1. Virtual Reality Content Will Make Its First Appearance
The idea is starting to become clear; just as video is a more engaging form of content than still imagery, virtual reality will be the next and most engaging step forward for content. With Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Google’s Cardboard, it’s now easier for brands & businesses to create virtual reality content that efficiently works on both technologies, so I expect to see more moves towards this new kind of engaging content given that 360 videos are now enabled on Facebook & Youtube.
2. Video Will Continue to Outperform Static Content
Last year started with news that Facebook users were posting 75% more video content than they were posting in 2014. As a result, Facebook started pushing more video content into people’s news feeds and doubled average daily views from 4b to 8b views. (even though Facebook counts a 3-second glimpse as a “view”, that’s still a big number). It also shows how Facebook is keen to beat Youtube again in terms of views. I expect that these figures are only going to grow in 2016.
3. Live Streaming Will Be The New Trend
Live-streaming is already out, but it’s going to get bigger in 2016. Twitter’s Periscope service is already standing at 15 million registered users within months of its launch. Apple recently named Periscope the Top iPhone App of 2015 – Some big companies have been quick to spot the opportunity, GE’s Droneweek exercise took viewers into company’s factories and showed them how jet engines & wind turbines are manufactured and tested. The company got to tell its story for an entire week of live and authentic content. Other kinds of content that brands can broadcast include conferences, interviews, customer support, product demos and special offers. Apart from Periscope, Facebook enabled live streaming feature for public figures in Q3 last year and recently enabled that for end-users. So before Periscope and Meerkat jump-started the mobile live-streaming craze, Facebook was already quietly working on it. Expect nothing but rapid growth in using this feature in Facebook.
4. Smarter Use of Snapchat
Snapchat is currently the world’s fastest growing social app – with over 100m active users sharing over 800m photos & videos daily, the rise of Snapchat is more evident than ever, and marketers should take notes of that. In a recent Piper Jaffray survey: “Snapchat is more popular among American teens than Facebook, with 19% of them saying the mobile app is the most important social network”. The quality of content has improved during 2015 and will continue to improve in a creative way in 2016. Companies as big as McDonalds, Acura and Heineken have all waded in, keen to connect with the platform’s young audience — and scared to be left behind. There are enough good case studies available now for any digital marketer to put together a strategy on how to use Snapchat effectively.
5. On-Platform Content Opens-Up
In 2015, Facebook snatched content distribution from established content creators such as NY Times, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. So instead of publishers bringing Facebook users to their own websites, Facebook Instant Articles program let publishers distribute their content on Facebook. The content would load up 10 times faster, more people would see it and the publisher could earn advertising revenue. But the users would stay on the platform, reducing the publisher’s own brand value. Despite the risks, 350 publications have signed up and more than 100 publications distribute their content through Instant Articles every day, below are a few of them.
Digital Solutions Consultant at SOCIALEYEZ