We just experienced a major marketing event in the U.S. Some call it the Super Bowl. We all have favorite commercials; these days, there were a number of ads with an associated web link or a social media hashtag. This is not news. What is news and important to know for Web professionals is:
- the growing trend and the increased reliance on social media; pre- and post- game
- and the rise of metrics measuring many aspects of these interactions
- and the added value of storytelling that sells
Why is this important for Web Professionals?
Perhaps the clearest indicator of anticipated trends was the Wix.com commercial. In addition to spoofing a number of older Super Bowl commercials, there was a clear partnership with the forthcoming Kung Fu Panda movie. In addition to this partnership, there were clear identifiers (web site and a social media hashtag #StartStunning). There was also a clear storyline running throughout the commercial.
- One of the ways we can differentiate ourselves (as Web Professionals) with web marketing is to tell compelling stories.
- These stories need to be visual, short, memorable, and have a call to action.
- Equally important, most businesses expect a stronger return on investment (ROI).
What you need to know: Partnerships are important
Partnering is also a growing trend. For example, if we are not up to the task alone, collaborate with those who can tell a compelling story. Think in terms of the Wix.com ad mentioned above. This may involve working with communication professionals (if you or your group lacks the requisite skills). That will likely be a key differentiator in how content is perceived. It should also help engage site visitors and encourage them to promote these stories via social media.
- In many ways, it really is about alignment with the right individuals (and companies).
- Whether we need help with analytics on the data being collected or creating more engaging mobile experiences (particularly location based mobile experiences), we need to identify and align with those who do this well.
- In 2016, it is nearly impossible to be “all things to all people all the time.” Therefore, we need a network to collaborate with when needed. Consider this simple example – personally, I am “graphically challenged.” I know my limitations in that area and never attempt to provide graphic content (whether logo design or color schemes) to a client. I do know a number of good graphic artists and I work with them to meet the client’s needs.
- This year is shaping up to be a year of significant change as many technologies mature and gain much wider acceptance (for example wearable devices).
- We need to position ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities. Knowing the trends is a start; identifying who to partner with is critical to your success as changes happen rapidly this year.
Additional Web marketing trends
I expect that the following trends will accelerate in 2016:
- mobile (including wearable) devices will continue to be used more in marketing efforts. Many viewing the Super Bowl use their smartphones to communicate their thoughts to friends and family.
- social marketing is expected to continue significant growth. Think of the number of tweets and Facebook posts about the Super Bowl.
- we will continue to rely more on analytics (and associated “big data”) to drive many of our web marketing decisions. Many times we see a commercial which points to a specific page (www.example.com/superbowl) which is only shown during a given commercial. This is one of many approaches to identify which traffic to a web page is coming as a direct result of an advertising campaign.
- we will rely more on automation of many marketing efforts (to reach the broadest audiences quickly and efficiently).
- content marketing will also be a major effort.
Speaking of partnerships, one of our goals moving forward is to align our goals with yours. In other words, as a professional association for aspiring and practicing Web professionals. we’re hopeful that you find our resources helpful. By aligning with a professional association we aim to support you in staying current with trends and to bring you the informational resources to succeed. Check out the other Web professional trends and if you’re not already a subscriber sign up here. Future post will include Web security trends, sustainability, what this means for the future of web centric education and more in depth tutorials on web design, web development and Web business trends.
Mark DuBois, Community Evangelist and Director of Education