Digital Business 2016

2016 Digital Marketing Trends

The end of the year is fast upon us. It’s only natural to anticipate the digital marketing trends for the coming year. These days, we’ve got to stay current since technology is advancing at the speed of thought.  Even if we don’t employ certain applications, we should still stay abreast of the new developments… so when there is something we can use, we won’t miss the boat. Here are some of the digital marketing trends you can expect to see emerge in 2016.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is already enormously popular, so this one isn’t exactly new. Nevertheless, there are some recent developments which make it a likely candidate for being an indispensable tool in 2016. Google (the world’s largest search engine) owns YouTube (the world’s second-largest search engine). Their recent announcement to enable embedded video ads for search results means many businesses will use Google AdWords to run video advertisements in the months to come.

The video marketing you do can include commercials, but you can also find other ways of using videos to promote your business. For example, you can make a video demonstrating different ways to use a product, or make an unboxing video to show the items and little extras accompanying your particular product. You might also make videos giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at your manufacturing process or answering client or customer questions.

Digital Assistants

Digital Marketing TrendsSiri, the digital assistant who comes with the iPhone, is known for being able to find answers to almost any inquiry. While digital assistants may sometimes use traditional search engines like Google to find information, they only do so when necessary. Some of the things you may need to do to optimize your online content for digital assistants include:

  • Researching how customers are likely to use digital assistants to find your business
  • Allowing for casual, verbal inquiries instead of formal keywords
  • Posting content in forms which are compatible with wearable mobile devices, such as audio or video streaming

Digital assistants are already widely used by iPhone owners, however, the introduction of wearable mobile technology like the Apple watch makes their increased popularity likely.

Mobile Payments

Mobile marketing is increasingly popular, and with good reason. Text messages have a far higher open rate than emails do, and they are an effective way to stay in touch with customers. Large companies such as Starbucks have made it possible for customers to pay for their coffee using mobile devices and the evidence suggests mobile payments are going to be a major trend for 2016.

Another thing to keep in mind is the trend toward mobile traffic will more than likely surpass desktop traffic in the near future. Mobile access to the internet is increasingly common and easier to come by in many places than desktop access. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, get it updated now! Don’t find yourself behind the eight ball on this one. Mobile users are notoriously impatient and will not patronize your site if it takes too long to load or if it isn’t optimized for mobile devices.

In fact, if you’re using Flash, drop it like a bad habit.

Instagram Advertising

You’re probably already aware of this— thanks to Facebook’s algorithm changes, you now have to boost a post if you want to be sure it is seen by all of your social media contacts. At the moment, Instagram still works the way Facebook used to— meaning, the content you post is free and can, at least in theory, be seen by everyone who follows you there.

Yet, Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, and Instagram is expected to follow in Facebook’s footsteps and introduce similar changes in 2016. What this means is— Instagram advertising is about to take off. Year to date, the site has made about $600 million in advertising sales, and this number is expected to more than quadruple by 2017. There’s good news for advertisers, however; user engagement on Instagram tends to be quite high. Many brands use the site’s tools for sharing visual content are finding their customers are approximately 2.8 times as likely to recall the advertising they see on Instagram as they are to recall ads they see on other online platforms.

Social Search

Until now, internet searches have largely been conducted on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. However, there is a trend which appears ready to explode in 2016— social searching. YouTube is a classic example of how it can work. While it is primarily known as a video sharing site, YouTube is also a search engine. You can expect Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to follow suit.

What it means for marketers is this: customer reviews on social media, for example, and other similar content, will be searchable. If you’ve been diligent about maintaining a solid social media presence and cultivating customer relationships, this particular trend will be a great tool for you. If not, it’s not too late to get started. Pinterest has already implemented guided searches, and Facebook and Twitter will, likewise, do the same.

Targeted Marketing

If you’re advertising on Facebook, you already know you can target your ads there using detailed demographics (like age, gender, and location) as well as psychographics (hobbies and interests.) Digital advertising platforms are adding new ways to target ads all the time, and in 2016 it will be easier than ever to focus your ad spending on the people who are most likely to purchase what you’re offering.

Digital marketing offers options and advantages which were not available a few years ago. Those advantages make it possible to get better results from your advertising dollars than ever before. While traditional print advertising can feel like hoping you hit the big one in the lottery, digital marketing is increasingly sophisticated and scientific. You can make the most of your marketing budget in 2016 by getting out ahead of these trends.

[ This article was originally featured at EclecticCattleProds.com on December 1, 2015 ]

About The Spirited Speaker

Jon J. Cardwell is the “Spirited Speaker with Compelling Insights” who is sought for speaking engagements in ministry, marketing and mogo-on-the-g’go-go.

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