I unabashedly adore this time of year. New hope. New beginnings. The promise of providing greater service and higher ROI than ever before to our clients. I’m an optimist. I always think – even if it was a banner year – that whatever is on the horizon is bigger, better, shinier.
I love being part of the buzz about what’s trending for the new year. Lists and lists and lists of predictions about what’s in, what’s out, and what is yet to come. What are the experts saying? A lot. But there are a few things I’ve heard often enough to make me think the tide is turning in several important arenas.
Video – Whether it’s live streaming, 360, or traditional, video will bubble up as the 2016 superstar. Video has always been a strong contender, but with the availability of devices that provide information and entertainment instantaneously, video will continue to build audience loyalty and be the medium of choice for a mobile user base. Video has the ability to carry content that matters and inspires. Video can produce engagement numbers that far exceed ordinary outreach because it uses sight, sound, and emotion to tell the story. In the new year, when every effort needs to pack as much return as possible, video reigns supreme.
Content – Content becomes more important than ever as brands use it to engage potential customers in a conversation that converts to a transaction. The key is to use it smarter. These days, people are so much more savvy when it comes to content marketing. It’s no longer enough to be authentic: the user needs to trust you and your brand. As social media continues to monitor human behavior, trust will become paramount as brands look to gain, and retain, loyal customers.
Social Media Platforms – New social media platforms are being developed all the time. What is predicted for 2016 is attrition in the industry, as more networks are acquired or simply fold. In the big world of social media platforms, it’s often more expeditious to merge with a network that already has what you want (video capability?) than it is to take the time to develop that asset on your own.
According to socialmedia.com, one of the biggest social media marketing buzzwords this year will be: amplification. Amplification is the concept of taking a positive action – a purchase, a light-touch interaction, or full-on review – saving it, and then sharing it far and wide. After all, 90 percent of us trust recommendations from friends, so surely it makes sense to push these genuine endorsements to their absolute limit.