Not only is marketing in the digital age a completely different ballgame than what many are used to — the game is constantly changing. Keeping up with today’s marketing trends can sometimes feel like you’re trying to hit a 105 mph fastball. And, just when you figure out when to swing, the pitcher throws a change-up! With 2016 almost over, maybe your marketing tactics aren’t raising your bottom line the way you envisioned way back on New Year’s Day. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up yet.
Now is the time to focus on the many new-age inbound marketing tactics that continue to surface. Compared to the annoying, interruptive style of outbound marketing—where businesses shout their messages to customers—inbound marketing’s trends focus on letting customers come to you, the business. This creates customer-centric marketing that focuses on your needs, creating marketing that people actually love.
And if people love your marketing, that almost guarantees you a more profitable business. So, we made a list of the hottest marketing practices to take on in 2016.
Growing Your Customer Base with Relationship Marketing
Relationship Marketing continues to see exponential growth (and results) for businesses in 2016. Throwing away the short-term sales goals from the past, relationship marketing focuses on building strong customer loyalty with lasting engagement. Developing a strong, passionate relationship with customers through conversation (blogs, social media) creates hardcore loyalists and brand advocates for decades. See our beginner’s guide to relationship marketing.
Ephemeral Marketing Keeps It Simple
With the rise of real-time social media platforms like Snapchat and Periscope, ephemeral marketing, or “less is more” marketing has become a growing trend. Marketing to millennials and the Generation-Z market is made easy with ephemeral marketing.
Consumers of these platforms are addicted to getting their social media in real time. So, the goal is to deliver completely seamless customer campaigns that leave them feeling connected to your brand while giving them exclusive offers within a quickly-expiring timeframe.
Because there is only a small window to capture customer’s attention, you must organically speak their language—and cut to the chase.
Omnichannel Marketing Gives a Great Experience
Gone are the days where customers see an ad in a newspaper pushing them into a brick and mortar store, only to never see that content again. In 2016, it’s all about creating a seamless user experience. Omnichannel marketing allows consumers to engage with a company online or in their app, at their store, and through social media – often at the same time.
Giving customers an easy transition between physical and online stores will surely give your company the edge it’s been looking for.
GIFs and Memes Connect with People
Let’s face it, text is boring. One of the hottest marketing trends in 2016 is video and image-based marketing. For the time-crunched customer who is bombarded with mountains of information every time they go online, GIFs, Vines, memes, and videos are easy to consume.
Plus, watching a four-second video is simply more fun than reading a lengthy post (except for this one, right?) — but they can have the same effect. Image and video-based marketing also give customers “all the feels”, and can serve as unique and memorable calls-to-action—text simply doesn’t do that.
Mobile Optimization is King
Online browsing on mobile devices surpassed desktop usage a while ago. So, at a bare minimum, you should optimize your website to be beautiful—and responsive—on a smartphone or tablet. Take your mobile experience a step further by building a custom app, or launch some mobile marketing campaigns. Spoiler alert: If you still haven’t optimized your website for mobile in 2016, you’re definitely due for a website redesign.
To see gains in your marketing in 2016, use these trends to your advantage.
- Relationship marketing builds customer bases and loyalty.
- Ephemeral marketing attracts millennials and Generation Z-ers and gets them to the point quickly.
- Omnichannel marketing provides a seamless user experience in-store and out.
- Image and video-based marketing builds emotional connections in more than half the time.
- Mobile-friendly sites…well, it’s a must.
So there you have it; now get out there and starting hitting those fastballs out of the park to improve your return on investment!
Want to learn even more hot marketing trends? Contact us. We are a marketing and web development firm that specializes in creative solutions.