Yeah, we’ve arrived at that time again where everyone is making predictions about what the next year will bring and what trend will be the next big thing. And since everyone else is doing it, why wouldn’t we do it? After a year with changes in all fronts and forms, 2016 promises to be a year in which big and small businesses alike should be prepared to embrace even bigger changes – or be devoured by them.
It has been that way for a while, so you shouldn’t worry about it – yet. What you should actually do is peek inside what most experts are identifying as the things that will make digital marketing rock, roll and everything in between during the next 366 days (oh, so you know, 2016 will be a leap year, meaning you’ll have an extra day for awesome marketing). Care to know what they are? Read on!
1 – Pay to reach
Writing an article or posting a video and expecting it to find its audience on its own is becoming crazier by the second. It’s like throwing a message in a bottle into an ocean of binary text and Wiki wormholes. It’s insane. That’s why the notion of paid content distribution will finally find its way into common sense during 2016.
You probably learned it by now – without some cash to fuel the engagement, most content will die alone and overlooked. With Facebook leading the way, content distribution platforms are favoring a pay for reach approach that dooms all content that refuses to pay to a shadowy corner. This will peak during 2016, where a few bucks will make sure your contents are visible by thousands or even millions of people. And not just regular folks – the people that might actually care about what you have to say. At least, the price will come with a few benefits.
2 – Goodbye forever to traditional advertising
We all, as human race, are sick and tired of traditional advertising. So, making an ad, an article or video saying that your product is the best and that it can change more lives than an alien invasion isn’t just obsolete – it’s marketing suicide. That beast we all know as the Internet has broken with that way of thinking and now we all think about stories and values.
Creating a sense of purpose, showing that you’re on a mission, being reliable and honest – all of these are goals that should already be going after (sorry if we didn’t say it before!). But in 2016 that’s probably the only approach possible. If you aren’t capable of creating your business’ own story and mission, if you are only trying to sell and not to help and if you don’t establish a deep connection with who your customers really are, then your business will become obsolete too.
3 – Content for everything
Content marketing will be as strong as it is today but with somewhat of a sci-fi twist. 2016 will mark the mainstream debut of The Internet of Things, the new version of the Web where more and more things will be connected to the network. We already have phones, TVs and watches but refrigerators, printers, cars, ACs and an incredible amount of objects are going the same way. Basically, we’re saying that the content won’t only have to be multiplied but adapted to all those screens and devices.
It’s hard to foresee how content will be transformed by these amazing variety of channels but there’s no point in denying that it will happen. It will take years for it to reach some sort of understandable form, sure, but next year will kick that process off. Isn’t it great to be there from the start, growing a strategy with it?
4 – A million voices for marketing
What used to be material for sci-fi movies of all kinds is becoming real with each passing minute – and marketing will have to reinvent to grasp that change. Case in point – voice-activated features included in certain devices. Search and assistants are now pretty common and are quickly becoming the main way in which we interact with our devices. Since we’re talking that much, it’s pretty obvious that marketing will have to refine its ear and start to listen.
Keyword-based marketing will have to take the back seat and give control to strategies optimized for speech-based queries and processes. Making content available for these assistants (regardless of the content form) will be a challenge 2016 will force upon us. How to beat it? Creativity, of course!
More trends are coming our way and will surely pop their heads up in 2016. Are you ready to face them? Which one excites you the most?