With 2016 well underway, we’ve been looking ahead to see what the rest of the year might hold for r//evolution and marketing as a whole. With our foresight hats on, we’ve had a think about what trends we’re expecting to see make waves in the marketing sector over the coming year.
1. Optimisation for everything
2015 was the start of the reign of mobile browsing as we saw the number of desktop searches overtaken by mobile searches. April then brought us ‘mobilegeddon’, as Google ranked mobile-optimised sites higher, cementing a mobile-first approach (especially as mobile sites without a desktop version weren’t negatively affected – it’s clear what Google’s vision of the future is). These recent changes mean that 2016 is going to continue to see mobile as a top way to browse the web, but you need to be cleverer than that. Websites, and all communications for that matter need to be optimised to suit all platforms and channels, regardless of the device used. Only this way will you be giving users the best experience no matter where and how they decide to access your media.
Personalisation has been a buzzword of recent times, trying to create content and ads that are relevant and connect directly with audiences by using data to inform communications is becoming more important. Providing users with information and content they are more likely to be interested in, rather than communicating the same messages and content to everyone can be very effective. It’s great to think someone is seeing you as an individual with your own interests and preferences. Personalisation takes skill and balance though, too much and marketers have seen backlash for personalisation that seems intrusive, making audiences uncomfortable.
No marketing guide for 2016 would be complete without a mention of content. And we’re not just talking words on a page here, but real media-rich content. Short-form video and livestreaming has burst onto the scene and it isn’t going anywhere. Thanks to Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, Meerkat, and Instagram, use of video is vital for brands looking to keep up with rivals (never mind those looking to be one step ahead). Grab a camera, and get started but remember there’s no point in posting videos just to tick boxes, make your content meaningful and relevant to your audiences, make sure it’s something they want to see – quality not quantity.
We no longer talk about media relations, but influencer relations. This is because journalists and bloggers are no longer the only big influencers as Social Media Influencers (SMIs), for instance, YouTubers have taken to the stage. The big difference is that they bring with them their own media channels, fully controlled by them. Influencers also offer a way to target much more specific audiences as their channels tend to focus of specific themes. Plus, the idea that they’re ordinary people, and the peers of your target audience make them seem significantly more credible. Their opinion about your brand will be more trusted than content on your own media channels. Though, as they’re in such high-demand, marketers can expect to have to pay for the time of SMIs for guaranteed coverage. It will be especially interesting to see how the growth of livestreaming and influencer relations will come together.
So, there you have it, the top trends we’ll be aware of in 2016 – are there any others you would add to the list? Tweet us