful, relevant voice within your target community. Whether that means collaborating with a popular blogger, YouTuber, or Podcaster, finding ways to connect with new audiences starts in this arena.

5. The Growing Importance of Design

Design has always been important, but now it's becoming critical to businesses' success. The everyday consumer is valuing it and taking it into consideration when make purchases or signing up for products. A recent study found that design was a reason that 46% of people trusted a website. If you have a website, marketing materials, or social media presence, it may be time to refresh the look.

As you look forward into 2015, think about the areas you can surge ahead and get on board with new strategies before your competitors. Don't rush it, but do your homework and see how you can thoughtfully transition into new territory.

What would you add to this list? Send us your suggestions at @wearelumen on Twitter.