It's that time of year again. A time to sit back and review what worked, what we learned and subsequently plan for big marketing wins in 2016.
Since each year is different with its own new set of challenges, I tapped into some digital marketing leaders to share their predictions for 2016:
1. Virtual Reality
Bryan Kramer, president and CEO, PureMatter
Bryan feels the marketing world has gone through a massive change, with the explosion of channels, devices, and formats creating new ways to market and converse with your customer or potential customer.
The way we consume content has changed human behavior, and the arrival of virtual reality paired with a massive explosion of streaming will unleash a new age on how we digest it. Creating better human responses in more traditional areas will still matter in email, text, and webinars.
2. Facebook Live
Jay Baer, president, Convince & Convert
Jay is confident that all signs point to video. Whether it's Facebook Live, video on Twitter, Periscope, Blab, Instagram, Vine, or the old standby YouTube, 2016 will be the year when video becomes a primary content marketing consideration for all brands--even B2B.
This is partially because the customer appetite for video is insatiable, and it's the most efficient way to atomize content marketing.
3. Content Marketing
Chris Brogan, CEO, Owner Media Group
Chris is convinced that content marketing will evolve into a much bigger opportunity, provided companies work at making the content useful and pertinent to the people they hope to serve.
He predicts junk content will fall off as people see its failure to convert. Ultimately, he thinks more organizations will stop treating "social" like it's an island and will tuck it into marketing, sales, and customer support where it belongs.
4. Face to Face
Joel Comm, CEO, Joel Comm Inc.
Joel explained that there's nothing more social than face-to-face engagement, and with the addition of easy-to-use live streaming apps like Periscope and Blab.im, we're going to see more content marketers delivering their message across these channels.
This means brands now have an opportunity to go beyond sharing a message to creating live experiences for their customers and fans.
5. Visual Marketing
Peg Fitzpatrick, social media strategist and co-author, The Art of Social Media
Peg insists that visual marketing will continue to expand with live streaming and video content gaining more momentum. I think all companies will need to up their game with better visuals paired with video content.
Being comfortable in front of a camera and creating content while live-streaming on Facebook Live video, Blab, or Periscope is social currency these days. People want to see who you are and hear what you're about, which is a connection that successful YouTubers have made and was lacking with social media influencers on Facebook or Twitter.
6. Live Streaming
Kim Garst, CEO, Boom Social
Kim believes live streaming is going to be a huge part of the social space in 2016.
As a culture, we are all ready for a bit of reality! Live streaming humanizes people and brands in a way images and recorded video can't. What you see is what you get, and there are no do-overs. It is a fantastic way to connect, bring value, and serve a community in a personalized way.
7. Employee Engagement
Tamara McCleary, expert in relationships and social business
Tamara senses a recognition by brands of the importance of social media, and the need to not only grow but also to train social media department staff to engage with their customers.
In addition, organizations have a great understanding of the power of employee advocacy in the social media sphere. While 2016 won't usher in a direct understanding of the impact of social on ROI, we will see a greater use of analytics to understand the power of influencers and their true engagement value.
Mari Smith,top Facebook business development expert
Mari exclaims that 2016 is the breakout year for highly creative Facebook and Instagram video and animated content for businesses.
Now that Facebook pages support animated GIFs, we'll see more use of cinemagraphs in the news feed, both organic and paid placement. As 360 videos grow in popularity in the business world, these will become ad products before long.
9. Authenticity and Humanness
Sue B. Zimmerman,the Instagram expert
Sue says being real, raw, and transparent in your business and the content you share is paramount to attracting your ideal client or customer.
There is an instant connection when people see your eyes and your smile, and feel your passion. She calls it trust.
Leonard Kim, managing partner, InfluenceTree
I believeQuora is a sleeping giant that is about to awaken.
Quora is an online knowledge market, and currently it isn't used that much. However, it gets a ton of traffic, and content creators are able to get the same, if not more, exposure on Quora as earned media from a typical publication owing to Quora's prebuilt audience and how its algorithm for its feed works.
Have any other predictions that you see in the marketing realm? I'd love to hear more! Comment below!
Special thanks to Lisa Loeffler and Bryan Kramer for helping me gather the voices from the leading experts in marketing.