Much like the rest of the world, marketing as an industry has seen
massive year over year changes over the past half decade or so. As
technology and communication take mega-leaps in shorter amounts of time
than ever imagined, we have to adapt quickly to stay ahead of the
effective marketing curve.
To help facilitate that, here are some of the biggest ways in which
marketing will likely change in 2016.
1) Content marketing will eclipse paid acquisition
Already a prominent trend, content marketing is something smart brands
have latched onto over the past year or two (and some even longer). The
basic premise is that content, in the form of writing, video, audio,
etc., should be put out by brands.
This content veers from traditional paid advertising by making sure that
it actually delivers some value or utility to the reader, rather than
just being an extension of an advertisement. Brands that practice
content marketing are continually seen as in-touch and willing to help
prospects, even before they hand over their money.
If you’re not already on Periscope or Facebook’s live video streaming
platform, look into it. It is now easier than ever to incorporate live
streaming events into your marketing wheelhouse, and these can be
excellent ways to stay connected with customers and come across as more
authentic and human as a brand.
For example, many popular figures host Q&A’s. Consider bringing on well
known figures or celebrities in your market as guests for live
interviews, or starting a daily series to keep followers updated on what
your office is cooking up, etc.
3) The “I” will die
Simply put: communication has long been two-way, and is now all but
consumer controlled. That means that switching to another brand is as
easy as a couple of taps on a screen, and that leaving a hilariously
tarnishing review of a company that gets retweeted 13,000 times is a
reality of the landscape we live in.
For this reason, brands who aren’t on board yet will need to catch up by
getting comfortable with talking with their prospects, not at them.
It’s a concept that some from the old school have trouble grasping, but
it will have a huge impact on how relevant your brand is perceived as.
4) Tone of voice will experience a shift
As an extension of number 3, you’ll likely witness many brands trying to
come across as more ‘fun’ or ‘playful’ in their social media and public
communications. Some will miss the mark awkwardly, while others will
score big wins through their community interactions.
In any event, look out for a shift in what is considered appropriate for
a corporate voice.
5) Advertising costs will fall
Alright, to be honest, this still might be a year or two away, but think
about this: Ad networks like Google Adwords have hit a critical mass of
competition, or are approaching it in many markets, where prohibitively
expensive bids of $10+ per click are a reality in many industries. As
such, people are getting more creative: They’re taking their dollars to
social, or to content.
Eventually, older networks that have fallen out of favor will have lower
bids, and those clever enough to use them and not look desperate might
have an opportunity.