The close of 2016 is upon us and it's time for marketers to conduct an annual review of the strategies and tactics they've used throughout the year. Weighing the pros and cons regarding the tools they've used over the past year and measuring how successful they were against their stated goals will help them make decisions about whether, and how, these tools should be used moving forward.
Campaigner recently conducted a survey collecting insights on how marketers reviewed their 2016 strategies and their proposed changes for 2017. Read on for findings of this industry report and tips that will help other marketers prepare for the year ahead:
Buy buttons go bye-bye
Marketers are turning away from the direct buy button on social media in the coming year after nearly three in four reported seeing no sales after implementing them. 25 percent fewer marketers are using buy buttons today than were using them last year, and 40 percent plan to use them less in the year ahead.
Once expected to be a new source of revenue for brands, buy buttons are not realizing their potential for marketing success. Marketers should account for this as they allocate resources for the year ahead and shift their expectations toward content sources that have been more fruitful in the past, such as email and advertising.
For content distribution, marketers overwhelmingly reported email as their channel of choice for reaching their audiences in the coming year. Email marketing was ranked the most effective means of digital marketing, and nearly 75 percent of marketers plan to use it more in the coming year.
Marketers should continue to execute strong email marketing campaigns to keep their audiences actively engaged in the coming year. Email offers many beneficial tools -- personalization capabilities, an agile format for any device, and automation and integration -- that marketers should take advantage of to enhance these campaigns. As more features and technologies become available marketers should evaluate their propensity to boost a campaign and test them to determine their value.
Content reigns king
The statement "content is king" continues to ring true for marketers, who plan to hone in on and grow their content marketing practices. Over 40 percent of marketers will make content marketing a priority and over 45 percent plan to use it in a greater capacity in 2017. Newsletters surpass articles, videos, infographics and quizzes as the preferred means of delivering this content; at least 46 percent of marketers will increase their newsletter distribution next year.
Marketers should take heed of this and be sure they're shifting their budgets and staff toward content development, specifically for newsletters. They need to make content a part of every marketing campaign they develop to effectively reach subscribers. Email marketers, in particular, should build a strong pipeline of newsletter content to keep readers engaged and eagerly anticipating materials from the brand at a regular cadence.
Marketers should keep these findings and suggested best practices top of mind as they plan their campaign strategies for the year ahead. They should consider reducing their use of buy buttons, fine-tune their email marketing campaigns, and focus on creating great content to keep readers loyal and engaged in 2017.