One of the best reasons to hire an inbound marketing team like Waypost for your business is how rapidly the online marketing landscape — and consumer expectations for engagement — keep changing. It seems like there are always new platforms popping up, keeping companies jumping trying to stay ahead of the game. To help you know where to focus your social media marketing efforts in 2016, we've put together four of the biggest upcoming trends you'll want to keep your eye on.
Trend #1: Social Shopping
Social shopping — that is, shopping by finding ideas and referrals on social media — is probably the biggest trend on our list. The rate of consumers using social media referrals or "buy now" buttons on their favorite platforms (like Twitter or Pinterest) has jumped more than 150% since 2013. This kind of referral shopping is only going to grow as the platforms themselves continue to adapt and make use of this new capability.
Pinterest introduced a "Buy" button midway through last year (and recently expanded it after immense popularity), Facebook introduced Call-to-Action buttons last January that allow for a few different options (such as Buy Now or Contact Us), and Twitter's own Buy Now button option has been a huge success. Why are these "Buy Now" buttons getting so much attention? They're time-savers that help consumers skip the time-consuming steps it previously took to go from researching a product to deciding to make the purchase. If your company uses these platforms but isn't making the effort to engage this way, it's worth taking some time to look into.
Trend #2: Facebook Marketing
I know, I know — seeing Facebook on this list will be jarring for some. After all, content marketing blogs have been declaring Facebook all but dead for businesses, thanks to algorithm changes that mean those who "like" the page of a business will be shown only a fraction of the blogs, links, products, or other updated content that business may provide there (unless the company pays to "boost" exposure). However, Facebook isn't dying. Far from it. Facebook is growing. It's only that the general demographic of those new users is changing.
The fastest-growing demographic using Facebook today is users who are 45 and over. These consumers command a greater purchasing power on average than their younger peers, but are fairly new to the social shopping phenomenon. They are just as hungry for that authentic connection, however, making this a great opportunity for a business to engage and connect. Consider your company's target demographic for potential clients or customers, and you may find a greater utilization of Facebook marketing to be a great place to focus your efforts in 2016.
Trend #3: SEO Will Shift to Social Media
As social shopping becomes more important, social media platforms are rapidly growing to match search engines as the location of choice for consumers looking for referrals, reviews, or information about products or services. Google definitely isn't going anywhere, and Search Engine Optmization (or SEO) remains a company's first target when it comes to successful online marketing efforts. However, the rise of shopping options on social media platforms does mean that Social Media Optimization (or SMO) is well on it's way to becoming an equal partner with SEO in 2016.
We've written about the difference between SMO and SEO before, and walked you through how they work together and why both are essential for your business. Social Media Optimization has been gaining steam rapidly within the last year and is set to be the Next Big Trend in SEO. Now is a great time to sit down and make sure your business has a marketing plan in place to make the most of social media platforms (like Yelp or Instagram, for instance) in order to be prepared as SMO continues to grow in importance.
Trend #4: Video Marketing
The increasing reliance of consumers on online shopping means that commercials seem to be losing their cultural importance, but that doesn't mean "live action" advertising is going away. In fact, video marketing is actually growing in importance online. A Demand Metric survey last year found that 74% of businesses stated that video content generated better engagement than any other kind.
You can use video at every single stage of the Buyer's Journey and, depending on your video content, it can be a valuable tool to help connect with your potential clients or customers. Video is a great way to provide the information clients are looking for while making that personal connection that leads your business to be the one they think of when searching for a solution to their problem. Starting your own Youtube channel or hosting the video on your website are both great ways to provide video content to current and future leads.
Get the Trends; Work With a Marketing Team That Adapts With the Times
To make the most of these 2016 marketing trends, you'll want to work with a company always ready to adapt. At Waypost Marketing, we stay up-to-date on the best ways to tell your story to current and potential clients or customers. If you need advice on how to successfully use inbound marketing, responsive website design, paid advertising, or even if you just have a few questions about search engines… we’re here to help. Give us a call at (864) 288-6162 or click the banner below to schedule your consultation. We’ll take a look at your website and speak with you about the importance of content marketing and what we can do to help you build your online marketing presence. Contact us today!