One thing is constant in today’s world: change. Technology advances and budgets change. Customers have high expectations. They want unique and personal. They know what to tune out. They are skilled at ignoring the noise of online content to get to what they want.
Are you the noise?
To stay in front of your audience, think experience. 2016 marketing trends will go beyond written word. Video and content placement will reign. Your success comes down to one thing: strategy.
Want to be a player in the game? Here are the top marketing tactics for 2016:
1. It’s about the experience
Your customers’ experience is key. Walk your audience through living your company. Personalize your message to draw them in. Capture their attention. Make it memorable, alluring, fun and informative. Not everything in life is serious. Know what your customers need and where to find them.
Your content marketing plan should include all types of experiences for your audiences. Use surveys and interactive content to draw interest and keep your target market coming back. Liken yourself to Lucas Films. Mystery, challenge and creativity blend together for a legendary experience. Holograms send messages and store maps. The Force surrounds the audience. Think outside of what is real and begin to imagine what is possible.
2. Write down your plan – and its results
According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 report on Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, 55% of companies are not sure if their content marketing is successful and only 32% of organizations have a content marketing strategy. What?!
Companies who navigate their customers’ journey and can measure their effectiveness will leap forward. Your first step is to define success. Are you looking for increased brand awareness? Engagement? Sales? A combination of the three?
Next, write down your content marketing plan. Know your strategy for the year. Measure your progress using tools such as Google Analytics and digital content metrics. You want to know how/if/when visitors consume your information, what they do with it, if they’re bringing in sales leads. Stay committed to reviewing your strategy, your actions and your results daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly. Create a mission or editorial statement. Know where you are headed and how to get there. Then make it happen.
3. Use video
Video, particularly live streaming video, are a must in 2016. This in-the-moment social tidal wave has become a norm. Social media channels like Vimeo, Periscope, Vine draw followers through short snip-its of life. There are tools available to make your home grown whiteboard video into that can-you-believe-it professional grade. You don’t need a huge budget to step into the video space. Plus, your clients get to know you – who you are – what you look like – who you are. Videos, when used effectively, allow you to become a part of your audience’s daily life.
4. Focus on owned content
If you choose one thing to focus on this year, let it be your owned content. While expanding your brand reach on social media channels and other third-party digital content sources, make it a priority to remain consistent on the channels you have 100% control of–starting with your website.
Think of it this way: What would happen if tomorrow, Facebook turned off? If Twitter was no more? If your Vimeo account was pulled down? Do you have an online space that you own and manage where you can still engage with your audience? We say it a lot, but it remains true: Your website is your online “home”. Make sure it always looks its best when guests come to visit.
5. It pays to pay
Social media channels, once thought to be the free way to get your brand out there are inundated with brands trying to reach all types of audiences. You cannot disappear from these channels. Rather, you need to capitalize on them. So pay for it. Sponsor ads bring your brand to the forefront on selected times during the day.
Adwords and content strategy firms know the ropes. Invest your marketing dollars in a long term plan to builds your audience and showcases your brand. Responses need to be quick. Dedicating staff to monitoring your social media channels may not be an efficient spend. Tap the experts and understand that there is a cost that pays returns over time. Put your dollars into the social media strategy to keep your company on task to meeting goals.
Developing an effective marketing and content strategy takes patience and persistence; the two characteristics your audiences will not have. Filter out the noise to effectively reach your audience by planning your 2016 – now.