As 2015 comes to an end and we welcome the new year, our CEO, Shama Hyder, shares 12 digital marketing trends for 2016. Watch out for these trends in 2016 and plan your strategies accordingly. View the video and transcript below.
Happy New Year!
The first trend is 2016 will be a year all about the customer journey. More and more businesses are realizing that it’s not just important to put social media into marketing’s basket or put it in corporate communication, you really have to look at the whole customer journey, how does someone go from a stranger to getting to know about your business to actually turning into a customer or client – what does that journey look like? And to that end, where does marketing fit in at each point in that decision making process? So look for businesses, smart businesses, to really revive and pay close attention to the customer journey overall and create key points of interaction, where they can really serve the customer or the prospect and helping them make that transition into a buyer. So caching, there’s my first trend for you.
[bctt tweet=”Trend two of 12 is the rise of influencer marketing. #12Trendsfor2016 #ShamaTV”]
Today’s trend two of 12 is: the rise of influencer marketing. Look for it, count on it. Companies are becoming savvy to the fact that to reach a broader audience they can’t just go through TV and traditional mediums. They have to look at influencers who already have created clout within certain communities or who are already looked at as the go-to expert. Think about why Nike works with Tiger Woods, for example. They know that when Tiger Woods talks about the brand, that helps Nike and so forth. There’s lots of brand relationships like that, that brands have with the celebrities. But, now it’s not just any A-list celebrities, it’s gonna be celebrities in different niches that get approached by brands and so if you’re a brand, it would behoove you to look into influencer marketing, as it provides a really high ROI.
Trend number three for 2016 is the importance of email marketing. Email marketing is not dead! Every year, we hear it heralded, email marketing is dead and something else is taking its place. Email marketing is still the number one way to connect with your audience, to get them to take action. So if you’re not investing in email marketing right now, be sure to make it a plan for 2016. Because whether you are an individual looking to create your tribe and build that community, or a company looking to reach prospects and nurture your leads over time, email marketing will continue to play a huge role.
Trend number four is expect more diversity in the boardroom. Right now board rooms are filled with mostly older white males and they are pretty homogeneous, but, as corporations go into 2016 and beyond, they’re realizing the importance of diversity – not just for lip service, but for really getting good ideas in there. Look for boardrooms to be more diverse, more women, different age groups, different minorities, and really for companies to start embracing that if they’re going to serve a more diverse market, they have to start looking and thinking more diverse themselves.
[bctt tweet=”Look for boardrooms to be more diverse. #12Trendsfor2016 #ShamaTV”]
Trend number five is crowdsourcing content. As content becomes more and more important – and we’ve seen that over the last few years – and will continue to be more important, businesses have to start looking at how we can take advantage of crowdsourcing content, getting content from their audiences, from your customers whether in the form of testimonial, videos, and so forth. So how do you crowdsource content? Lots of different vehicles, lots of ways. We’ve already seen, for example, companies do YouTube contests to collect customer videos and use that as content. Jimmy Fallon does this really well with lots of his Halloween videos and so forth. This concept will apply to organizations and really anybody looking to market online. They are going to be looking at crowdsourced content to fulfill all our content needs.
Trend number six is the rise in video advertising. That’s right, as other ads get toned down, you see lesser ROI from it. Video advertising continues to reign large so this means that if you’re watching videos you are likely to see more ads – but, if you are a business looking to market, if you’re looking to get the word out there, video advertising can produce a very high ROI. So look for a rise in that in 2016.
Here’s my trend number seven for you, look for manufacturing as a service to be on the rise. What does that mean? Well, we’ve all heard about 3D printing so far, but if I ask most of you, where can you go to get something 3D printed or what kind of things you really want 3D printed, the answer is, you might not have an easy answer. Soin 2016, I think we’ll see some key players where they offer manufacturing as a service, where if you want something replicated or you want to create your own awesome iPhone case, you’ll know exactly which company use to have that done for you. So look for manufacturing as a service to be a big thing in 2016 and beyond.
So trend number eight for 2016 that I have for you is wearables. I know wearable technology has been around for a few years now but really, it hasn’t hit massive infiltration and not something you see lots of people wearing. Apple’s the iWatch is something that’s gotten close, but really we haven’t seen wearable technology take off the way we thought we would. But I think 2016 is going to be a turning year. Look for more mainstream companies such as Target, such as different brands, to start carrying wearable technology whether it’s a shirt that measures your heart rate, or jewelry that keeps you safe and has GPS locators. So really look for wearable technology to become more mainstream.
Today’s trend number nine is dark traffic and how it’s going to get harder to measure where traffic is coming from to your website. What do I mean by dark traffic? Well, right now you can measure most of the traffic that comes to your site, whether they come from a different website, Twitter, Facebook, so forth. But if they type it in directly, if they look at email, IMs, Slack so forth, you can’t really track all that traffic like you used to. Sub-tracking that traffic is going to continue to get more difficult. That means good marketers will have to get more creative in how the track traffic whether it’s by setting up specific landing pages, using specific short URLs, and so forth – but just be prepared that it will be harder to know where your traffic is coming from in 2016.
[bctt tweet=”Good marketers will have to get more creative in how they track traffic. #12Trendsfor2016, #ShamaTV”]
Here’s trend number ten for you for 2016 and that is – the rise in virtual reality. Now many of you know that Facebook acquired Oculus Rift not too long ago, it’s a virtual reality gaming headset and they have also now introduced 3D videos. I think 2016 is where we will first start to see a glimpse of more of these 3D worlds, these 3D immersive experiences, where it becomes a little more commonplace. I don’t think 2016 will be “the year” of virtual reality. I think we’ll have to wait a little bit longer, but I think we’ll get a really nice glimpse into the future just like these trends try to do for you.
Trend number eleven is all about training and education – aka, companies realizing that they have to invest in training and education for their teams. The last few years we actually saw companies cut back somewhat on training and education programs but now we’re seeing the opposite. We’re seeing companies really start to do more. Invest in more employee education, employee training as they realize the value of that. Not just in a changing world so much as the technology sector but across the board look for training and education to see a sharp spike in 2016.
My final trend for 2016 is digital equity – how companies start to cultivate it, how it becomes an asset when they’re going to sell their companies in acquisitions, digital equity and how your company’s perceived online, its reputation, digital assets such as Facebook page Likes, Twitter followers. I don’t just mean Monday numbers but really having a solid digital footprint will become a greater part of evaluations for companies – as they’re being sold, merged, so forth.
[bctt tweet=”Every company should be looking at their own digital equity for 2016. #12Trendsfor2016 #ShamaTV”]
I hope you enjoyed this series of our 12 predictions for 2016. Tell us in the comments what you thought of it, tell us on social media – we’d love to hear your thoughts. I look forward to seeing you in 2016.