It’s 2016 already! Online marketing in 2015 gave us a glimpse of what’s going to be important in the coming year. Online marketing trends will focus around a few key areas. The common denominator across them will be customization. Whether we’re talking about content development, social media or email marketing, making sure your materials and content is super specialized to your audience will be very important.
Here are the top four trends for online marketing in 2016.
1. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then interactive content is priceless. Interactive content will play an increased role in 2016. That means incorporating video, webinars and polls will be very important. Interactive content can be incorporated into your website, blog posts and email. Video made a splash in 2015 and will continue to dominate the online marketing space. Important to note however, is that the actual subject of the content will be just as important as the type of interactive content.
Don’t just make a video for the sake of making a video. Carefully scripted videos that provide great visuals will help catapult your message across the online space. Same thing goes with webinars and polls. These should be meaningful, and targeted to your audiences who will be on the receiving end.
2. You have mail! The importance email marketing should have in an online marketing plan has been a hot topic for discussion over the last couple of years. I’m here to tell you that its importance is not declining, and in fact, it will play a major role in online marketing plans for 2016.
Email continues to prove its worthiness by having one of the highest return on investment costs among online marketing tactics, and that 73% of marketers say it’s a core tactic to their business (per SalesForce’s 2015 State of Marketing report). In 2016, email templates must be optimized to appear across devices- since half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Make sure your messaging, including the subject line, are geared as precisely as possible to your audience so that the chances the email will be opened and clicked on are increased.
3. Be mobile and SEO ready. Most organizations work hard to establish and increase their domain authority and Search Engine rankings. Having a keyword strategy is imperative to increasing your SEO ranking. In 2016, mobile optimization will become more important than desktop optimization. Make sure your website is mobile optimized with a responsive design that has an aesthetic appeal on mobile devices and tablets. If your website doesn’t appear properly on smaller screens, people won’t remain on your website.
According to Google, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in 2015 and this tendency will continue in the coming year. When building your SEO strategy, take time to make sure you build your keyword strategy and goals across mobile devices. Your desktop SEO strategy should not be abandoned in 2016 however; your mobile SEO strategy should just play more of a lead role.
And if your website is not yet mobile optimized, make sure it is! Search Engine algorithms take a well designed mobile website into consideration as part of their ranking factors. Additionally, with more and more searches on mobile, you will want the traffic that visits your site to have an optimal experience.
4. Don’t be the anti-social wallflower. Strategic social media marketing will rise to a new level in 2016. Professional services firms will often have social media accounts set-up, but we often find they are not leveraging their followers nor strategically planning what they are posting.
In 2016, your firm should have an entire social media strategy that offers a two-prong approach- first, your online social media marketing should work to build a relevant audience, “relevant” being the key word. You could earn hundreds of followers but if they aren’t your target audience then the potential for conversions and new leads decreases dramatically. Think about your primary, secondary and tertiary target audiences and plan to attract them.
The second part of your social media strategy should help you attract the right audience. Take the time upfront to plan posts with the goal of increasing your firm’s visibility, solidifying subject matter expertise and attracting new business. Your goals should be broken down into posts and content that you will share to achieve each objective.
The planned postings should be laid out in a content calendar whereby you can see which posts will go live when. Your social media footprint will leave a lasting impression and as such, careful thinking and revisions should be done to ensure your firm is leaving the mark you desire.
Take stock now of these key online marketing trends and plan to incorporate them into your 2016 marketing efforts. Reap the rewards of a well thought out and executed online marketing plan.
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