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Top 10 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

With a new year comes new trends to follow. Marketing trends are no exception with social media, technology and competitors changing the landscape almost daily. Keeping up with trends is essential to your marketing plan for the new year and beyond. Your staff, your clients, and your business as a whole will benefit greatly from following and implementing these trends.

In 2016, your customers will be the focus of more consumer-centered marketing that is expected to become more popular. Collecting information about customers and potential customers is now easier than ever. This information can inform your customer service and marketing strategies.
Here are the top 10 marketing trends to look out for in 2016:

Big data is a big deal. With available to businesses for websites and social media profiles, tracking data is easy and affordable for even the smallest of businesses. To collect and use data successfully, you first have to determine which analytical tools to use and which data to collect. On your website, customer engagement and retention can be tracked based on their shopping, spending and web browsing behaviors. This data gives insight into who your customers are, where they are, what they want and when. With social media analytics, you can determine the effectiveness of different channels that your business uses and budget your advertising funds accordingly.

Follow the lead. Analytics allow you to track potential clients both on and off of your website. Remarketing allows you to follow visitors who have left your website by showing your ad on other websites they are visiting or on search engines they are using to do research related to your product or service. From there, the visitor may likely return to your website to complete a purchase or other action. Just be sure that your ads are seen by designing them so that they do not trigger.

Get found with SEO. With Google’s Mobilegeddon of 2015, being found on search engines has become essential to websites’ success. Not only do websites have to be mobile-friendly to meet the demands of smartphone users, they must also have search engine optimization (SEO). When writing content, make sure that it is more than 300 words and contains keywords that can be used in searches. These keywords must use natural language to customers to increase the likelihood that your website will be found.

Mobile is not just a phone. When most people think of mobile Internet-connected devices, they think of smartphones. Wearable devices like Apple Watches and Fitbits are becoming more popular as the Internet of Things movement takes off. In the next year, wearable devices will even be able to transport users to other locations with the release of the Oculus Rift. Since these items are worn on the consumer’s person, they allow marketers to track wearers’ exact locations and other information to deliver targeted messages.

Content to catch the eye. Content is the key to any successful marketing strategy. Blogs and social media profiles give you the opportunity to share your expertise and have a conversation with your current and potential clients. However, with the rise of apps like Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram, visual content is becoming more important than ever. With 55% of Internet users watching videos daily, it’s no surprise that 93% of businesses are using more videos for marketing.

Beware the ad-blocker. With the increasing popularity of ad-blocking software, advertisers need to be more mindful of ad design than ever before. Certain ad features like large images and file sources will trigger ad-blockers.

Saving time is money. Automation will continue to be one of the leading strategies for marketers. It comes as no surprise since automating emails and social media posts saves you both time and money. This is especially helpful for small businesses that may not have a designated marketing staff member and may not have the money to hire one.

Search and shop social. With the addition of the “Buy” button on social media platforms and search engines, shopping online has become a more social activity. The button allows consumers to purchase products directly through an advertisement, social media profile or web search. Consumers do not even have to visit a store’s website to purchase from them. The entire transaction takes place through the feature, which saves the customer’s credit card information for future purchases. This idea of “one-stop shopping” is also behind the increase in dedicated mobile apps that users can shop through.

Building relationships. Social media has made our society more relational. Consumers are looking to connect with businesses they frequent. By making your marketing content more relational, you are humanizing your brand and building relationships with your current and potential clients. Also, it is helpful to personalize any communication with your customers to make them feel like they have a relationship with you.

Experience matters. When it comes to choosing who will best meet their needs, customers are looking for who will give them the best experience. Serve them well and they will be your biggest cheerleaders. Most consumers will check out online reviews before they visit a business.

No matter what year it is, keeping up with the latest marketing trends is key to the success of your business. Trends may come and go, but marketing your business will have an impact for years to come.

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