While there are certain tenets of marketing that will always remain true, the industry is constantly being reshaped by new trends and technologies. For this reason, it’s all too easy for a marketer to fall behind and lose an edge on the competition. To get your efforts up to speed, look at these five important trends that are anticipated to make the biggest impact in 2016:
1. Community and Relationship Marketing
Consumers are more savvy than ever these days, which is why marketing in 2016 will stress the importance of building relationships instead of direct sales pitches. The goal of relationship marketing is to obtain customers who are loyal and engaged, instead of short-term goals like acquisition and sales. Having a solid relationship with your customers means ongoing business, free word-of-mouth promotion and leads for more business.
Having this kind of relationship must come from creating content that serves your audience in various ways, maybe through learning or problem-solving. Keep in mind that any communication with your audience, whether it’s through content or direct correspondence, should feel personal and interesting. A solid relationship is also contingent on having reliable and responsive customer service.
2. More Video Ads
Google searches already favor pages with videos, but it will also include video ads in search results this year. Now more than ever, this tool is an invaluable asset. When Google tested video ads with some of its business customers, most said it played a part in boosting revenue.
Regardless of Google’s plans in the coming year, videos continue to be extremely prevalent. In the U.S., 78.4 percent of Internet users watch videos online. The numbers are similarly high in other parts of the world.
Taking advantage of this popular platform follows the same protocol as any other type of content. On its website, ReelSEO, a resource for video and online marketing, wrote that those in the mobile generation, aka the demographic for videos, hate being the target of obvious sales pitches. Videos need to be fresh, creative and serve a bigger role than just promotion.
3. The Rise of the Internet Of Things
In any industry, the 2016 trend talk is all about the Internet of Things. With the advent of wearable devices and other technology that can communicate with one another, digital marketing has more platforms to work with than ever before. This means more insightful data for marketers, as well as an opportunity to better organize than information.
4. Location-Based Marketing
With so many people connected to devices, location-based technology has become a burgeoning focus of 2016. This type of marketing relies on data collected from consented location-tracking, whether it’s through a user’s check-in or in-store beacons, to deliver personalized advertisements to a customer’s phone when in a certain area. Across the U.S., digital markets have already begun using RFIDs and iBeacons in their strategies.
5. Increased VR Experimentation
As they’ve become available, marketers are also hopping on virtual reality products to provide more experience-based content for consumers. While it can cost more than other traditional methods, marketers are expected to have a worthy ROI.
While these aren’t the only trends that will crop up in 2016, they will make an indelible impact on how marketing moves forward in the next year. Anyone lagging behind will surely feel the disadvantage. So you can better remember some of these topics, check out this visual guide: