You’ve got a tough job. Not only do you have to know marketing theory inside and out, you’ve got to be able to reinvent your approach and communicate it to your client every time a new trend comes into play.
We’ve researched emerging trends to be aware of plug into your future marketing strategies in an effort to help you stay ahead of the curve. Will all of them change the way you do your work? Likely not. But we know they’ll make you stop and consider how they’ll would work for your business.
Video, Video, Video
YouTube is the number two search engine—no news flash there. People love entertainment through moving pictures. What is new is how video is worming its way more insidiously into online advertising. Bing and Yahoo are including video ads in their search results and Google is also getting on board. If you want to be a pioneer of this trend in the future, consider all the nooks and crannies online where you can embed a video ad. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. The world is your small screen.
App it Up
The writing is on the wall—native apps will ultimately replace mobile-optimized sites. Not convinced? Consider this: apps are inherently a more intuitive, convenient and accessible for consumers to do execute the same actions they would on a company website—all while using their mobile device. If you grew up in the digital age, you understand how important this is. What’s even more exciting is Google’s app indexing—which includes apps in search results. The app indexing will offer your customers more potential to be found upon searching for the first time.
Mobile-focused online marketing is money. If you spend a lot of your time trying to get your clients to think mobile, here’s a nugget you might want to share with them: In 2015, Google announced that mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in 10 different countries. (Of course, this was the year they also unleashed their “Mobilegeddon” algorithm to boost mobile-friendly pages in their mobile search results.)
“Let me get this straight, people want to reach us from their phones?” says the traditional business owner. You whisper, “Yes!” The trend is pretty clear—desktop traffic is declining and Google is giving it a friendly wave and telling it not to let the door hit it on the way out.
Intelligent Personal Assistants
Who doesn’t love to ask Siri where to get the best pizza in the neighborhood or what time stores open on Sunday? Digital assistants like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are expected to multiply and lead to a new kind of optimization. When looking up their answers for users, digital assistants typically use traditional search engines. Here are a few tips to ensure Siri will reference your client’s business upon search:
- Ensure the website is mobile-friendly
- Use keywords, including local terms, like your city, neighborhood, and address.
- Embed common questions mobile users might ask as SEO/search terms in your content (bring back the FAQ page!)
- Stay up-to-date with social media activity and trends
- Siri also refers to sites like Yelp, Google Places and OpenTable, so make sure your client’s business is represented in these spaces, where necessary
Keep an Eye on Virtual Reality
Dozens of virtual reality devices—headsets, glasses—will be released over the next few years to coincide with the next tech miracle. Some of them will be tailored for specific video games while others will be for more general use.
Are you thinking what we’re thinking? There’s the potential for a huge, untapped world of online advertising possibilities. And we think virtual reality will complement social media and video channels nicely. Stay tuned to this VR trend—it’ll surely leverage the marketing world in the future.
Look into Wearables
While the Apple Watch isn’t quite as ubiquitous as anticipated, it—and other wearable technology—is expected to grow in sophistication and popularity. What effect will this have on marketing? Let us count a few ways:
- Small screens and no keyboards means traditional apps won’t work the same way on a wearable. Get ahead of the competition and be ready with an idea for a dedicated wearable app.
- Consider creating content made for small screens. Think short and simple, including status updates and graphics that are easier to grasp than videos, articles and links to websites.
- Tweak your social media strategy to compensate for the fact that wearable users won’t be leaving comments or digging too deeply. Short, easy-to-consume content that compels users to like, retweet or +1 will get the job done.
As Marketing Trends Emerge, Stay on Budget
The price of online advertising has not reached its peak. In fact, advertising on social platforms like Facebook is often considered a downright steal. Enjoy it while it lasts because that bubble will burst. Competition is increasing which will drive online advertising prices higher. Prepare your clients for the expected uptick and explore other inexpensive ways to get more bang for the online marketing buck, including:
- Amp up your clients’ social media presence with great content that inspires a loyal following. Short videos, photos and fun, light-hearted posts that offer behind-the-scenes insight into the company wins favor with consumers.
- Take advantage of analytics to make the most of your marketing dollars. Targeted advertising campaigns on social platforms like Facebook are brilliantly effective and don’t require a small business loan.
- Uncover a simple call-to-action that’ll turn eyeballs into conversations for your clients.
About the Author: Heather Hudson is an accomplished freelance writer and journalist based in Toronto. She writes for a number of publishing, corporate and agency clients who depend on her to deliver high-quality, on-brand content and journalism with a fresh perspective. Learn more about her work at heatherhudson.ca.