A new year brings new technology, and the best marketers embrace the new. When it comes to inbound marketing, quality content is still king. A solid website, informative blog posts and engaging social media isn't going away, but it doesn't hurt to try out some of the marketing trends that will be popular this year.
1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Remember Pokémon Go? That was just one of virtual and augmented realities’ massive mainstream successes. Virtual reality and augmented reality were a big deal this year, and brands are going to continue to explore that realm over the upcoming years. Visual content is massively important now, so VR and AR are exciting opportunities to expand that content.
2. Influencer Marketing
Many brands are looking to influencers to help sell their products, and it’s an effective way to tap into audiences you may be missing. You see this a lot on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, where these influencers can share images, details and giveaways about products. This is an effective approach because social media personalities already have established trust with their audiences, so they are powerful salespeople for your product or service.
3. Mobile Video
It’s no secret that mobile marketing is incredibly important now, and video is especially effective. Mobile video exceeded desktop views at the end of 2015, so if you’re ignoring video, you’re missing out. It’s shareable, appealing content that translates well into consumer interest.
4. Live Streaming
Facebook and Instagram are some of the most recent adopters of live streaming, so if you’re active on those channels, that is an easy way to jump into the live stream game. It’s an easy way to connect with your audience and feels more authentic than other types of content.
5. Mobile Content
Mobile use surpassed desktop use within the past couple years, so making your content mobile friendly should absolutely be a priority. Try going beyond something that works on both desktop and mobile, and aim to create content that is really ideal for a mobile experience.
For your social media, email and content, automation is a lifesaver. If you try to keep up with all those channels in real time, things tend to slip through the cracks. Programs like Buffer, Marketo, HootSuite and Tailwind help you push content as often as you’d like without having to plug away constantly on your content. This allows you to engage with your audience at the prime times, instead of the convenient times.
7. Social Media E-Commerce
Facebook recently launched its Buy Buttons, making it one of the newest social media sites to integrate shopping with social media. This is great for marketers selling products because if a user finds you on social media, they can buy directly from that spot. This might not be the right move for everyone, but it illustrates how integrated brands are becoming with social media.
This isn’t necessarily a new approach, but it’s becoming more and more important as consumers become more tech-savvy. The average person is hounded by information all day, every day, and they can easily spot advertising. So if you want to reach them without turning them off, pay close attention to the data you gather on your target audience. Reach them with content that feels more natural, and cultivate useful information and entertaining marketing pieces that will appeal to them. If you meet them on their level, you’re likelier to get a customer out of that content.