Nothing In Life Is Free
If you’re not paying for the product, you ARE the product.
This quote is often attributed to the rise of free internet services like Google and Facebook. You get to use them for free. They in turn deliver you and your data to advertisers for a fee.
This isn’t new marketing trend. In fact, a little research reveals that the idea of you being the product was discussed in a 1970’s interview between Richard Serra and Annette Michelson:
AM: The product of television, commercial television, is the audience. Television delivers people to an advertiser… Mass media means that a medium can deliver masses of people.
Or as one of my favorite PoliSci professors at UNC always said, “follow the money”. Somebody’s paying and somebody else is collecting.
Nothing in life is free.
We once thought Facebook was free. Free for everyone. We should have known.
Even if you built an audience of thousands 5 years ago, you’re now forced to pay to reach them.
So what next?
Users are moving to private groups and communication channels. Private Facebook groups. LinkedIn groups. And messaging apps like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Marketers are learning to pay to play. You know as much as I do that the ability to tap into Facebook’s treasure trove of customer data and target your ideal customer is more than just a little appealing.
2016 will see more and more marketers and small businesses learning how to use social media ad platforms to reach customers.
Learn more about these and some other social media marketing predictions from a handful of experts.
Pay special attention to trends in video and visual content. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you want to succeed online, you’ve got to think visual.
Speaking of Visuals
It’s probably helpful to get a sense of what’s going on in the world of design.
Here’s a great piece by the folks at Canva that covers 9 graphic design trends you need to be aware of this year.
Guess Who’s Back
That’s right. Last week I told you about emojis going mainstream in 2015. I also told you they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Well, here’s a look at the deeper meaning of emojis, some speculation as to why they’re becoming so popular, and what you need to know in regards to communicating on social media.
Saturday Night Live
Last year we saw some new-comers in the world of video. More specifically, live streaming video.
And while Meerkat, Periscope, and Blab haven’t hit it big yet, they are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
I believe those that get in early and establish a presence will find it well worth their time and effort.
If you want more evidence or if you’re like me, and want someone to keep an eye on, pay attention to Gary Vaynerchuck and what he’s doing with video.
Coming Out of the Dark
Podcasting had a very big year last year.
It’s hard to think that we’ll see as much hype around podcasting for 2016. But, what I imagine that we will see is steady growth, a long list of new shows, and big advances in technology.
Podcasting is a form of content marketing, and like blogging, those who do it well and stick around for the long haul will win.
As far as podcasting in relation to marketing trends, I’m keeping an eye out for brands that turn to podcasting to educate, entertain, and grow their audience.
Teach a Man to Fish…
and he will happily buy your fishing rod.
If you really want to connect with your audience. Teach them.
Whether it’s through a podcast, online course, or in person classes, teaching is marketing.
Can You Hear Me Now?
The number of U.S. consumers expecting to find the information they want/need on a mobile device is roughly 50%.
Yet, according to Forrester Research:
only 25% of companies will fully integrate mobile into their overall business strategies to transform their customer experience
I don’t know about you but that seems like a large gap. Fill it!
Here is a great look ahead at mobile marketing trends you need to be aware of.
Can You Predict The Future?
Last, but certainly not least, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite New Year’s posts.
It’s an annual post from Rand Fishkin where he reviews his predictions from the previous year and makes 10 new predictions for the upcoming year.
He even goes so far as to score himself.
Can you predict the future?