2016 has proved to be an eventful and stressful year for all involved. With staff and clients located around the globe, we garnered an array of responses to seven key questions pertaining to their experiences in the ever-changing world of communications for 2016. Here is what they had to say.
1. What has been the biggest change to communication? (Isentia – Australia)
In 2016, a common change has been the NEED to include social and online in all forms of communication. In previous years, many communication teams still kept social/online separate and treated them differently, whereas throughout the last 12 months it appears more businesses and departments have a common approach. There has also been increased levels of communications and marketing coming together – whether this is a result of our cross-selling initiatives and us being more in-tune to marketing/brand/audience or whether it’s an actual change is debatable!
2. Which topics and campaigns of 2016 got people talking? (King Content – England)
This time of year in the UK is inevitably dominated by various Christmas ads, but that hasn’t stopped the fallout from the combined impact of Brexit and Drumpf, with people on both sides of the Atlantic still reeling. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here about the importance of understanding your audience and engaging with them on the issues that matter to them. Both the Remain and Clinton camps neglected or underestimated vast sections of their audiences, focusing their campaigns on the issues they thought people should care about, rather than listening to what they were saying was important to them.
3. Who or what were the biggest game changers? (King Content – USA)
The game changers of 2016 were savvy individuals exploring new media models. I’m referring to Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, whose daily newsletter The Skimm boasts a subscriber base of 4 million and sponsors like Chase, Starbucks, UGG. Or ex-Verge editor Joshua Topolsky, who’s launched his very own publication The Outline, which is both visually yummy and mentally stimulating. These examples teach us, as content marketers, to take a more-intuitive approach to content distribution for our clients.
4. What were the biggest trends you witnessed? (Isentia – China)
WeChat has become China’s most popular chat app. WeChat had a monthly active user base in China totaling 706.7 million in March 2016.
There was a sharp increase in live-streaming platforms in China. Equipped with selfie sticks and smartphones, Chinese youth cashed in by broadcasting their daily lives – from streaming esports to makeup tutorials, even eating challenges such as consuming an entire pizza.
VR and AR grew faster in China than in any other developed country.
5. What were the greatest challenges faced? (Isentia – Australia)
Monitoring and valuing social media. They want a single tool to be able to seamlessly monitor, engage and report on all social media, with audience and advertising values that align with their traditional media reporting. The challenge for them, and therefore us, is that this doesn’t exist in a perfect way and it might not ever exist with a constantly changing and restricted social media landscape. Keeping the many competitive wolves in the social media space at bay from our clients is going to be important.
6. What were the greatest opportunities of 2016? (King Content – Hong Kong)
The increased use of ad-blocking software on the Web meant less of an emphasis on traditional banner ads by brands to get awareness, and the opportunity to pitch the creation of great content to achieve the same results instead. In today’s environment of ineffective ads and decreased reach, content marketing serves as a great opportunity to build long-term engaged followers and/or customers – this year and beyond.
7. Reminiscing on what was 2016, what would you have done differently? (Isentia – Indonesia)
Looking back, we wish we had taken more time to pause and take stock of how quickly things were changing around us.