3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

Marketing is constantly changing, this we know. In the last few years, digital marketing has experienced huge changes, so much so that brands are forced to keep pace with the technology causing those changes.

With 2016 rapidly approaching, brands need to begin to develop the strategies necessary to stay competitive. Now more than ever, it’s important for marketers to stay ahead of the curve instead of following everyone else.

Here are some marketing trends that can change the way brands reach consumers in the coming months and beyond.

Snapchat Will Become a Standard Marketing Platform

Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, Snapchat has faced the question, “Is this really a place where we can reach our target consumers?” Just like other social giants, marketers will come to realize that Snapchat isn’t just a tool for fun “marketing experiments.” It’s actually a platform that users are going to in droves in order to digest social media in real-time.

Real-time is the operative phrase. Since the inception of social media marketing, brands and agencies have been searching for the best methods to deliver integrated campaigns that make others feel connected. An important piece to keeping the younger generation of consumers interested is by offering exclusive content that has an expiration date. The “one size fits all” marketing tactic no longer works. Snapchat is the perfect platform for making consumers feel connected and unique, all at the same time.

If you’ve been following the 2016 Presidential Campaign, you’re seeing that the candidates are turning to snapchat in order to connect with voters. The writing is on the wall for all marketers to see. If you’re planning and looking to 2016, there’s no need to look further than the beginning of 2015, when Snapchat launched “Discover”. This “portal” allows brands like ESPN, Vice and the Food Network to push their messages to avid consumers of media.

The results have been positive so far, however, there’s a real beauty with Snapchat other platforms can’t offer. That beauty is that it turns the advertisement into the product, something that brands won’t be able to ignore.

Search Goes Beyond Search Engines

With Facebook currently working on tests for its own search engine, search is almost certain to go beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo. One obvious marketing benefit that will come with stronger search capabilities within social media is the the visibility of these brands will be sure to see an increase. Include this with the fact that buy buttons and payment messaging will become social staples in 2016 and you’ve got a “soup to nuts” platform.

With advanced search capabilities, integrated payment methods and the social backbone that powers a Facebook or a Twitter, consumers will not only make purchases, but they will chat with their friends about what they bought and post the social proof of their newly bought items. Advanced search means integrated social experience that expands to commerce.

Instagram is Ready for Take Off

Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 and since then they have been consistently making small changes to the photo sharing platform. Only recently did these smaller changes snowball into some big developments for the platform.

Facebook is not the social media network that every local business needs to have a Business Page on, accompanied by an advertising package so that you can reach the followers you worked hard to gain.

Once upon a time, reaching your followers on Facebook used to be free, just like it is on Instagram. However, with Instagram offering advertising in the form of “sponsored posts,” you will need to pay to ensure that your post is seen by your target audience.

Instagram advertising gets really great results for its advertisers. The app says that their ad recall is 2.8 times higher than other online advertising platforms, making it a great option for business looking to get the most bang for their marketing buck. On top of this, tools that combine trending topics on Facebook and Instagram, like Signal, shows that Facebook plans to continue integrating Instagram into its platform.

Conclusion

2016 is rapidly approaching so the earlier you start, the more time you will have to adjust and reap all the benefits of a forward thinking campaign.

The Future of Content Marketing

 

Episode 56

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Change is the only constant in digital marketing, especially content marketing and the outlook for 2015 predicts that it will continue to be. If you wish to continue reaching prospective customers, staying current and even ahead of trends in the field is crucial. Monitoring the ever-evolving trends and adjusting your digital marketing efforts to reflect these changes will continue to nurture and grow your connection with consumers. Below are some digital marketing tips to give you a head start.

1. Micro Targeting

Put away your “marketing playbook” and dive deeper into personalization and customization. Look for strategies that allow you to locate small but profitable areas of your market. Finding these customers will require a better understanding of their needs, lifestyle and what motivates them. By obtaining this information you will then be able to create one-on-one conversations for successful micro targeting.

2. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile fosters engagement; and digital marketing today presents an “always on” connection with your consumers. Consumers now have the ability to interact with brands wherever they are and whenever they want. This presents a great opportunity for digital marketers and the brands they represent to create new experiences that fit the persona and experiences of your consumers. These new experiences will require a “tune-up” to your mobile strategy. For example, content such as infographics that is consumed via desktop or laptop, does not mean it will perform the same on mobile devices. Small screen sizes and different resolutions are the cause of this. In order for consumers to have a great experience consuming content, brands will need to utilize different display technologies that will adjust content based on users screen size and resolution. Even micro content on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter offer consumers quick little “snippets”.

3. Develop Original Quality Content

More and more brands are turning into publishers and their content is becoming much more compelling. This new content is able to adapt across various platforms and written for a very specific audience. Creating this quality content will showcase your expertise in your industry, however, takes a significant amount of time and effort. Because of this, more marketers are designating an editorial team that oversees the quality of content. These teams are equipped with style guides and possess tools and templates to support consistency across content. If however an editorial team is not possible, marketers may look to agencies or even experienced freelancers for creating content, social media management and reviewing analytics.

Consumer trends and the channels they get information are constantly changing. It is up to those in charge of the brand’s digital marketing efforts, including content marketing efforts to understand consumers on a deeper level and stay out in front of the trends. Incorporating these strategies will jumpstart your business’ digital marketing efforts in 2015.