Five PR and Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

Dec 29, 2015

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It’s our favorite time of year when we start seeing predictions and trends for 2016. Here are some of the PR and digital marketing trends we think are most exciting.

The Podcast Renaissance

Remember back in the early 2000s when podcasts first came on the scene, and then, well, not much happened with them. In 2016, podcasts are making a comeback. According to Edison, approximately 46 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and the average listener listens to six a week. Large brands like GE and Netflix have recently launched their own podcast productions, and people are actually listening!

How you can take advantage: Start slow, and create a monthly podcast on a topic relevant to your audience. Download Hubspot’s ebook How to Create a Podcast. If you don’t have the time for all that, think about leveraging ad space during breaks in programming that is consumed by your target audience. 

The Rise of Video

If you’ve ever been drawn in by one of those 30-second speed recipes on Instagram or Facebook, you know that video attracts attention. It dazzles audiences with movement, color and sound. It humanizes your brand and builds loyalty. But video also enriches the customer journey at all stages, and is more effective than other content at converting buyers.

How you can take advantage: With a smartphone or tablet and some editing software, even a novice can create fairly professional video content. Brainstorm some topic ideas, and check out a lit of the best editing software and apps. 

The Merging of Disciplines

For years, public relations professionals and marketers went to great lengths to differentiate themselves from one another. But more and more, the best communications programs are actually combining public relations, advertising, and digital marketing to amplify key messages and campaigns.

How you can take advantage: First, come up with a concept compelling enough to work across these different specialties. Identify a project manager who can offer direction as you create an integrated strategy and partners who are ready and able to collaborate and communicate. Don’t have the capacity to create something like this in house? Drop us a line to discuss how we can help. 

The Point of Content Saturation

We have all experienced feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content available on every channel and every topic under the sun. Industry experts argue that content marketers have reached a market saturation point where increased effort yields diminished results. This may be true, but content marketing continues to be an effective way to reach and engage with your audience online. That’s because people have learned how to deal with this content overload. They select their inner circle of favorite information sources that includes the information they seek about news, education, and entertainment.

How you can take advantage: Get in that inner circle, and use data to create content that people desire. Determine what your audience likes and what supports sales and create content around those topics. And, tie your content marketing efforts to business goals, so you can measure its ROI.

The Time to Outsource

Most organizations don’t have a dedicated public relations and digital marketing team able to focus all their time and efforts on creating cohesive campaigns and using data to develop a variety of content and measure its effectiveness. The landscape is shifting under our feet, and it’s a full-time job to stay abreast of all the latest changes and trends.

Additionally, with lines blurring between public relations, advertising and digital marketing, it makes sense to find one firm that does it all and can coordinate efforts to create integrated communications programs for your organization.

Let’s talk about what we can do for your organization and how we can make 2016 your best year yet.



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Maribeth Neelis

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As a digital marketing strategist, Maribeth loves learning and writing about content marketing, social media, SEO, paid advertising, PR and mobile. She is obsessed with data-driven marketing and believes all online channels should be given a strategy, so engagement can be personalized and well targeted. In her free time, she likes watching science documentaries, hiking, skiing and traveling to far-flung places.


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