The marketing industry changes faster than most fashion trends. Sure, there are some basic fundamental principles that are always the same—know your audience, measure your results, and so on—but the mechanisms and tools we use to speak to our audiences and get those results are in a perpetual forward momentum. This is accelerated, in part, due to the evolving nature of technology, but the fierceness of competition is another factor; companies are trying to one-up each other in a bid to give their customers the latest-and-greatest.
If you want to outpace the competition and guard yourself against this one-upmanship, you need to be on the forefront of the latest trends. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 10 up-and-coming trends in online marketing:
1. Vertical videos.
Mobile is the future of marketing, but mobile devices have been around for a while and some major shifts have already come to light—like Google’s Mobilegeddon update last year. Still, we’re having trouble transitioning, with the majority of mobile sites and apps still just being “mobile versions” of what we’re used to. Mobile-centric platforms like SnapChat are looking to change that with vertical videos, which cater specifically to mobile users—and nobody else. Watch to see this trend develop substantially in the next few years.
2. Virtual reality (VR).
Oculus Rift is here, along with HTC Vive, and Sony Playstation VR is coming. We’re not all completely absorbed into a VR world, as some of the tech predictors might have told you a few years ago, but there’s no denying that the virtual reality momentum is starting to increase. Marketers haven’t taken the plunge en masse yet, but you can bet the first generation of VR marketers will hold a huge advantage over the latecomers.
3. App-based SEO.
Apps are projected to grow in popularity, while traditional browser-based Internet experiences are on a downward trajectory. Will apps one day replace traditional websites altogether? I’m not sure, but I am sure that Google will continue stepping up its efforts to provide better app-based experiences for users, including its app streaming technology. This may be the perfect time to start developing an app, or if you have one already, fleshing out your marketing of it.
4. Augmented reality experiences.
Google Glass never really caught on, and “true” augmented reality technology is still several years away from full development. However, consumers are already getting used to semi-augmented reality experiences, like QR codes, which blend the digital and physical worlds. Consider implementing something like this in your physical business, allowing users to interact with your online presence while simultaneously engaging with your “real” one.
5. Interactive content.
The days of one-sided content experiences are coming to a close. “Traditional” content involves such a one-way interaction; you produce a swath of material, a reader consumes it, and the transaction is done. Interactive content changes based on user inputs, personalizing and diversifying the experience. Today, you can think of things like calculators and quizzes as examples, but expect to see new and innovative forms of interactive content emerge in the near future.