As the first quarter of 2016 is almost done, your eyes should be on the best digital marketing strategies to implement this year. From more viral videos to living a virtual life, here are some of the changes we should expect to happen going forward.
1. Using More Video
This idea isn’t new by any means, but video advertising is set to become even more dominant this year. Videos will have to be optimized for every platform, so the days of creating one video for YouTube and spreading it across all social media platforms are gone. You have to make a video for YouTube, and one for Facebook, and another for Instagram, for example.
Look at some video celebs like Jenna Marbles for inspiration on how to make your content go viral. She’s built a strong brand around her hilarious comedy and relatable persona, which might work for you, too!
2. Mobile over Desktop
Look around next time you’re waiting in line at the checkout: You’ll see that everyone is on their phone. Our world is increasingly mobile, and fewer people are sitting down with their laptop to click on articles like “13 Potatoes that Look Like Channing Tatum.” These clickbaity pieces are used to pass the time during tedious tasks (or while procrastinating, if we’re honest), and that means mobile. In 10 different countries, including the U.S., mobile usage has already swept past desktop usage, according to this report.
3. Saying Hello to Siri
Electronic personal assistants like Siri and Cortana are moving towards being able to answer everyone’s questions instantly. Whether that’s, “Is this mark on my elbow normal?!” or, “What time does Kittens & Knittin Cafe open on Saturdays?” your virtual best friend is there for you. Businesses need to make sure that their info is easily found and relayed via these programs. More and more people are increasing their reliance on technology, so make sure you aren’t left in the dust.
4. Virtual Reality Taking Over
Speaking of virtual technology, eyes are turning towards the imminent rise of virtual reality. You can now do awesome things like take tours of the White House using virtual reality, but it doesn’t stop there. InStyle lets you hang out with celebs like Drew Barrymore and the Sundance Film Festival had stars like James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt clamoring to use VR technology.
And if you know anything about James Franco, you know that for all the weirdness, he’s actually a pretty brilliant guy. Trust him on this.
5. Crowdsourcing Your Marketing Efforts
Just as you thought you were getting into some innovative stuff with social media marketing, it turns out you’re already behind. Marketing isn’t a one-way street anymore. In the sharing economy, almost everything is collaborative. Just look at Kickstarter, where people are crowdsource funding for their passion projects.
But how do you crowdsource a marketing campaign? Your customers and fans create more content and material than you could ever hope to do by yourself.
At the annual Minecraft conference, fans were offered free workshops on video creation basics. Why? Because when they go back home, these young, passionate, knowledgeable people create YouTube videos about Minecraft. This helps create content and gain attention for the company at a very low cost.
Your target audience wants to feel relevant. How can you achieve this? You need to deliver engaging content that speaks to their interests and feels relevant. There are tons of options out there for digital marketing technologies from email to marketing software that can provide personalized marketing solutions.
Surprisingly, Taylor Swift is a great example of how personalized marketing can lead to brand loyalty. She famously created Swiftmas, where she and her team singled out fans and sent them Christmas gifts along with a personalized letter from the singer herself. Fan reactions were all over the Internet, and it helped solidify Swift’s rep as America’s sweetheart all over again.
7. Use Influencers
Speaking of mega-stars like Swift, one of the best ways to get everyone’s attention is using a familiar face. Is this a new tactic? No. But the use of influencer marketing is set to keep growing, and it’s definitely changing. One of the other tactics mentioned above—video blogging—is a really good place to look for influencers. See if you can get them to use your product in one of the videos. It feels a little less in-your-face than typical product promotion and is likely to be more effective for a younger audience.
This article has some examples of major YouTube influencers, but don’t neglect to go local either. A well-loved radio DJ or local celebrity might be a good place to start.
What digital marketing efforts are you making? What are you predicting for the rest of 2016? There’s nothing wrong with trying out things like the tips mentioned in this article.
Implementing all these strategies might just make your business one of the most successful this year, so don’t hold yourself back.