Marketing trends are always changing, new and existing trends are going in and out of style – some even transform from trend to business critical. Social media platforms began as a marketing trend and as of today you can't seem to exist as a business without some form of social presence. But how will other trends compete? We have put together a few of the top summer marketing trends as of today.
AR/VR for Better Experiences
The short difference between these two mediums: Virtual Reality is when you are fully immersed in a computer-generated environment (you can't see the outside world); while Augmented Reality is when the world you live in is enhanced with computer-generated content (kind of like the view Tony Stark has when inside of the Iron Man suit).
VR/AR tech is effective in a variety of areas especially for marketing, as it generates a chance for companies to provide an immersive experience among their target audiences and product they are trying to sell. Companies are just beginning to understand how leverage VR/AR experiences to showcase their product/brand. Virtual Reality's marketing size is vastly improving by the minute. There is increased ease of accessing the hardware, stores selling the head sets and companies even creating arcades for gamers to come in and play alone or with friends. A great marketing example of how VR is being used in business is for real estate. The technology is being used to showcase what the interior and exterior of a home looks like. Allowing them to go through the whole house virtually, to show people what the home will look like without having to visit it first. For home builders, rather than building a model home, they will do a computer simulation of the house down to every detail. By putting the VR googles on and walk around the whole house virtually. Think about how many more homes you could explore in the same amount of time as door-to-door visits!
Snapchat & Instagram for Millennials
With the world becoming more and more tech savvy, social media isn't going away anytime soon. With Instagram and Snapchat being the number one social platform among millennials, social media ads are becoming the number one form of successful advertising. A company doing a great job with their social media for advertising and for creating displaying images is Airbnb on Instagram. Showcasing the top travel destinations, host houses, customers overall experiences and stories, and testimonials with a consistent theme of travel and lifestyle. Many brands use Snapchat for advertising through "stories" without having an actual account that consumers must follow to see. Cosmopolitan is using successful advertising through the discovery component of Snapchat - creating fun articles and surveys for anyone to respond to.
Gamification for Higher Engagement
Gamification is smart marketing for business professionals. There is more to gamification then just earning badges and being at the top of the leaderboard. Using gamification successfully, a company would have to establish their business goals, what would they want to achieve from using gamification and create ads that would be accessible for all types of users. Gamification is ideal for 'stickiness' - boosting users to come to your website more frequently, spending more time engaging and accomplish tasks. For example, watching videos that will catch their eye, commenting on the page’s content, and using social media sharing. Nike has done a great job at showcasing their gamification skills for their Nike+ app. To have links running directly with communal gaming, pitting customers who have downloaded the Nike+ to run against each other in a simulation of tag. Read more here.
Live Video for Instant Gratification
Live video has been ramping up as a marketing tool since social media has become such a popular outlet for businesses. Companies are using the live video aspect to address their followers by doing Q&A with their audiences, providing customer support, perhaps some behind-the-scenes action, and even showcasing events that are being hosted or that they are attending. A live video compared to a pre-made video is 85% more effective - they are personal, accessible and interactive. Customers can ask a question directly and have instant feedback, they can take part and influence the conversation. A prominent app is Periscope Live Video Streaming, what most companies are using directly on Twitter and Facebook. All social platforms today have adopted the live video component, leading us to believe this will become more than a trend. Instagram has live video built in that allows viewers to ask questions directly on the story for all viewers to read.
The Stratford Festival does a fantastic job of Live Video Marketing. They have created an amazing, behind the scenes experience for their followers by handing off their Instagram account to actors in the festival and allowing them to do a "day in the life" where they post to the story with all kinds of pictures, videos and insights for the day but that often includes live videos behind stage where people get a chance to actually interact with the actors.
Wearable Tech as a New Medium
Wearable tech is a popular trend, especially for gadget users. Manufacturing specialists expect by 2019 that 70% of the market share will be wearable tech. The use of wearable technology has expanded beyond health and sport, into business and all aspects of personal use. The benefits of using a hands free smart watch are quickly enhancing and replacing the need for mobile phones if you can believe it. The question now becomes, how will marketers find ways to integrate with these devices? Could there be non-evasive marketing campaigns on your FitBit, or Live Video marketing through your Apple Watch? We haven't found any outstanding examples yet but expect this will be the next new thing.
Which trends are you trying out this summer?