Every year, marketers and advertisers try to get a jump on the industry's latest trends and changes. From the newest social media platforms to breakthroughs in technology, any single concept or design can change everything.
Here are the top three marketing technology trends we predict will catch fire in 2016.
1) It’s going to be all about video.
Right now, if you log into Facebook, you’re generally more likely to see videos than photos. Why? Because photos are the worst way to engage Facebook users—in fact, they earn fourth place behind video, status updates, and links.
Videos are captivating and create engagement with users. They’re already heavily used across almost every platform, even if it’s just a short GIF on social media. But what you’ll likely see happen in 2016 is video content on each page of a company’s website. And not just the home page—product pages, landing pages, even "about us" and "company history" pages will feature video.
Beyond websites and social media, email marketing and other static media will start changing over to moving pictures, too. And if that isn’t enough, there are predictions that live streaming will start taking over large portions of digital video content in the near future, too.
2) Beacon tracking technology means there’s nowhere to hide.
Beacon tracking works with Bluetooth technology with the goal of offering timely incentives to customers who opt into the technology through smartphone apps and browsers. Bluetooth must be switched on and the app or browser needs to have your permission to scan for beacons.
Essentially, beacons try to draw you into the retailer’s sales strategy. Maybe you’re walking around the mall, and your phone alerts you to a sale at a store you’re near. Then you walk into that store, and you’re looking around at something specific—say, shoes. Then, you get an alert for discounts on shoes. Well, that’s no coincidence, since beacons track exactly where you are in or around the store, and how long you’re there.
So obviously, retail stores will take full advantage of the beacon and its interactions with apps, but other businesses can also benefit from it. For example, a hotel chain plans on replacing hotel keys with beacons, which will track the locations of travellers as they explore, eat, and shop in different regions.
3) Searching will go beyond traditional search engines.
Facebook is working on a search engine right now, and you can expect that it’ll give Google, Bing, and Yahoo! a run for their huge piles of money.
Facebook fields about 1.5 billion searches per day, compared to Google’s 3.3 billion. When you also consider that social media will soon have “buy” buttons and allow users to make purchases through the platform, that’s a lot of potential for marketers.
Between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and other similar platforms, the search engine landscape is about to change, and marketers will need to adapt.
Our other big marketing predictions for 2016:
Virtual Reality –
As costs go down and feasibility increases, virtual reality will become a marketing reality. Expect big things like public events and experiential advertising to take advantage of Oculus Rift.
Wearable Tech –
We saw hints of what’s to come with Google Glass, even if it’s being shelved for a while longer. But we still have smart watches, fitness devices, and tailored tech (like Bluetooth headsets) that marketers will try to use in the upcoming year.
Native Ads –
The war on ad blockers has come to a point where advertisers and marketers need to mix in the sponsored content with the regular stuff. Disguised as content, native ads have been around for a while, and they’ve made appearances everywhere, from online articles, to sporting events, to newspapers, and even in television shows (sometimes called product placement). Expect native ads to take over all your favourite websites, and good luck spotting them.
Reactive Marketing –
Remember that dress on social media that caused a social media battle? The one that was either white-and-yellow or black-and-blue, depending on who you asked? Well, a bunch of brands jumped onto their Twitter accounts and tried to do what Oreo had done during the Super Bowl: a clever, reactive tweet. This year, expect to see ever brand’s reaction on everything big and trendy.
Flying Cars with Laser Beams to Zap Ads into Nearby Surfaces –
Well, maybe not in 2016, but it’s probably closer than you expect.
What do you think will be the next big thing for marketing in 2016? Leave a comment below!