In the world of marketing, trends are born every minute, and it can often be difficult to see which ones won’t die next. Knowing which changes will last, which new social platforms will take off and most importantly knowing what the people want before they do is the key to developing a bulletproof marketing strategy. In light of this, we’ve taken a look at the coming marketing trends of 2016 and what to look out for when planning ahead.
eMarketer recently conducted a study which found that despite the rise of other social media platforms, Facebook is still leading the market with a higher growth rate of users worldwide than any of it’s competitors. Interestingly, they also discovered a 7.6% increase in shares from users who were age 65+, which was the largest share increase across all demographics. While the older generation becomes more social savvy, this study predicts that shares amongst the 18-24 demographic will decrease slightly. So, if you’re worried your parents might be on Facebook looking through your pictures, they probably are!
However, this isn't the only change. We talked recently about Facebook for business, and how the social giant would soon begin rewarding people with a fast response rate badge, meaning companies who were actively engaging with people on Facebook would now stand out amongst competitors. What we haven't talked about is the decline of organic reach on Facebook, which will continue in 2016. Though it ultimately remains king of social media platforms, it is beginning to look like Facebook is the place for Pay Per Click, with more and more SME's paying to advertise on the site. Since Facebook are encouraging businesses to do this, the amount of organic likes/shares your posts and page will receive will decrease. But don't panic or give up on this tool - remember, it's still the most popular social network worldwide, so keep active. If you think you might be interested in PPC but don't know where to start, we can help.
In December 2014, Instagram announced that it had 300 million monthly users, surpassing Twitter’s 284m. But this is no surprise. If we look at the way social media activity among the younger generation has shifted over the past couple of years, there’s a reason why Facebook has dropped in popularity in the 18-24 demographic.
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the introduction of smart phones in our daily lives has caused our attention spans to deteriorate from 12 seconds in the millennium to 8 seconds in 2015. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but what it means is that we now have 8 seconds to grab someone’s attention online, and therefore what better way to do so than through photo sharing?
In the last 6 months we’ve seen an increase in brands promoting themselves through this platform too, and since Instagram made it possible for brands to advertise on their site back in August, we can expect this social conglomerate to stick around in the future and be a strong component in the digital marketing mix. Still reading? Great! It looks like your attention span is still doing fine. But here’s a funny picture of a cat, just for good measure:
In May, Google announced that mobile searches had now taken over desktop (and tablet) searches, and that the majority of traffic and clicks were now coming from smartphones. Again, no surprise, since nobody seems to be able to put their devices out of sight for longer than five minutes anymore!
By 2016, it’s clear that this trend will carry on and mobile searches will continue to rule over desktop, meaning that not only should you have a mobile optimised website, (as non-mobile friendly sites are now penalised in search) but you should be paying close attention to your local search listings at all times. Google research from 2014 indicated that 50% of mobile users are more likely to visit a shop after conducting a local search. While you may not consider your law firm a shop, if you're looking to increase the likelihood of attracting more clients, this statistic applies to you too. On this note, Google also recently updated their map pack. If you aren't aware of the change, see here for more information.
"OK Google, why are voice searches becoming more popular?".
According to Thrive Analytics, 63% of people use voice searches weekly. Be it Siri, Cortana or directly into Google, a strong majority are transitioning from typed to spoken queries, meaning that Google has now changed the way it provides responses to a far more direct approach. It’s goal is to answer questions as quickly as possible, so that many times you won’t even need to click a link to have a question answered.
What this means for you is that you should consider clearly answering specific questions early on in your online content to ensure your firm stays on top of it’s SEO game. What all consumers want nowadays is immediacy, and since the accuracy of speech recognition technology has improved greatly in recent times, it’s no wonder these searches are on the rise and will continue to be in the next year.
However, I am still yet to see someone command their phone in public. Despite there being a majority of us in agreement that this is an incredibly convenient way of searching, we seem to be strangely ashamed of our voice-searching habits.
Personalisation within email marketing has been a hot topic for a while, but is becoming increasingly important and factors high in the open rate of an email. Here is where your CRM system becomes your best friend, allowing you to keep tabs on your clients and prospective clients in order to target the relevant contacts when sending email.
Furthermore, using an email client such as Mailchimp allows you to create specific lists, and though this begins with the simple process of splitting up your clients and prospective clients, the possibilities go much deeper. Lists can then be divided into segments, so for example, “clients age 18-24”. The purpose of this is to keep up with the demand for personalised content, as it’s been shown that relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.
And this makes sense: wouldn’t you feel more inclined to use a companies services if they addressed you by your name and sent you information that they knew you would be interested to read?
Tracking for Data
So, you’ve sent an email out to 100 prospective clients.
What now? In order to evaluate the strength of your email marketing strategy, you need to ensure you are data driven, and this means tracking your campaigns by using tools such as Google Analytics. This allows you to understand whether or not they are generating traffic to your website, as well as tracking which contacts opened your email and at what time. So, with this knowledge, you can now truly begin to build an understanding of what works and what doesn’t when you consider your email marketing strategy.
So, with all the above in mind you should now sit back and rest assured that your 2016 marketing strategy really is bulletproof, right? Okay, we of all people understand that it’s not that simple. What we do know is that the key elements to implementing a successful marketing strategy are; planning, preparation, differentiation and focus. And if all that goes haywire, then you could always give us a call at Conscious.