Over the past few years, technological advances have changed marketing forever. From the Internet boom of the 2000s to the availability of free Google analytics tools to the growing prevalence of smartphone-based Internet, another milestone is being uncovered way too fast that dramatically changes how marketers must pursue their target audiences.
By all accounts, 2015 led the prevalence of social media advertising. But what changes has 2016 brought so far, and what might the year’s end bring to us?
We’ve uncovered some significant data about the biggest marketing breakthroughs of 2016, and we’re going to share it with you so that you can make sure your marketing mix is reflective of the biggest and most groundbreaking trends in the field.
The Rise of Video Content
Facebook is the world’s most visited website. And according to recently published information, videos are the most-consumed information on Facebook by a large margin. But that’s not all: YouTube is the second-most visited website on the internet. These facts cement the notion that online video is becoming the biggest growth area for marketing, and is fast outpacing the marketing value of written content. And online video offers a fantastic opportunity for marketers. It’s much easier and cost-efficient to produce videos for online audiences than television ones, and using more traditional online advertising techniques can help ensure that quality video content reaches super-targeted audiences.
Content Marketing Takes the Cake
Content has always been a cornerstone element of marketing, but it’s always been utilized alongside many other marketing techniques. But in 2016, content marketing has become a viable standalone technique, shifting the focus of interactions. Dedicated marketing content and content projects which are optimized for target audiences can easily have an ROI exceeding traditional ad campaigns, and when paired with social media, can now realistically be used even by small marketing teams with exceptional results. It can be used in almost any vehicle, too, whether via a marketing strategy through your blog or strictly through social media channels.
Dominance of Mobile
Mobile use outstripped traditional desktop computer use in 2016 by significant margins in 2016, a fact confirmed by Pew Research Center data. With internet accessibility and use shifting to this new medium, it’s more important than ever for websites and marketing to be geared towards mobile-users, emphasizing high visibility, easy readability, and easy interaction for mobile users.
Consumer Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has become widely available to consumers. And while the likelihood of widespread adoption is still unclear, it’s become an important breakthrough to take note of. With their integrations coming to social media and websites like YouTube, there could be billions waiting for VR-related marketing, especially as popular apps, games, and videos become 360 degree filmed and VR-friendly.
Smart devices are becoming cheap to make and buy, and 2016 has seen the advent of everything from smart-clothes which can save health and fitness data to the Apple Watch or Google Glasses. With this in mind, it’s likely that the line will continue to blur between digital and “real” marketing platforms, and marketers who mean to be ahead of the curve should take note. And this isn’t just important for businesses in the apparel industries! Supplying wearable technology to clients can be a stellar means of gaining new datasets about clients.
The Bottom Line
There are still a few months left in 2016, and time will tell if these are the only big marketing breakthroughs for the year. Consumer adoption and popularity will always be the determining factor to determine which trends arise… and which will stick with larger populations. But it’s always worthwhile to hedge your bets and be ahead of the consumer adoption curve: understanding new marketing opportunities before your peers. It’s much easier for your marketing to make a big splash if you’re one of the few marketers in the pool.