Wherever you look this week, industry experts are making predictions about where 2016 will take the marketing world. What will be the biggest change to embrace in your marketing strategy in the coming year? Is a new technology on the horizon? Or will all these predictions prove futile in the wake of real life challenges?
Many commentators are in fact looking specifically towards the future of social media marketing. As a staple of many a marketing strategy in recent years, the trend towards digital, consumer-driven, shareable content shows no sign of slowing. This week OTB is taking a look at the latest discussions surrounding social media in 2016, and how this fast paced, dynamic marketing tool could continue to shake up the industry.
According to a recent article by Forbes, there are five things you should be doing in social media marketing in 2016. Forbes argues that in order to make an impact and better connect with audiences, marketers should embrace proven methods of connecting with consumers such as engaging with bloggers and social media influencers. Given that these bloggers and influencers have already developed a strong social media presence, the potential for brands to benefit from this strength is profound.
According to research by US firm RhythmOne ‘marketers made an average of $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media spent on influencer marketing in 2014. By all estimations, this is only set to continue or even increase.’ Forbes argues that the value of this ‘earned media’ will become ever greater in 2016, as ad blocks and the lack of consumer appetite for internet advertising will make it increasingly difficult to reach consumers online. In much the same way that word of mouth and recommendation is a highly effective tool for marketers in the traditional marketing arena, social media marketing should be seen by brands as a window for building reputation, trust and a positive relationship between marketer and consumer.
Content isn’t everything
Every marketer knows the value of rich, original content to a campaign and wider strategy. Without strong content in the modern marketing arena, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract the attention of consumers who so often seek originality, authenticity and personality in the brands they associate themselves with. The Content Marketing Institute supports this claim, arguing that in many ways consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing and become proficient at filtering the marketing which reaches them, meaning brands need to be ever more creative in the way they reach their target audiences.
However, according to an article by Tech Week Europe, content isn’t everything. Tech Week argues that in fact ‘engagement is just as important as the content you push out, so as well as all the beautiful videos and captivating infographics you post, remember to read the comments and queries posted by your followers.’ It is argued that the most fundamental attraction of social media – its roots as a communication tool – should not be forgotten when it comes to marketing. Tech Week claims that by remembering this simple fact, and adapting your content to the specific social media channel you wish to use, marketers will reap the rewards of high levels of social media engagement between brand and consumer.
We all know that social media is one of the fastest changing platforms at a marketers fingertips, making it both an exciting tool and a platform which needs to be constantly monitored and adapted. But can you imagine a time when social media comes alive? Well, that’s exactly what some experts are predicting for 2016, as the rise of live content and broadcasting has begun to take shape over the past 12 months and looks likely to increase in the coming year.
According to specialists the Social Media Examiner, the rise of live broadcasts such as Facebook Live,Periscope and Blab in 2015 will reach an entirely new level in 2016, ‘with the introduction of live 360 degree broadcasts that will allow people to move their mobile phones and experience the action as if they were actually present and moving their heads.’ Social Media Examiner claims that as the cost of the technology needed for these services only continues to decrease, it looks ever more likely that this live, 3D form of social media will continue to increase in popularity and become a new tool available for marketers to experiment with.
So whether it’s utilising available influencers, engaging with consumers, or turning social media into a live feed, the future of social media marketing looks bright for 2016. Which trend will you explore first?