It has been a memorable year in social media, with many new platform functions and trends, but the best may be yet to come. We can’t help but be excited for all of the 2016 marketing predictions we’ve seen floating around and what’s in store for social media in the coming year.

Not enough time to read the heavy influx of marketing predictions for 2016? No problem! The Motherhood has skimmed the most newsworthy pieces and summarized the top trends.

Marketing Predictions for 2016

Here are the social media trends you need to know for the upcoming year:

1. Ad Blocking shifts eyes to organic and social

2. Shift from automated to authentic

  • Because online consumers have developed the keen skills to identify and ignore ads and automated sponsored content, authentic, personal content will rise as marketers realize its value in connecting with online audiences.
  • Simply searching for influencers in your space and asking them to push out stale messages will become less effective; greater strategy will be needed to engage key influencers.
  • Marketing that is less disruptive and more focused on fostering relationships will be conductive to building a loyal customer base.

3. Creativity will thrive

4. Experience = shared value 

  • Content will continue to fuel the customer experience.
  • More and more consumers turn to third parties, such as online influencers, as trusted sources of information on brands/products.
  • Brands will recognize more that linking an experience or story with a brand/product better resonates with consumers than facts and figures.
  • Humanizing your brand helps to create shared trust through personal experience.

5. Engagement > Reach 

  • Marketers will place a greater focus on identifying meaningful measurement metrics of engagement with sponsored content.
  • By evaluating engagement of online campaigns, marketers can gain better insights from, and connection with, targeted audiences.
  • We’ve already seen many of our clients begin to look at engagement metrics rather than impressions in our programs, as they recognize the value in targeted engagement.

6. Data and insights

  • Analytics and social insights will become more readily available, leading to a jump in automated data analysis and implementation of big data insights to create better social messaging.
  • Rather than trying to do it all, marketers will focus on key performance indicators and creating more valuable insights aligned with those indicators.
  • Using data to develop more personalized experiences for consumers will create more value for both businesses and customers.

7. Instant Gratification AND Snapchat

  • In-the-moment posts will dominate with the rise in popularity of Periscope and the addition of Facebook Live Streaming.
  • While reaching consumers organically via SnapChat is not a cost-effective option, SnapChat will become the “New TV.”
  • As this Ad Age article perfectly states, “Think appointment-watching, awareness and buying eyeballs.”

8. Video, video, video

  • 70 percent of companies now say video is the most effective tool in their online marketing belts, and two out of three businesses expect it to dominate their strategy going forward.
  • Google now includes video content in search results, and Facebook and Bing have started offering video options for advertisers.
  • Using video to tell stories can be used as an advantage by marketers to effectively convey a brand message.
  • Social video is rapidly rising, and videos need to be tailored for each platform and target audience.

9. Social messaging and messaging apps

  • Messaging apps have seen explosive growth and have already evolved as a customer service feature.
  • While messaging apps are still a mystery, big brands are testing them out as marketing channels.
  • Messaging apps are the most-used of all category apps, meaning there is a largely untapped potential for advertising in this space.

10. Social isn’t free

  • The exponential growth of brands on social has led to less organic reach, so increases in social marketing spending will continue to increase.
  • Simply promoting posts or getting your message incorporated in authentic content from key influencers will increase in order to maintain a share of voice.
  • Online influencers know their value and demand for them as key content creators continues to increase, so navigating these relationships will become trickier.

 

The recurring theme we found throughout the plethora of predictions is that the customer will be heard in 2016, and as a result, marketers will be using more data and insight in their campaigns, and will need to implement authentic, personalized content programs.

Which predictions do you think are most accurate?