The 2016 predictions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here’s hoping that you had a wonderful Christmas break and like me you had a little indulgence over the festive period.

As always with the new year comes the thought of our fitness and health – it’s also a good opportunity to look forward to the business year ahead to make sure our businesses are fighting fit too. So forget the sprouts, here’s some ingredients you might want to look at for the future.

 

  • Branded video content
    Video has been an increasingly important marketing element for a couple of years now, especially after Google acquired it. We’ve seen the rise of dedicated video blogs giving us an insight into peoples’ lives.
    Branded video content is simply videos dedicated to your business; behind the scenes, interviews, product reviews, information, Q&A, special guests, sneak peeks, product demonstrations, contests,…the list goes on. But they shouldn’t just be left on YouTube, embed them in your website’s pages to increase visitor interaction. If you find blogging a chore then breaking it up with video content could be the answer.
  • Instant social media
    Twitter and Facebook have been around for too many years to mention now. This year we see an increase in the takeup on platforms like “Periscope” – a LIVE video streaming platform which enables you to transmit to a whole community. It’s also interactive – people who are watching can ask questions and make comments which show up on your screen while you are broadcasting. Another platform to look at if you like the sound of this is “Blabb,” but enter at your own peril!
  • Content marketing is still key
    Content marketing is the art of communicating with your audience without selling. You’re not shoving your products and services at them, you’re offering advice, help, laughter, engagement – things they will spend their precious time with and find it valuable. We need to consistently provide them with valuable content. We need to create the content and then invest time in getting it out there using the best channels – it could be social media, email, video, or even good old print, which has become more valuable in the digital world.
  • Relationship marketing
    Building strong, long-term customer engagement is obviously important. It should be built on trust and transparency, so how you market your business to people needs to be thought about carefully. Personalisation rather than mass marketing techniques are expected today.
  • Location-based marketing
    Bluetooth and mobile technology will help to provide a more interactive experience – whether it’s sending special offers in real time to shoppers in stores or to send linkedin invitations at exhibitions through to special wristbands at concerts with electronic chips in them, this area is vast and still quite new, it will be interesting to see what the retailers do with this technology.
  • Search sans the search engines
    As we’ve already looked at YouTube for video, it’s important to say that it’s also being used as a search engine – the second largest after Google in fact. We’re going to see a rise in search capabilities within social media – alongside BUY buttons and integrated payment methods in the not too distant future. This will make buying more of an experience and is likely to be shared online – watch this space!
  • Holistic marketing efforts
    Digital and mobile no longer stand alone – responsive websites, apps and digital content all work together with the other tools available from print to social media, exhibitions to videos. Design, photography and videos that represent your business are key.
  • Virtual Reality
    3D printing was in its infancy when I left uni; they existed in all sorts of forms but generally were large, expensive and difficult to use. Now you can buy them online to sit next to your desktop printer. It would appear VR is heading the same way this year. Certainly one to keep your eye on – whether it’s for training, buying or just experience, VR is yet to catch on.