What Is Trending Right Now in Digital Marketing – Round 2

April 7, 2016   //   Digital Marketing,

In our previous post introducing the 2016 Digital Marketing Trends – Round 1,  we looked at how responsive website design and marketing automation platforms are revolutionizing the way marketers generate leads.

In today’s post, we’ll finish up the top 5 trends by looking at Video & Content Marketing, Social Media Integration and Wearable Technology.

Video & Content Marketing

Content marketing continues to grow and video represents one of the optimal types of consumer content.  As technology has improved streaming capabilities and allowed for better file compression, video presence continues to grow.  By 2017, Cisco predicts that video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic.  This goes beyond just You Tube and Vine internet videos.  One of the hottest trends in the last couple of years is video backgrounds on websites, an example for which was recently developed for a leading plastics distributor.  A video can extend the emotional impact of an image and add credibility to brand statements by putting a ‘face’ behind it.

So what works?  Ascend2 and Research Partners found that customer testimonials, tutorial and demonstration videos are the most effective videos from a content marketing perspective.  A 40-90 second video tends to be an optimal length, though testimonials and tutorials at times have a longer duration.  Here’s a couple of examples.

Video pricing has dropped significantly, though working with an agency to produce a video usually costs more than a few hundred.  Making a return on investment is dependent on promoting the content and leveraging the video not only for online efforts but also during in person activities such as sales visits, trade shows and even hiring activities.   Not only can video encourage sales by promoting and enforcing messaging, but it can increase efficiency by providing an effective introduction without employee involvement and improve SEO by increasing the time a visitor spends on your page.

Social Media Integration

Social media is key to survival in the digital marketplace, yet few companies have fully integrated social media into their business processes.  These networks are forums that can help reach target audiences and aid conversion by easing prospect’s minds and building product awareness.  Social media usually is not given much credit in lead generation as traditional attribution models credit the last customer activity as opposed to activities earlier in the sales process.  When attributions models are altered to credit earlier touch points, Company found that leads acquired with social media have a 13% improved conversion over the average lead.

The ‘Big 3’ of social media is of course LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  Techcrunch reported in 2015 that 78% of Facebook’s 700 million active monthly only login from a mobile device, so it is not surprising that worldwide mobile represents almost 70% of Facebook’s ad revenue.   When it comes to sharing content, a recent report demonstrated that Facebook dominates all other social media when it comes to content sharing.  Statistics demonstrating the breath of social usage show that this trend is not going away, and with ad spend still reasonably priced, this is a channel that will continue to grow and should be considered seriously by small and mid-sized businesses.

As providing ROI has been a challenge, social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest have found news ways to push this trend. These services are creating buttons that give users the option to buy products, install an app, or sign up for a service that they see on their site. These “action-oriented” formats lead users to a micro browser which allows them to remain in the app and also interact with outside companies. This addition encourages e-commerce directly in the app – letting consumers buy their interest securely instead of the traditional pinning.

Wearable Technology

Wearables may be THE disruptive technology of 2016. From iWatches to fitness bands, this technology curve is underway.  It’s also something to seriously consider in future marketing plans due to the possibility of it becoming the next mobile technology.  The question that arises is how will companies leverage this new generation of technology in their marketing efforts?  The lessons of convenience and location with mobile advertising should not be forgotten, however this new technology is one with a much smaller screen.  Best practices and integrated technologies have yet to be established.

A different kind of wearable technology, VR headsets, are also becoming a reality this year.  Oculus Rift is probably the most frequently discussed, but many more are launching this year.  This will most likely have the greatest initial impact on the gaming industry but the mainstream is not far behind as developer toolkits are made available while the price point becomes increasingly competitive.

Most companies won’t be jumping on this trend this year, but for those that have consumers on the bleeding edge, or for those who want to be considered an innovator in their industry themselves, it is time to start keeping this technology in mind and thinking about how your target consumer may leverage these technologies in the future.

Interested in Learning More About Digital Marketing Trends and Best Practices?

Join us for our next Chicagoland Digital Marketing events, or register for our next Webinar. These complimentary events are a great opportunity to see what actually works from today’s market leaders.