A new year calls for a boosted marketing strategy! Digital marketing is an ever changing beast, and keeping up with it is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face today. But, it can be done.
2015 brought some exciting changes in the field. The push to value human interaction over search engine robots made quality content a top priority. We have always believed that the connection and experience you make for your customers is more important than over optimizing for robots. Let’s see what the next year has in store for us. Here are the top 5 marketing trends that we will see and use throughout 2016.
1. Long form content
The days of writing 200-300 word blog posts are coming to an end. It’s been proven that longer form content tends to gain more traffic, engage more readers, and have a higher possibility of going viral. At least 800 words or more (ideally 1,000+) should be your goal in the new year. Don’t write 1,000 words of fluff either. Take the time to research, edit and really make your content engaging, educational, and worth the read. If you are a writing a post and just can’t make it up to par, then don’t post it. Quality content will trump quantity in the new year and beyond.
2. Engagement will be more important than impressions
Yes, impressions are important. However, does it really matter if you are getting thousands of views, but none of them are actually converting to customers or reading what you are putting out there? I think not. 2016 is the year that marketers really need to step up their game when it comes to quality content. If you wouldn’t want to read it, then don’t put it out there because others won’t want to read it either. Challenge yourself to be more creative. Get inspired by unusual things or tie themes together that you’ve never seen written about before. It may surprise you what you are capable of coming up with. There are resources you can use for inspiration or if you run into writers block. Like the blog topic generator from HubSpot.
3. Social Conversions will play a bigger role
The role that social media plays in your business could start to change in the year to come. We all know it is important to post regularly and provide meaningful and informative content for your followers. Not to mention the search engines are pulling posts more and more into search results. But why not turn those followers into paying customers and evangelists for your brand? Social sites like Facebook, Instagram. Pinterest and Twitter are all making it easier to improve conversion rates with tools like built in analytics, ad builders and editors and goal tracking.
4. Virtual reality will continue to grow in popularity
The future is upon us! Although, we do still have a ways to go here. BUT keep an eye on the progress being made in virtual reality. It is only a matter of time before we, as marketers, will get to get our hands on this exciting technology and use it to our advantage. You can give your potential customer a real sense of what it’s like to use your product or service without them having to leave their house. For a great example look at what Marriott Hotels did with virtual reality. They let customers be transported to places such as Hawaii and London to get them excited about traveling and what their hotels in those locations look like. They called the campaign “Travel Brilliantly” and it was a smash hit for them with the younger and more tech-savvy crowds. Virtual reality is officially here and accessible to most. Have you seen Google Cardboard?
5. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.
The importance of optimizing for mobile search and conversions has been known for some time now. But this is the year we put our money where our mouth is. For a lot of industries and search terms, mobile will soon outpace desktop search queries (some already are). A lot of the benefits of what you are doing for optimization on desktops will carry over to mobile but there are some key differences to note. Such as:
- Page speed is even more important
- Do NOT use flash
- Don’t use pop-ups
- Make sure your site it responsive or you have one specifically built for mobile
- This is just to name a few. Check out a more comprehensive list by MOZ.
Make this a top priority in the year to come and you can bet you will see results.
It’s a new year with endless possibilities. It is up to you utilize these strategies to produce your best marketing results yet. As with any New Year's revamp, you need to be consistent in your approach and ACTUALLY follow through in order to see results. And if you need some help along the way, let us know!
January 12, 2016