While there are some core tenets that are as foundational as rocks, digital marketing, in many ways, is a house built on sand. It's always in flux and complete with its own fads, trends, and best practices that shift and change from month to month (and sometimes even day to day). It’s important for your brand to keep up - or else risk getting left behind and looking hopelessly outdated.
Don’t let it happen to you! Here are three key trends to watch across social media, multimedia blogging, and design through the rest of 2016 – and beyond.
1.) The Popularity of Live Video Will Continue to Boom
Video has been growing in popularity for years now – in fact, as of 2015, 55% of people watch videos online every single day. This trend is poised to continue through the rest of 2016 and beyond, aided by the continued evolution of live-streaming video options.
Originally kicked off by the Periscope app, the live video fad has now migrated to Facebook and YouTube, which have made streaming video hugely popular with all sorts of brands.
Another aspect of video production to keep in mind? Our mammoth, culture-wide shift to mobile has extended to the realm of video, and apps like Instagram and Snapchat have made “vertical” video, once considered a taboo, the new norm. Presenting your content “vertically” makes it feel more at home on the mobile interface, and we will see this trend become even more common in the months (and years?) ahead, as Snapchat becomes even more influential among young consumers.
2.) “Personal Authority” and User-Generated Content Will Become Even Bigger
Content has become commonplace. So what will brands do to stand out in the competitive marketplace? Go personal. As Jayson DeMers explains at Forbes:
“…users are gravitating more and more toward personal brands, which are able to provide a more human presence. Personal brands are more trustworthy, more approachable, and have more flexibility than corporate brands…”
In other words? Users are tired of corporate-speak and branded content. The best way to appeal to savvy consumers is to cut through the noise and speak like a person – be emotional, be transparent, and write for humans, not machines.
One surefire way that brands will put this into action in the months ahead? Employing user-generated content - like testimonials, ratings, and fan art – is a proven way to increase engagement, foster a feeling of community, and, most importantly, secure and retain leads; expect to see plenty of companies putting free, effective UGC into play through the rest of 2016.
3.) “Storytelling” Will Take On New Shapes
If there’s anything that all of these trends have in common, it’s that they’re rooted in the idea that digital marketing is always in flux: Social, mobile, and email are all changing, seemingly all the time – if it’s not a cosmetic change, it’s an algorithmic one. What worked as recently as a few months ago may be less effective in the months ahead.
So, what are we saying? You have the amazing opportunity to shape your narrative in entirely new ways in the months ahead!
The rest of 2016 is time to experiment with more diverse content, from podcasts to slideshows to new image content. Play with new social channels and features, like Instagram’s new, Snapchat-chasing story function. Use emoji! Create interactive games! Be abstract! Trust us, your users are hungry for novelty, and taking a big swing can pay off in a big way.
Sound intimidating? That’s where we come in. Geek Chicago is your one-stop shop for guidance through the ever-changing world of content marketing. Whether you’re looking for website design, SEO-focused blogging, social media marketing, or just email help, drop us a line and see what our team can do for yours.