Marketing Resources for 2016: Old School meets New Cool

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By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

You might think it’s a little early to start anticipating trends of 2016, but if Home Depot is beginning to display Christmas trees, then I can assemble a list of marketing tools to help you prepare for next year.

In April, I wrote an article for {grow} about new trends in social media marketing tools. Looking back even that “far,” things have changed. Meerkat and Periscope, for example, are being faced down by Facebook Live and the dark horse, Blab. Kong failed to gain much traction as it stood and has pivoted to be a group messaging app, and Plag** is floundering. In a world where apps are created and disappear within 4 months, it takes work to stay “cool.” What is relevant?

The answer: balance the new and cool with the downright old school.

If you jump on every trend, you’re bound to miss out on the evergreen knowledge of existing forms of content, like long-running blogs of experts *cough* like this one *cough* or podcasts, or even (gasp) books. So here are four old school marketing tools you shouldn’t miss, and three new cool tools to check out.

Keep your eye on the Old School

1. Blogs

Long the best source of information on the Internet, blogs are here to stay. Some have been running for nearly a decade, but exciting new ones crop up every day.

A few new blogs for you to check out:

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are seeing a resurgence … so much so that I thought about listing them both in the old school and new cool categories. If you are recording your own podcast, try using Blab, Video Teleprompter, or PodClear.

A few Podcasts to check out:

3. Books

A few books to read if you haven’t already:

  • The Cluetrain Manifesto– the 10th anniversary edition came out in 2009, yet this book remains hyper-relevant in today’s social media focused world of marketing.
  • The Content Code by Mark Schaefer- If you haven’t read this yet, for shame!
  • Hooked by Nir Eyal- While this book is aimed at people building products, the cycle of building habit-forming behavior that Eyal proposes should be studied by every marketer.
  • Brainfluence by Roger Dooley- Neuromarketing, the process of studying and influencing behavior and decision-making in order to sell, is a very hot topic and this book is a great, actionable introduction.
  • Evil By Design by Chris Nodder- While gimmicky, this book centered around the “7 Deadly Sins” is a great introduction to website layout for any marketer or new user experience designer.

4. Newsletters

If you don’t mind receiving a few more emails, newsletters can be wonderful sources of recurring and up to date content.

A few newsletters to check out:

Resources so new and cool, they might just be “on fleek”

1. Live-streaming Video

The best apps to check out:

  • Periscope
  • Meerkat
  • Blab– by far my favorite, Blab allows you to have live video conversations with up to three other video participants, and many viewers who will be able to comment through chat. Imagine a more functional Google Hangout, and every room is public. Pro tip: while they get the kinks of beta worked out, download both Chrome and Firefox in advance and schedule a “test” Blab 15 minutes before your actual Blab.

2. Medium

Medium is a design-focused blogging platform that is WISIWYG. It is simple to use and has its own audience, drawing large crowds to its most popular posts. Getting started on Medium is a matter of signing in with your Twitter account. You can either import past blog posts or start from scratch, but either way the results will be beautiful, and engagement high.

Some great Medium channels to check out:

3. eBooks

Ebooks, while not new themselves, are being disseminated in new and interesting ways. Now, there’s no need to rely on the Amazon store when you can instead upload your PDF directly to Gumroad or Payhip and start selling right away!

While that’s a lot of resources to take in at once, I’d guess you’re familiar with a few of them already. And if I had to tell you just one marketing tool to take away from this article it would be: Blab. I’m a huge fan, and I’m sure Mark is as well — his debut on Blab was one of the most popular casts ever, with hundreds of attendees.

Even newer, even cooler …

If you’re really into bleeding-edge technology, try one or more of these brand-new apps and services. As with most releases, they have a smaller, niche audience that will widen over time, so use one tailored to your audience.

1. Creators Log– cross Angel.co with a diary, and you get Creator’s Log. The public beta launched on September 17 so while there isn’t yet a lot of activity, this place for people to make their projects known could soon be hopping. Target: makers of any variety. Artists, programmers, marketers, any one with a project that they’d like to broadcast.

2. Treatings– an iOS app that makes LinkedIn look like a stodgy dinosaur (not so difficult). Build a reputation, widen your network.

3. Quill Engage– more a tool than a network, Quill Engage sends a user simplified page traffic data. So if you’re looking to get a client set up for the future and they don’t seem to be “getting” Google Analytics, this simpler version might be perfect.

4. Kong– Check out the latest version of Kong. It’s bright, shiny eye candy–it might just catch on with the younger set.

I hope that this list proves useful, and if you’d like, look me up on Blab. My profile is here, and I’m on quite (too?) often!

KikiSchirr

Kiki Schirr is a cofounder of the fitness app Fittr, and also does the company’s marketing. She is the author of the The Product Hunt Manual and Tech Doodles

Original illustration by the author.

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