Yea, believe it or not 2016 is here, and the reality is that many of us have only just begun to plan our marketing and advertising for this year. No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t seem to make those decisions in October!
Have no fear. While some opportunities have ended, others are still available to us. For the last 21 years, we’ve seen trends come and go, and just as we have learned to build our strategies around principles that are timeless, we have also learned to keep a sharp eye out for opportunities and trends that will benefit our clients. Here are a few pointers to focus on in 2016:
- Manage your digits: It’s not enough to have a website and a Facebook page. You have to manage them. SEO for your website. A strategy for your social media. What are the digital touchpoints for your brand? Are they up-to-date?
- Content is message: The term “Content” is now a category of marketing, not just a word to describe “stuff that goes inside.” “Inbound” marketing refers to the practice of capturing leads through branded content that you produce and distribute (Yes, something really does go outbound first!) What can you offer to your audience that makes you stand out or increase engagement? See “Inbound Traffic”
- Websites are still a big deal: Even with apps, social media, and millions of options, your website is your hub, and everything else spins around it, whether you’re the shop around the corner or a global management company. The good news is that good web has never been easier or less expensive. In a survey of online users, of all the factors that were mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were design related. So, an outdated or poorly designed website spells doom.
- Brand Partnerships: Dr. Pepper and College Football. Pillsbury Brownies and Hershey’s Chocolate. Star Wars and, well, everybody. Co-branding helps to revitalize stale brands, leverages one audience with another, and energizes new or weak brands. It’s relevance by association.
- Doing good does well: I can’t say enough about this one. Find a cause to support that you’re passionate about and build that into your brand’s DNA. Actually support the cause in a tangible way and make a difference, then let everybody know it. Invite them to participate. Now you’ve pulled up a chair at their proverbial kitchen table, and everybody wins.
These are some of the things that have become “basics” for marketing in 2016. We’ve only scratched the surface, so let’s talk more. What are your thoughts? What do you see as a trend to take advantage of in 2016?