As we start off 2016 and lament how quickly time seems to be moving, it's clear that this acceleration is no longer just a figment of our imagination. Fueled by the enormity of digital disruption in all spheres, our world is now a swirl of technological breakthroughs.
As Chief Marketing Officer of PlatformQ Heath, a digital media company focusing on the healthcare sector, I am constantly evolving to keep up with this breakneck pace alongside my fellow marketers. In my position, I find it important to take stock of how we can apply the following trends to add impact to our digital marketing efforts in 2016
1. Data-Driven Marketing
2015 was the year that growth-conscious enterprises embraced data-driven marketing strategies. ROI now drives all digital marketing.
In 2016, monitoring social media for information and trends or social listening and analyzing the performance of all of your digital marketing initiatives will reveal keen insights. Without measurement tools, you will continue to lose ground to the more data-savvy of your competitors. According to the Inc.com article, "Turn Big Data Into Smart Data With Good Data," the most valuable data for you to focus on are those which are crucial to your specific business goals. At my company, PlatformQ Health, we selected SilverPop's behavioral marketing platform to enable us to respond to customer behaviors in real time, deepen engagement and deliver an enhanced customer experience.
2. High-Quality Content
High-quality content is, in many ways, the new SEO.AsGoogle rewards the highest quality and most useful content with greater visibility, the aim in 2016 is to provide the best possible value to your readers and to search engines by way of thought leadership. Content such as blogs, videos, and eBooks or, for those short on time, "borrowed" or "shared" content (that cites credible sources) are all great ways to demonstrate expertise in your field. Prospective customers today "live" on an array of channels and devices. To optimize your audience reach, you should always be creating and refining content, and disseminating it throughmultiple channels of communication e.g., blogs, tweets, websites and podcasts. At my previous company, content took many forms--white papers, eBooks, infographics, blogs, tweets, posts in LinkedIn groups, and videos. They collectively helped the company become a thought leader. Finding ways to repurpose and repackage your content is a huge time-saver and extends the life of your content.
According to Vidyard and Ascend2's2015 Video Marketing Strategy Survey, companies plan to double down on moving pictures in 2016. Videos, whether viewed on websites, or social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, are essential imagery tools that help achieve real mindshare through today's community-driven, emotional storytelling strategy. This storytelling approach works well for both B2B and consumer-driven interests. In fact, video marketing is set to explode in 2016, buoyed by the growing use of smartphones.
Tools such as Meerkat or Twitter-owned Periscope, enable marketers to easily produce live streaming video. Live streaming can be used for events, demos, Q&A sessions, and other things of interest to your audience. At PlatformQ Health, we use digital streaming video to provide high-quality medical content to physicians and other healthcare professionals and leverage these video assets for marketing as well. With the rapid increase in mobile video consumption, video content needs to be mobile optimized. Today, users are viewing the most video in a real-time, low-production, vertical format.
The key to successful targeting these days is by ensuring content strikes a resonant chord with your buyer personas and preferences. 2016 is a great time to make sure these buyer profiles are on target. According to aBizo study, a growing majority of marketers are utilizing data to spiff up the way they segment their customers. Given the rapid change in technology and competitive offerings, these personas need to be assessed periodically and modified as appropriate. In my experience, developing sales tools targeted to specific buyer personas in addition to the content has an additional plus of accelerating the sales cycle.
5. Mobile Focus
While all of the above elements should be an integral part of your mobile strategy, it's important to remember that today there is no future of marketing without a laser-like mobile focus. At least80 percent of Internet users have a smartphone, and a vast majority won't start their day without checking it. Recognition of this trend has influenced both our product development and marketing efforts at PlatformQ Health.
In the same way that apps have become an essential part of the mobile experience, expect virtual reality, likeOculus Rift, to add impact to mobile in 2016, as companies like Samsung will allow you to experience VR for a nominal cost, anytime, anywhere.
What steps have you taken to ensure your digital marketing plan is ready for 2016?
Ameeta is Chief Marketing Officer at PlatformQ Health, a digital media company focusing on the healthcare sector. PlatformQ Health delivers live, interactive, online medical education through its ten therapeutic brands in partnership with leading academic medical institutions and association partners. Ameeta is a Springboard alumna and past chair of theMIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge.