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2016 Marketing Trends
There are hundred of blog posts out there identifying key marketing trends for 2016, but knowing what they are isn’t gong to help you implement them. It takes understanding how you can leverage these trends to help reach your audiences in an engaging and ROI friendly fashion. So, for this article, I want to highlight a few trends that I think will be hot in 2016 along with a few ideas for how you can use these trends for your business.
Social: Stop talking like a robot, act like a real person.
A conversation is called a conversation because it requires two people, engaging with one another over any myriad of topics. Social media, although not real life, requires a virtual conversation, a back and forth between two people, regardless if you’re managing a company or personal profile. So, next year, instead of writing and scheduling four generic posts per day, why not spend some time actually finding people you want to converse with.
Just like real life, the best relationships develop with those that you trust. Even though you are not physically in front of the person does not mean that neither you nor your online ‘friend’ lacks something important to say.
Spend more time searching for topics that interest you or are relevant to your industry.
Instead of following companies, seek out individuals within that organization, someone who you would love to have a real-life conversation with.
Print comes back into the picture…automatically
Print is NOT dead. I repeat, print is not dead. Because we get flooded with emails and online ads everyday of our lives, print mail actually is becoming more of a hot commodity. Print is tangible, something that you can physically hold, feel, and save. Instead of sending a welcome email or informational packet, why not print it out and send it to your customers. That way they can easily reference it and remember your brand. For example, as part of the new customer onboarding process, GreenRope sends out a postcard with helpful resources that someone can keep on their desk and reference it at their convenience. Tangible items oftentimes convey a higher value, therefore making your brand look big and professional.
In a study done by MarketingProfs, they found that seven out of ten people reported that they found print/direct mail to be more personal than online ads. This stat alone should illustrate why print marketing should be part of your repertoire.
We actually start using data effectively
Data is this world’s gift to marketers. If we don’t use it, we are going to fall behind. Why? Because data gives us everything we need to know about our customers to effectively market to them. Remember the saying, ‘knowledge is power’? Well, data is power. To know your customer is key in marketing. When we make people feel special, they tend to spend more freely. Give your customer the experience that no other company can.
Use a CRM to house and manage important data about your customers. Every business needs different information, so make sure to identify key data sets that you can use to better target your audience. Are they a man or a woman? Do they like skiing or snowboarding? Rock n’ Roll, or Jazz? Information like this gives you a great idea of who your customers are, and ammo to really communicate effectively in messaging they will understand and engage with.
Content reigns supreme
Content is still one of the most effective ways for marketers to develop thought leadership and build brand awareness at a relatively low cost. Content marketing can be a very effective tactic for lead generation, however in 2016 quality content is much more valuable than quantity. Google scours the Internet for fresh, relevant, high quality content. The more of this you have, the better your SEO and potential lead generation.
To help you produce better content, put together an editorial calendar so that you have ample time to research and write on your selected topics. This organization will keep you from scrambling at the last minute to produce something that people will actually want to read.
I would also consider taking a more casual voice when developing content. Write as if you were speaking to the person. Make your content easy to digest. So, instead of long, drawn out paragraphs, setup your content so that it is easy to scan through. We are all busy, so lists and short paragraphs/sentences save us time, while providing us with the information we need.
As you can see, there are a lot of the same trends happening in 2016, they are just more refined. Marketing is constantly changing, so it is important for us to remain agile. Even though marketing has many scientific aspects to it, we must remember that we are marketing to people, not robots. Think about campaigns that have inspired you. Why were you inspired? What made them so effective? Write these down and really understand what the campaign was all abut and then try and incorporate those strategies into your own marketing!