2016 Trends: Quick Guide for Brands and Corporations
Digital marketing is taking over the world. We are connecting socially online, buying products, searching information, learning, watching news, ordering meals and following brands.
A new exciting year is about to unfold in this noisy digital world. For all the brands looking to navigate through the marketing chatter, we’ve put together a series of trends to inspire you in 2016.
Consumers have slowly built a natural immune system towards outside influences and mass marketing.
Our advice for 2016 is to keep branding communication genuine and focus on quality content. By “quality” we mean: human, heartfelt and honest. Audiences expect brands to sound authentic, intimate, and maybe even less polished. The goal is to keep your audience close and ultimately create a different experience then mainstream advertising.
Stock photography is no longer enough when building brand awareness. Striking images are far more likely to engage and lead to sales if they are tailored to your target customer. Your photos should capture your brand’s soul and personality. It’s about marketing your company to the hearts and minds of clients. Creating Desire. Inspiring your audience. Image storytelling captures people’s imagination; it shapes perceptions and creates an emotional bond.
Our advice: think of custom imagery the same way as dressing your store’s windows. People passing by should stop, notice and say “ WoW”!
Video, video, video!
It's no secret that video is becoming THE fastest growing segment of digital advertising with the highest ROI online. Video content triggers emotions by combining elements like the ton of voice, facial expressions, body language and music. It creates trust, ignites curiosity and provides entertainment value.
Does it matter what kind of videos you create? Absolutely.
To get the point across, make your information as simple, flawless and easy on the eye as possible. Storytelling and explainer videos are perfect for promoting products and services. Make them short and entertaining.
Less marketing, more meaning
Marketing is no longer about the staff you make; it’s about the stories you tell. It’s driving the engagement and customer experience. The key to content marketing is meaning. And meaningful content is an adventure.
Up until recently, the same branded messages were pushed across all marketing channels (print, TV, radio, outdoor advertising, and your corporate website). The same message, presented the same way, to (hopefully) different audiences.
With the growth of social media and building daily interactions, duplicate mass messaging is no longer possible. Many of your fans have up to 6 different social profiles. Posting the same news across the web can seriously bore your followers and discourage their interaction.
Prioritize your own hub
We could not stress this enough! Our advice for 2016: think of your website as your center stage of online communication.
Social media channels are a fantastic way to connect with fans, however they are subject to rules and require styles of communication outside of your control. The last 6 years alone Facebook has changed its social rules 10 times. Not forgetting to mention that the social channels are looking for ways to monetize on users, which is counterproductive to your own efforts. So really, building your fan base on Facebook is helping out Facebook, not your business.
What to do? Redirect social media communication back to your corporate space.
Social web integration
Make social media a integral part of your website. Bring campaigns home, by redirecting the social conversation to your own domain. Or vice versa, start your social conversations directly from your blog by integrating social media, so users never need to leave your platform to interact with you.
Using a different tone of voice across platforms
In this noisy social world, it’s difficult to get the chance for people to remember us. To engage, a brand needs to be original, but also learn to speak the language of the platform it’s broadcasting from.
We use a different language with friends, with business partners, at a bar, in a foreign country. Same goes for your brand. Your audience expects a different style of communication depending on where you accost them. Don’t forget to tailor your message to your different social channels.
Why is Geico so successful? Besides repeating the same slogan over and over again (the power of persuasion), Geico is entertaining a large audience with different stories under the same corporate roof.
Bring on your X Factor
Marketing is no longer about the staff you make; it’s about the stories you tell. It’s driving the engagement and customer experience. The key to content marketing is meaning. And meaningful content is an adventure. So let you imagination run wild. To get inspired, have a look at the “Joy Will Take You Further” campaign by Johnnie Walker.
When it comes to digital advertising, storytelling also means presenting your product information in ways to arouse curiosity. If no story comes to mind, try describing the different aspects of your product/service in “chapters”, following a storytelling path. For example: we learn about the cubic form of your product in chapter 1. Chapter 2 shows us all available colors. Chapter 3 tells us the product is very light. Chapter 4 reveals it’s eco-friendly. And in chapter 5 we learn this product toasts bread to perfection. The information unfolds progressively, in an interesting scroll through your website.
Mobile is a MUST
When you plan for 2016, your marketing strategy needs to reflect on mobile advertising.
“Mobile” in no longer about layout, but also about mobility
Mobile is not just a function of users’ screen and resolution, but also the fact that your fans are on the go.
This changes dramatically the way brands should approach digital advertising. Being able to track your followers and offer instant discounts when they are near a point of sales is on of the many ways marketing is evolving to embrace technology.
Tablets are no longer hype
It’s true. Tablets sales are in dramatic fall from projections. What does this mean for your business? If you are looking to create an app to entertain tablet users or hit the smart phone app space before your competitors, then thin twice. Read on to find out why.
Forget mobile applications
We strongly believe that a vast majority of mobile applications listed on Google Market and the App Store do not need to be an app at all. Lots of functionalities can be built directly inside a webpage with a mobile responsive layout using HTML5. If you are considering building your own app to follow the hype, ask us for advice.
There is no logic in wasting resources and capital to hire a team of java programmers (Android), objective C programmers (iPhone), and a team of Visual Dot Net Programmers (Windows), if the functionality you are looking for can happen on a mobile friendly website in less time, for less money.
The wheel of ecommerce is spinning with fantastic rates, as more and more brands want a piece of the action online. Giants like Google and Facebook are driving digital advertising with tools that allow to track conversions, pay per click, understand detailed statistics and facilitate the re-marketing of products to family and friends.
Many online stores have mushroomed in the past couple of years, offering the same products, at the same price, featured in a similar way. So if you are looking to build an e-store in 2016, think of differentiating yourself!
You can do that by becoming an “experience store”. Build a story around your product; offer something innovative (high tech) or unique (artisan work). Communicate product’s values and the problems you are solving. Offer products that are not in mass production. Create a strong emotional connection. E-commerce is a great opportunity for small businesses to outcompete the big chains.
Let’s take for example Brikflielder. This is not your classical online store. Instead, we have focused on creating a story and feel for the product.
Our advice: build your e-commerce store in ways to entice your audience to want your merchandise before even realizing they can purchase it right then and there.
Originality vs. Usability
Should your business display a creative website or a user-friendly one? This has been an ongoing debate in the web design circles for a long time. Some designers emphasize the importance of creating an original, mind-blowing visual concept that sticks with your audience and creates a wow factor. Others emphasize the importance of content, easy navigation and search engine optimization.
We personally think that a well-done design project should combine both. To us, creating a stylish website means an equal balance between innovating visuals and simple information access. This is easily said then done.
Of course, your website design also heavily depends on your type of business platform. A fashion product will not be displayed the same way as a news website or a medical portal.
What really differentiates eDesign as an agency is being able to ignite creative sparks into a functional website. Ask us for advice! We love making new friends.