At the end of the year, one of the most exciting (and challenging) things for marketers to do is to predict what’s to come and strategize their game plan for next year. What technologies and social media platforms will consumers embrace? How will these changes affect brands and marketers?
The marketing landscape is dynamic and constantly changing as new technologies and social media platforms are introduced. So what can you and your company do to stay relevant? Here are 10 social media trends you should watch and build into your 2016 strategy if you want to stay ahead of the game:
1. Channel building
Instead of cross-promoting the same content on all social channels, effective marketers will need to think out of the box to deliver different branded content that speaks to specific audiences on those channels. Each social media channel works differently and has different audience, so great marketers need to leverage the strengths of each channel to create content that is most relevant to consumers who use that platform. Relevancy is how you will get consumer attention and eyeballs.
2. Shop buttons
With the introduction of “buy” buttons on Facebook and Twitter, consumers will be able to make online purchases on social channels without leaving these platforms. Brands who leverage these features can greatly reduce the steps involved in the purchase of their products or services, and losing potential consumers to competitors as a result of comparison shopping.
3. Live streaming
With the rising popularity of Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook’s “Live” broadcasting, marketers will have an incredible opportunity to connect with consumers on a new level. Live streaming platforms allow marketers to engage consumers through authentic, interesting visual content, as well as providing an insider look into their brands and what they’re doing, making consumers more likely to talk, share, listen, and buy from them.
4. Influencer marketing
Did you know that on average a quarter of the content about your brand is not produced by your company? That’s a lot of user-generated content that can make or break your brand!
Influencers have substantial global reach, and their large following is built on trust and credibility. By building relationships with influencers who are talking about your brand now, your efforts will most certainly pay off in the future. Brands see more than $6 in profits for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
5. Facebook & Instagram advertising
Brands can now run photo, video and carousel ads on Instagram, with call-to-action links directing consumers to various pages of your site. These features make Instagram a powerful mobile platform for marketers who are looking to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their sites.
Similarly, Facebook has launched several new features, taking its advertising and marketing capabilities to the next level. Brands can now link multiple photo ads to different webpages via carousel ads. Consumers can also call businesses directly through “call now” buttons on their mobile devices. The last feature, Bluetooth beacons, is an innovative engagement tool for marketers as it allows consumers to check in, like, and receive notifications from brands on Facebook while visiting their place of business.
Demand for anonymity has skyrocketed in the last few years. Concerns over how personal information is collected and used are driving social media platforms like Facebook to offer more privacy options, such as its new chat app rooms. In 2016 and beyond, we will see consumers leaving platforms for ones that offer more anonymity and security protection.
7. Snackable content
To reach consumers, particularly digital natives, whose attention and time are split between multiple devices and platforms, smart marketers have to make their content more snackable and to-the-point. The more snackable a piece of content is, the more social and shareable it is, which translates to better results.
8. Visual social listening
With almost two billions images shared on social media every day, social listening will need to go beyond written text. To better engage and serve consumers, successful marketers should start monitoring and engaging with visual content and conversations where their brands are mentioned – through image recognition tools like Ditto.
9. Social videos
Popularity of social media videos shows no signs of stopping in 2016. Snapchat, Periscope, and Meerkat have millions of monthly users who visit these platforms every day to consume video content. Successful marketers will require an agile and responsive strategy to deliver compelling content more quickly and efficiently to achieve real-time marketing success.
As the number of wearable tech continues to increase in 2016, brands can expect to have the ability to target consumers based on their day-to-day browsing habits communicated by their devices. This will also present marketers with an exciting opportunity to find new and more innovative ways to engage with consumers through wearable devices.
What are other trends you should be watching in 2016? Here are 16 digital marketing trends you should know.
What about you? Which trends have you adopted already? Are they working? What will you trying out next year? Please share your thoughts below.
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