If your News Year’s Resolution is focusing on your content marketing more than developing your fitness, then this is the blog for you.
As we begin 2016, it is the perfect time to think about what lies ahead for the content marketing world and the shifts that some businesses are going to go through in the next twelve months. In this post we take a look at some of the trends that may soon be at the heart of online business.
Mobile is the New Norm
It’s fair to say that companies have, in the past, focused their content, app and web development strategy primarily on the needs of the desktop user, with other platforms coming as an afterthought - many sites are still not properly designed to operate using a mobile phone. However, 2015 showed that the trend was slowly buckling due to the sheer number of mobile visitors to websites. This increase in the number of visitors was mainly due to the rise in the number of mobile users and the advances made in mobile technology. People are now able to do everything on their mobile, which has, in turn, made users more reliable on their portable devices.
Users are now using their phones to browse sites, read articles, research products, purchase, post comments or queries and compare products. With the growth of touchscreens, tablets and smartphones, experts believe that this trend is only going to continue.
A study carried out in the USA showed that in 2010 the number of mobile phone users stood at a little over 60 million. By 2018, this is predicted to be just under 200 million. Whether you believe the figure or not, it is important that businesses prepare for mobile browsing becoming the new norm.
Will Social Media Be the New SEO?
Although this trend prediction is a tad controversial, there is some logic behind it. When on a desktop, using a search engine is the norm. Tabs are open and the information is a mere click away. However, as mobile traffic continues to grow, more people are simply bypassing search engines and operating on social media via ready-made apps that make it instantly possible to access information.
The growth of mobile technology isn’t the only possible reason for the growth of social media as a search engine. It could also be because consumers know they will find visual information on such platforms rather than information-heavy pieces that Google and other search engines prioritise. Furthermore, while search engines offer reviews, social media grants insight from everyday folk. For example, rather than reading a 1000 word article on a product, you could read a few 140 character tweets from your favourite celebrity telling you to stay away.
Social media as a search engine is undoubtedly growing and it is something that businesses must and be more aware of and plan for in 2016.
New Social Media Platforms
While many people are talking down the chances of Facebook continuing to dominate the market, it is, without a doubt, one of the key platforms for businesses. With more capabilities being added to the platform, it is likely that Facebook will continue to be a major player for all companies.
However, it is also highly likely that new social media platforms will become significant players.
This can be argued by looking back at 2015 and the trends that developed. In 2014, no one believed that Snapchat or Instagram would be dominant platforms for content marketers, but the addition of Snapchat stories and Instagram allowing advertising has made them serious players in the content marketing game.
User Expectations Will Soar
To be blunt, in 2016, a quick social media post with a hashtag won’t cut it. More companies and businesses are embracing social media and with more advances in technology, customers have higher expectations.
Many businesses will use the vast majority of the digital tools around them to excel in content marketing. Companies will create infographics, Youtube videos, have a Snapchat story and even use live infographics. Smart content creators will take into account users’ preference for video and image over text. They will also exploit their preference for informative and useful content over blatant sales efforts to create engaging content.
It is important that you use trends and technology to match what is expected of your business. Failure to keep up or embrace new ideas will result in customers being underwhelmed either when on your social media channels or when on your site. To put it simply, you don’t want to be a Nokia in an iPhone generation.
What Can We Learn From These Trends?
Many businesses see a trend coming, acknowledge it and fail to act. At Curated Media, we believe that it is vital that you are ahead of the game, or at the very least willing to try and keep up. From the upcoming trends predicted by many, it is important that your business is ready for mobile browsing becoming the new norm. By having a mobile-friendly site that is easy to navigate you are making sure you are ready for the change.
The continuing growth of social media can be seen even through the introduction of Twitter’s ‘Moments’ feature, which enables news browsing. As more people utilise social media to search, it’s vital that you have an adequate social media policy in place and continually reaching out to customers.
Watch competitors and follow others trends to try and ride the wave, rather than always having to catch up. By embracing new technology, ensuring your site is well managed, updated and mobile-friendly, you can make sure that 2016 is the year your business and online content marketing excels.
While it is possible to predict some trends for the year ahead, there is always one development that no experts predict, and some that do not come to fruition. By being prepared for the content marketing developments that look like they will become a major player in the year ahead, you are ensuring that you are in the best possible position to make 2016 a successful year for your business.
Content Marketing for Law Firms
If you would like some help to nurture your own content, Curated Media can help. We work with lawyers and law firms to help fulfill their online content needs. Our team of experienced writers, lawyers, online marketers and web developers have the practical knowledge to curate, as well as create.