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Don't be Scared, Try it Out in 2016!

[lead]New year, new you. So cliche, but it is overused for a reason. Everyone is looking for fresh ways to spice up their marketing to make it more edgy, innovative, creative, effective, etc. Let 2016 be the year that you try some new marketing tactics or revamp your overall strategy. New platforms and tools are constantly emerging. In 2015 we tested out some new and trending platforms and tools. Here’s what we found.[/lead]
Email marketing 2.0
It sounds complex, but it’s not. Do you use Facebook insights or analyze Twitter data to maximize your output? That’s what email marketing 2.0 is–using data to optimize and streamline your email efforts.

It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to incorporate email marketing into their marketing efforts. Having a customer’s email address gives you a direct line of communication. If they’re willing to give you access to their inbox, they want to hear from you and care about your brand enough to receive even more emails and notifications that they’re already receiving, so make the content worth their time. Producing great content that engages them and drives opens and clicks is the next step.

If you’re not sending emails for yourself or for clients, give it a try this year. Utilize the data and insights that email marketing services provide as a safety net. Pay attention to open rates and tweak headlines to see what’s working. But you’ll never know if it’ll be beneficial unless you try.

We recommend trying MailChimp. It’s easy to use and navigate, allows for templates or unique layouts, and is just awesome.

MailChimp Website Email Template

Periscope
Periscope provides its users with a way to generate live video content that can be viewed by anyone at anytime. This Twitter-owned company is still in its infancy (even though it has more than 10 million users).

Our marketing team experimented with Periscope throughout the year. The verdict is in … we love it! In fact, our Periscope use got the attention of the News & Observer. Try using Periscope to talk about event or conference takeaways, breaking news in your industry, or anything else that you find interesting. Odds are that if you take the time to broadcast it, someone will be interested.

Experimenting with emerging forms of media results in innovation. There’s no “defined” way to use it, or a concrete list of best practices, so users are free to try out new avenues and methods. While you’re experimenting, follow O3!

Interactive Marketing Components
If you read any marketing or digital marketing blogs you know that content marketing is on the rise. There’s a big push in the industry to create various forms of quality content. People still enjoy reading relevant blogs and articles, but they want complementary videos, images, and other forms of interactive media to aid the text.

Companies are producing branded videos that show off culture, dive deep into a topic of discussion, and solidify thought leadership. Check out this interactive site element from one of our clients, Brooks Bell.

Writing a great article that dives deep into an issue is great. If it’s lengthy, the reader may not make it all the way through or they may lose interest. If a video or an infographic are made well they can engage the user that may not retain the information from the article.

Plus, people want some variety in their content. It’s much easier make a comparison or work some humor into visual media than it is in plain text. Be creative! There are consumers interested in your brand or services. Sometimes you just have to go the extra mile to make them realize it.

Brooks Bell Interactive Website

Alternate search marketing
Oh, search engines. The ever-changing way to get found on the Internet. Google has been pulling results from Twitter, Youtube, Amazon, and other online retailers. For example, Tweets about the searched terms may show up directly Google’s results (see example below). Retailers’ products have been displayed toward the top of organic search results.

These updates to Google’s algorithm happen sporadically. If you create Youtube videos, sell products online, or tweet about trending topics, you may find yourself hacking to the top of search results–if your SEO is on point and have enough credibility.

And of course, RIP David Bowie.

David Bowie Google

To sum it all up … just go for it! If you’re wavering on using a new technology, or want to try something new, just do it. You might be ignoring the tactic or platform that could add a great deal of value to your business.

And big shout out to Neil Patel over at Forbes for continuing to share quality lists about the growth of the digital space like this: How You Can Prepare Right Right Now to Dominate in 2016.

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Walk West

Our forward-thinking team stays up to date on industry trends and evolutions. Stay tuned as we continue to examine and share unique perspectives on these ideas. Check back for our thoughts on what’s new and upcoming.

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