It’s January. Did you exercise today? Avoid sugar? Stick to your promise to wake up an hour earlier?
Don’t worry. It’s hard to keep to personal resolutions. But even if you can’t change yourself, you can always change the way you promote your business. Here are a few things to focus on when planning a marketing strategy for 2016.
1. Going Mobile
Mobile traffic outpaced desktop traffic in the United States, Japan and eight other countries in 2015. Google expects that trend to continue in 2016, and has acted accordingly: the search engine now factors mobile friendliness into the search engine rankings. If you’re not sure if your site meets the new criteria, Google has created a test.
Because of the rise in mobile searching, companies –whether they’re B2B or B2C – need to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly, or even better, responsive.
What’s the difference? A mobile-friendly site will display the same way across all devices. It appears smaller as the screens get smaller, but stays functional. A responsive site will adapt to whatever screen it’s appearing on, making for a better user experience.
2. Customers Want Responsiveness
This is a different type of “responsive” than in the last point. This one has to do with how fast you move. In 2014, customers were happy with a four-hour response time to an e-mail, according to a Toister Performance Solitions survey. In the 2015 version of that survey, respondents had less patience, saying they expected their e-mails to companies answered within an hour.
The customer service consulting organization Eptica conducted its own survey in late 2014 and found that 60 percent of respondents will hang up after five minutes on hold, 44 percent want a response to a tweet within an hour, and 39 percent will give up on a website after spending five minutes looking for information.
3. More Marketing Automation
Marketing automation providers are on the rise, according to Chiefmartec. Their numbers doubled between 2014 and 2015. As more and more companies embrace inbound marketing as part of their strategy – more on that a little later –automation will become an important tool to get content to the right audience, and will help sales teams nurture prospects and manage leads.
4. The Next Big Search Engine
As 2016 begins, Google is still the king of the search engine mountain. So who’s in second place? It’s not Bing or Yahoo. It’s YouTube. It processes more than 3 billion shares each month, more than the other major (non-Google) search engines combined.
We’ve made the point here before about YouTube’s value to marketers. It has more than a billion users, and gives you a chance to educate customers — and potential customers – about your product or service, and lead people back to your website.
But the rise of YouTube’s search capabilities also suggests improved search capabilities on other social media platforms. It will give you more opportunity to be found, but also underscores the need to stick to the same search engine optimization tactics you use on your website when posting on social media.
5. The Rise Of Inbound Marketing
B2B marketers can see a 67 percent rise in leads by creating content, which is the cornerstone of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing – also known as content marketing – is the practice of creating content designed to bring your ideal customers to your business, as opposed to going out to get their attention through traditional “outbound” means such as advertisements or cold calling.
Hubspot says inbound marketing is the foremost marketing strategy for companies with less than 200 employees, and that corporate advancement is strongly tied to a positive perception of inbound ROI.
If you’re ready to try something new with your marketing campaign in 2016, IQnection is ready to offer its support. Our digital marketing team can assist you in creating content that speaks to your customers and potential customers. We can’t help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions, but we can help your audience find your business.