I looked at the marketing calendar today and said “Oh Crap – it’s nearly November.” 2015 is almost over, and that means it’s time to look ahead to 2016. It is time to start analyzing your successes, acknowledging the failures, and adjusting accordingly.
While it’s certainly easy to keep the marketing engine running at the status quo, in today’s dynamic marketing world, it’s essential to look at new technologies, features and tools that are out there to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be successful, learn and thrive.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled six predictions and thoughts to take into account when crafting your 2016 marketing strategy.
Content Marketing is Essential
Inbound marketing, or content marketing, is by no means a new tactic. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are using content to engage both customers and prospects, develop trust and build their brand.
However, there will be two distinct differences in 2016:
- Business owners are going to start embracing more types of content next year, particularly visual content, including videos. You may have noticed this shift during 2015.
- The incredible volume of B2C and B2B companies who already use a portion of marketing budgets to create and distribute content over various channels are going to increase their investment in quality content.
If you are not using new types of relevant and interesting content in your marketing strategy, you are going to be left behind.
Common Sense SEO
Speaking of upping your visual content strategy, businesses and marketers who do are going to find they automatically get a boost in their SEO ranking.
The latest Google algorithm updates we’ve been seeing, there is a very definite trend towards search engines favoring websites that focus more on providing great content and a little less on optimizing keywords.
One way search engines are determining which web pages people are finding to be quality is by measuring how much time is spent on each page (this is called “dwell time”) and if they are clicking through to other pages on the website.
Visitors that are landing on a site with great written and visual content tend to hang around and realize your site is helpful to their search query.
Another shift in SEO that we’re seeing is more complex search queries that result in demand for relevant, topical content. As SEO best practices continue to change with technological adoption and advances, businesses should concentrate on generating useful, authority-driven content as opposed to spending their budget on hiring SEO bigwigs to get a couple of keywords ranked.
Content Co-Creating Between Customers and Brands
Another idea to keep in mind when developing your 2016 marketing strategy is this: more brands truly embracing user-generated content and leveraging its power.
You instinctively know that customer generated content is valuable. You have probably read a review, shout-out, or testimonial today. This type of content builds trust.
From online reviews and social media posts, brands are going to start relinquishing control over marketing and allow the customer’s voice to create more positive impact in the minds of prospects.
Content co-creation between consumers and brands is set to become a popular marketing trend to consider when developing your marketing strategy.
There’s going to be Even More Data to Mine
An Adobe CMO article suggests that wearable technology is going to see an increase in user adoption of 28% in 2016. Wearable technology’s purpose is to generate data. Lots of it.
This doesn’t mean that every small business needs to invest in wearable in 2016. It only illustrates a growing trend in big data.
This does mean there is going to be massive amounts of data for marketers to mine. Companies that enjoyed success with intuitive advertising solutions on Google and Facebook that target customers based on the actions they take online will probably be ecstatic at the idea of targeting prospects on their everyday habits.
Far More Effective Metrics
“Pay for results” is how Valens Point approaches marketing. Small business owners should be paying for results, not activities.
Unfortunately the definition of results, shown by metrics, is often a challenge.
A lot of the focus on social metrics, including likes, tweets, and shares has resulted in fairly empty “vanity” data that doesn’t particularly offer real-world applications.
2016 is set to see an increase in better analytical tools that will help us to more accurately gauge a marketing strategy’s success.
Focusing on Millennials is Going to Become Irrelevant
Around a decade ago, the marketing world became obsessed with catering to and focusing on millennials.
But just like the baby boomers and Generation Y, the millennials are by no means a niche youth segment. They’re simply a group of people who are aging by the day and will give way to younger, newer generations.
The brands that have been completely millennial-focused are going to find that in the coming year and beyond, they’ll need to change their marketing strategy to remain current and relevant.
The New Year promises to bring new technology, tools, and tactics better equipped to help you reach your target audience and convert them to paying customers.
Are you prepared to take advantage of these predictions?
Start you 2016 process by getting an annual Marketing Checkup. It’s a no-cost, no-obligation way to get an objective opinion of your marketing strategy and a list of quick hits that you can implement right away. Click here to begin.