There seems to be so much going on this year that we have decided to split out the blog looking at 2016 Marketing Trends, this is part 2. If you’ve read part one of this blog, you will have already learnt about video and email trends, but if you haven’t, it’s here. This week, I’ll be giving you and overview of the next two big trends in – social media and content marketing.
Perhaps you’ve stumbled across this blog not entirely convinced that social media can benefit your small business… if so, you may be interested to learn that recent studies have shown the worldwide social audience is ageing! As social media grows up, it’s likely that a large part of your audience is hanging out online, so don’t neglect this important arm of your marketing strategy and make sure to catch your customers while they’re enjoying some downtime.
This year, your social audiences will be more receptive than ever to communication via image and video. Of course, some platforms will not be relevant to your customer base but, for many small businesses, 2016 could be the perfect time to try something new such as Snapchat, Pinterest or Instagram. Use image-based platforms to really show off what your products look like and how they work.
Two tools to keep an eye on in are Periscope and Facebook Live. While the Periscope app is already up and running, Facebook’s real-time video broadcasting technology has just been rolled out in the US so it may be some time before it hits our shores. It’s incredibly important to consider how this kind of marketing tool could benefit your business. Initial thoughts are that both could provide scope for streaming footage from events, conferences, announcements or PR stunts. It will let your customers see the world through your eyes, humanise your brand and share enticing behind-the-scenes footage. The result? Increased engagement and more personalised channel of communication, assuming it is done in the right way.
Finally, predictions have shown that we’ll see an increase in e-commerce via social platforms. So, if you haven’t already looked into Facebook and Twitter’s one-click purchase options – don’t get left behind!
I want to let you in on two key trends for content marketing in 2016, which are both simple and potentially free to implement: curated content and user-generated content.
Content curation is, simply put, the process of gathering and presenting information on a certain topic which is of interest to your audience. This will position you as an expert in your field, and will also save your readers a lot of effort. To use your company blog as a content curation platform, create a post and include information from, or link-outs to, other articles you’ve found online. Fully credit any outside sources you use and, of course, be wary of directing your readers away to competition. To make this endeavour even more successful, integrate the Twitter handles of other authors or shout about your post on social once it’s been published – this will encourage link-backs and shares.
User-generated content is another hot ticket for 2016. Forming a tactical partnership with a relevant online influencer (a YouTube vlogger, for instance) is all the rage at the moment, with numerous brands turning to self-made internet celebrities to help sell their products and increase brand awareness. If this kind of partnership isn’t possible for your business, why not invite happy customers or contacts from your network to create guest blog posts? This could save you the time and effort of writing your next piece of content, and will give your guests the chance to be in the spotlight and have their voice heard. It really is a win-win situation.
I know that there is going to be some great stuff happening this year, the mood is positive and everyone is looking forward to a successful year. If you would like some help building your social media strategy or sourcing some great content please get in touch, I would love to hear from you please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!