As we near the end of the year, customers often ask me for my predictions for the year ahead and the latest marketing trends: “What’s Hot?” and “What’s Next?”
In this post, I’ll look at what I see as the latest trends in marketing and specific questions for the smaller business owner looking to be a part of the trend in the coming year.
Here are my top 4 predictions for marketing trends in 2016:
- Content Marketing
70% of surveyed marketers say they are creating more content than they did a year ago.
Writing engaging content will become the central component of all marketing campaigns. Look for terms like “content optimization” to be popping up everywhere as marketers look to content as critical to their strategic success. You should strive to provide readers with information they likely haven’t seen elsewhere, information that’s shareable and keeps people invested from beginning to end. Do you have a professional content writer on staff? If not, where will you go to generate content for your marketing materials? The creation of consistent, high-quality content is a must for any successful content marketing plan.
- Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics)
65% of business executives from global brands say they embrace big data to stay competitive.
This is a term used to describe how companies can target the right message to the right person, at the right time for the right price. The message is delivered once consumer behaviours are captured and analyzed to determine what is the right message, who should it go to, when should it go to them and what is the right price point. Big Data often assumes your company has the appropriate IT hardware/software infrastructure in place and personnel to manage it, but for a smaller business, Big Data could simply mean tracking downloads, social media, e-blasts, customer calls, clicks on PPC advertising, and conducting some customer research.
- Mobile Marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)
70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.
According to Forrester Research, mobile is predicted to be the fastest growing channel among all digital channels, so make sure your campaigns are mobile or involve a mobile component. It goes without saying that your website needs to be mobile-friendly if you hope to engage an audience that is using this platform to engage with your brand. App downloads surpassed Facebook friends and Twitter followers for most brands in 2015, and they continue to do so in 2016. Expect for brands’ mobile apps to replace their social communities as the tag of choice on advertising, including TV. For the smaller brands, as mobile development has become more mainstream, think about whether there is an opportunity to develop an app to help interact or support your customers.
- Social Media Marketing
46% of web users look to social media when making a buying decision.
Most platforms are moving towards “buy” buttons which allow consumers (FB app or Twitter app) to buy a product instantly without leaving the app. The goal of most of the social media platforms are aimed at keeping consumers in their apps which is a good opportunity for marketers to advertise directly to their customers via PPC campaigns. If you are a smaller business, you might want to consider “owning” a specific social media channel that speaks to your targeted audience instead of spreading your budget across multiple platforms. Instead of being the small fish in the big pond, if you pool your financial resources you can be the big fish in a smaller pond.
I anticipate we’ll see these trends pop up and continue through 2016. Be prepared to make some changes to step up and beat your competition to the punch!