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4 Areas to Focus Your Marketing Efforts in 2016

Marketing is like the autobahn. It’s a super speedway that doesn’t wait for anyone and forges ahead with powerful trends and innovative measures. No matter what emerging powerhouse trends are forcing their way through the pipeline, your efforts will be stymied if they aren’t planned properly – which isn’t a shocking concept. Marketing guru, Neil Patel says that 76% of marketers report using content marketing, yet only 37% say their strategy is actually effective.

Today’s consumers are savvier and more discerning about what they pay attention to. Content fatigue overwhelms the masses, and it’s tough to attract the attention of your audience, let alone convert customers. – Neil Patel

With rapid changes constantly shifting the marketing landscape, here are four aspects marketing teams need to be made aware of when constructing their strategies in 2016.

1. Enter the reign of video advertisements

With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless. – Jayson DeMers

2016 will make major headway in how video is becoming a heavyweight in marketing strategies across the board. Many organizations have been a little hesitant on how to incorporate this medium into their storytelling arsenal. A primary reason of this hesitation is the cost to produce and the difficulty linking it to the return on their investment. However, it extends beyond video itself with video advertisements beginning to dominate search engines and video players. As this trend continues to power forward, users are welcoming it more and more than the traditional banner ads that plague their screens. Interactive storytelling is setting the new standard for consumer engagement – along with raising the cost to produce video advertisements in this competitive online marketing world.

2. Mobile to the max

On average, smartphone users check their phones 221 times per day. Smartphones might as well provide oxygen to humans in 2016 too. Last year marked a monumental occasion in the mobile sphere with Google issuing the ultimatum that companies become mobile optimized or be penalized and risk getting lost in the sea of content. With mobile now being the leader in search queries and surpassing its desktop counterpart, it’s no longer a question if your audience is using mobile and tablets – it’s more of a question as to why are you not mobile optimized yet?

3. Expand beyond the traditional

With the influx of information being disseminated and attention spans hitting an evolutionary low, there is an all out assault for our already fragmented attentions. Transparency is absolutely vital with every marketing piece created. So think beyond the traditional advertising age and starts showing your sincerity, honesty and how you’re supportive as an organization. Otherwise you risk being tuned out by a new generation of consumers that looked to be entertained with creative content – not advertised to.

4. Know your platform

In the fast-paced new era of marketing, a fresh calendar year presents a laundry list of new social and interactive platforms that take the world by storm. And it leaves marketers everywhere scrambling, and wondering if this is the next big vehicle that they need to jump on and become early adopters of. We saw this with the explosion of Snapchat as a marketing heavyweight. They rewrote the book on digestible and exciting content that comes with an expiration date. What matters most about this platform is that it provides an intimate, unique and real-time connection with consumers. Plus it basically serves zero purpose as an advertising platform and acts more as a brand enhancer with creative content.

Snapchat is just one example of the exploding social vehicles, but doesn’t mean that companies need to jump ship and move their marketing efforts towards it. By developing an audience or buyer persona, you can better understand who your audience is across all social media channels and where they would typically access information and content. The moral of the story is to be cognizant of these emerging platforms – but your audience will dictate what their pain points are, how it will intersect with your content and how to align your marketing efforts towards them.

The problem with marketing in today’s world is that marketing is too separated from sales – these are businesses that are playing marketing for the sake of marketing. Let’s take this concept to a macro level and dive deeper into 4 other powerhouse trends emerging within the field of marketing.