If the past few years have taught digital marketers anything, it’s that striving to keep up with effective Internet promotion techniques might be compared to enjoying a roller coaster ride with no seatbelts. Fashions, technology, and Internet user preferences can change in a flash. Still, some traditional marketing tactics have translated very well from offline to online. Meanwhile, marketers get to enjoy an exciting ride, but they need to adapt quickly or risk falling off.
2016 Game-Changing Digital Marketing Trends
- It’s past time for website design go mobile: In May of 2015, Google already announced that mobile traffic outpaced laptop and desktop traffic in several countries, including the US. It’s interesting to note that that Smart Insights data suggests that the average time spent on a PC isn’t really decreasing. Rather, time spent on cell phones and other mobile devices is increasing rapidly. That means that it’s important to make sure you have an effective mobile design, but it’s not time to abandon updates for your laptop and desktop site.
- Your competitors might be spending more on social media ads next year: According to a survey of 5,000 marketers that was reported in Adweek, 70 percent of companies with a digital marketing budget plan to spend more on social marketing ads than they have in the past. An astounding 66 percent of companies reported that social media was considered fundamental to their business.
- Your competitors may also spend more on organic social marketing: In the same Adweek survey, 70 percent of marketers also planned to spend more on using content marketing to increase their social presence. Attracting attention via useful or entertaining content can complement social media ad spend.
- Video will become critical for digital advertising success: Most marketers have already explored the power of uploading video ads to sites like YouTube and promoting them via social media. In addition, Google is testing using video ads in their PPC search ads, and these are expected to debut soon. Platforms like Facebook already have paid video ads, and they’re performing well enough to be a new standard in the marketing mix.
- Marketers will chase influencers: What’s considered the most rapidly expanding way to to acquire new customers? It’s influencer marketing. Recent surveys suggest that getting authorities or celebrities to mention or promote products might grow faster than SEO, PPC ads, and content marketing. Tactics to attract influencers vary, but they might include sending free products to review, offering cross promotion, or simply paying a fee.
- Content marketing will have a positive impact on bottom lines: Affording to the Smart Insights survey, almost 20 percent of marketers believe that content marketing will have the greatest commercial impact for their business. This is greater than the combined totals of marketers who believe paid search marketing, organic search marketing, and social media marketing will be number one for commercial impact. Of course, using articles, videos, and graphics as content to engage prospects goes hand in hand with social and search marketing.
- The “money’s still in the list:” Adweek’s survey of the way that marketers planned to face the new year found that three-quarters of respondents said that email marketing was a core pillar of their business. When ads and content marketing get expensive and competitive, there is a great comfort in having an email list. Expect a significant portions of paid and organic search and social media budgets to focus on capturing emails to keep growing subscriber bases.
How Are 2016 Predictions Different From 2015 Predictions?
Looking back at the start of 2015, most of the marketing predictions centered around social marketing. A year ago, digital marketers wanted to know which traditional social networking platforms would get more expensive and which new social sites to exploit. Social media still works, but it’s important to look deeper into how people are using these platforms and not just which ones are popular at the moment. At the same time, web design has to keep up with technology and tastes. Finally, it’s no time to abandon some marketing basics like influencer and email marketing.