The New Year is a great time to reflect on events of the previous year – see what went well and what didn’t. From a business perspective, it’s a great time to look at your online marketing strategies. What has worked? What can we do differently?
Take a look at some of the Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 – if you want your business to stand out online then why to give some a try?
1) Get Interactive
Giving your brand a voice through strategic content marketing was one of the biggest trends of 2015. Whether you took to penning weekly blogs or ramped up social media activity; communication was (and still is) essential for digital marketing.
Next year, this will still be true however, the fight for attention is becoming increasingly intensified so marketers are suggesting you take a break from coining 3,000 word blogs and focus on more time friendly means of communicating with your users. Less words and more interactivity will be called for if you want to heighten the success of campaigns.
Interactive campaigns are not only more engaging they are a great way of communicating information in a time efficient and ‘easy to digest’ manner. Think infographics, videos, quizzes, surveys – all have much more ‘clickability’ and more likely to engage users and create conversions.
2) Go Bold or Go Home
We are a nation hungry for distraction and readily expose ourselves to the relentless peacocking of global companies, people and institutions; all fighting for our undivided attention to advertise their business and opinions. And they have it.
If you are not committed and strategic with your brands online engagement then you will quickly drown in out in the crowd. In 2016 you will need to be louder and more present on social platforms in order to be remembered.
Content is added every second and forgotten just as quick. On Twitter, the average tweet only reaches about 10% of followers as it is quickly superseded by other tweets. If you are going to be remembered then you need to create content which is engaging and has the ‘share factor’.
Collaboration is a great way of creating noise - collaborating with followers with a large following alone could double your outreach potential and give your content more visibility. Community boards on Pinterest are also a great way of building user generated content. Not only are they great for boosting your following, they also increase the probability of gaining more repins by giving your brand more exposure and visibility to a wider network of people.
Although still influential, paid ads are much less effective than they used to be. Over saturation leads to mental ad blocking as most consumers block out the ads they see as they know where they are likely to be. The benefits of paid ads cannot be diminished however, trying to be louder and more creative with your marketing in the New Year will get your brand remembered.
3) Be Influencers
Influencer marketing is great for amplifying your brand message through the support of influential people. It’s that ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendation styled approach which develops trust between a brand and its target audience and ultimately drives sales. In today’s world consumer’s large base their buying decisions on what other people have to say about the product or brand so having a public figure talking about your brand is a great way to influence consumers.
Whether you up your blogger outreach by getting expert bloggers within your industry talking about your brand or pay for influencer’s to great a hype on social media; influencer marketing is a great way to build trust around your brand.
Vloggers are set to be the biggest influences of marketing campaigns throughout 2016. Not is Vlogging realistic, it is also very engaging and has the all-important ‘share factor’. Vloggers build up a huge following and often directly communicate with their followers making them a trusted commodity. Get them talking about your product or brand and sales will rocket.
4) Real Talk
A good social campaign will give your brand a global platform where you can demonstrate your knowledge, get people talking and promote brand awareness. Not only does it give your brand a voice, it opens channels of communication meaning that your consumers can engage with you back. In 2016 brands will be encouraged to have more meaningful interactions through real life conversations with its customers. Whether that be through social media, more calls, emails etc. customer experience will be the crux of business success.
A lack of social conscience can have a profound effect on your social media strategy. Take a look at Protein World’s ‘Is Your Body Beach Ready’ Ad – voted the worst advert of 2015 the controversial marketing campaign sparked vandalism and debate across the globe for ‘body shamming’ women.
However, it was not only the Health Company’s ad which caused offence, but their responses to customer complaints. Publically telling customers to ‘grow up’, mocking the mentally ill, claiming we are a nation of ‘sympathisers for fatties’ and even referring to those offended by the ads as ‘terrorists’; Protein World responses fuelled a rising fire.
So yes, talk to your customers but don’t make a bad situation worse, be challenging to give your responses integrity but don’t be offensive. Also, steer clear of generic and repetitive sales led responses – it makes your brand look disinterested and cold.
5) Get Secure
Google Ranking Factors are one of the largest speculated myths however, Google they have recently revealed that sites with a HTTPS encryption be favoured in search results. HTTPS it basically the secure version of http meaning all communication between your browser and the website are encrypted. Sites which capture any sensitive data should all be protected with a HTTPS encryption and secured with an SSL Certificate.
However, don’t be put off it you think your site doesn’t contain any sensitive data. Even regular content can benefit from a HTTPS encryption as they help validate your website and help prevent tampering from third parties.
6) Marketing Automation
Done right, marketing automation can be a great way to personalise generic blend marketing campaigns in order to deliver useful content that will gain more realistic and meaningful conversions. Which in turn can not only deliver significant revenue for businesses but increases customer experience and satisfaction.
However, done without the appropriate support systems in place then more often than not, marketing automation tends to fail for businesses. Marketing Automation should be used alongside a well-conceived marketing strategy which has realistic and viable goals. Without that support, marketing automation can misinterpret customer wants and lead to poor customer experience.
Remember, customers are intelligent and all have the power of the web to help them make informed decisions about services and products they buy. Marketing automation will work if you centre campaigns on a targeted audience, empowering them with personalisation and communicating with them as a human through dynamically substituted content based on their unique profiles.
7) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Web pages are the foundation of digital content marketing. Rich Content such as video, infographics, responsive web, HTML5 will add sophistication to the site and improve user experience. However, personalisation and interactive experiences are set to be some of the biggest trends to encourage Conversion Rate Optimization on a website.
Conversion Rate Optimization is used to help convert the number of users who visit your site into customers. Whether that is by making an enquiry, downloading a document or buying a product. The conversions you require will be based solely on the purpose of your website and the real value of a conversion.
The first step in CRO is defining what conversions are important to your business and the amount of conversions you need to generate meaningful ROI. Working alongside your internal marketing team or external marketing agency you will be able to determine the best ways to encourage conversions by analysing current digital activity and website tracking to determine user journeys. Determining interaction points and drop off points will show where you are losing conversions and give you an idea where improvement is needed.
Are you ready to give your brand a voice to be heard? If so, get in touch with our digital experts today!