Learn What’s Changed about Digital Marketing
1. Increased Social Search Functionality:
Social media marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing niches, and 2016 brought about much-improved search functionality. In late 2015, Facebook booted Bing and replaced site search with their own algorithm that allows visitors to search all public posts. This year, Twitter updated its advanced search capabilities to allow for long-tail keyword searches. For marketers, social search is exciting because it allows for brand content to be discovered organically. However, increased organic traffic is just one benefit of enhanced social search functionality.
Social search is also an effective research and targeting tool. For example, marketers can search for any term on Facebook and find public posts using that term. Then, results can be filtered by source, location, and date, allowing you to find results for people that already follow your brand, are located in your area, and have posted questions about the term you searched for. These kinds of insights drive content marketing that speaks directly to your audience’s needs. Not to mention, B2B organizations implementing account-based marketing can use these unique insights to inform their targeted campaigns.
2. Real-Time Marketing
Real-time marketing revolves around current and topical events, and it’s an effective way to earn a big boost in traffic and visibility. It’s easier than ever to find trending topics these days: Google Trends provides you with daily updates on the most popular searches, Twitter tells you what hashtags are trending at any given moment, and Facebook provides up-to-date information on popular topics.
Here are a few brands that nailed it this year:
During the 2016 Super Bowl, Gatorade created a Snapchat filter that allowed users to share a Super Bowl tradition—dumping Gatorade on the coach—with their friends. The filter got more than 100 million views, and got Gatorade in on the big event without paying for an in-game commercial.
3. Adaptability is more vital to success than ever:
Change is going to happen whether you pursue it or not. Modern enterprises succeed when they adapt to industry and marketplace shifts and incorporate new technology into company culture and regular operations. However, digital transformation isn’t only about technology, it’s about bringing together the power of technology with a culture that embraces the change that it can lead for the organization.
5. Innovation must happen fast: Proactive innovation is one of the best ways to stay competitive in an evolving marketplace. New technology needs to be assessed, tested, analyzed, and judged more quickly than ever. Businesses can no longer afford to waste time and resources implementing new tools that offer no real value. This means a “Fail fast, to succeed faster,” mentality. Some projects will work straight away, others will have significant learning curves. The faster your organization can go from idea to implementation the more it can embrace opportunities to transform and even disrupt markets and internal business models. We’ve already talked about adaptability, but that plays a major role here as well. If a company has an adaptive culture where new tech can be easily integrated—or is at least encouraged—that enterprise is set up for long-term success.
6. Embrace the remote workforce: Young professionals prefer flexibility to compensation. Mobile technology and bandwidth proliferation allow businesses to connect with (and retain) top talent anywhere in the world. Contract and freelance employees appreciate the ability to work from home or while sitting on the beach. Companies benefit from having the ability to hire the most talented employees available in any time zone.
7. The advent of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): The booming success of the Pokémon GO AR app is a wakeup call to any business that hasn’t evaluated the potential of AR and VR. These technologies were once limited to the gaming realm, but they’re now easier to implement than ever before. The mainstream shift toward AR and VR provides new ways to connect with customers and offer unique, memorable interactions. The popularity of AR and VR also open up the gates for workplace gamification. We anticipate there will be a strong roadmap for incorporating gaming into the workplace along with VR and AR for improved employee engagement, retention and customer experience.
8. Big data and analytics: The importance of big data in the business world can’t be overstated. Despite a dizzying amount of valuable data in the world, few companies are using it to maximum effect. Analytics drive business by showing how your customers think, what they want, and how the market views your brand. In the age of Digital Transformation, almost everything can be measured. In the coming year this will be a cornerstone of how businesses operate.
9. Digital transformation is driven by the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT offers immeasurable insight into customer’s mind. Businesses and customers alike will continue to benefit from the IoT. With an estimated 50 billion IoT Sensors by 2020 and more than 200 billion “Things” on the Internet by 2030, it is no question that IoT will be not only transformative, but disruptive to existing or outdated business models.
10. Smart machines and artificial intelligence (AI) are taking off in a big way. Our relationships to technology continue to evolve. Soon machines will be able to learn and adapt to their environments. AI has long been considered the realm of science fiction, but as technology improves, AI becomes a reality. AIs will be able to work collaboratively with human professionals to solve intensely complex problems. AI stands to become one of the most disruptive forces in the IT world.
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