What will be the most important digital marketing trends in 2016-2017?

Four months to the end of the year, and businesses or marketers who seek to lead the vanguard of change are already on the lookout for what’s new and changing. Keeping up with trends can help you compete and decide where to invest your money. The following are five growing digital marketing trends that will dominate 2016-2017.

1. Search will go beyond the world wide web

The world wide web uses conventional search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, or DogPile to explore companies and websites. There are many more less-known search engines, such as Boardreader, Omgili, Dotmos.com, Meltwater IceRocket.com, and Blog Search Engine.org that dig into what’s called the Deep Web. Regular search engines can only retrieve information from pages that are accessible to it, or that are large enough to be discovered. But there are many other groups on sites, such as Twitter, Behance, Ryze, forums, password-protected business sites, Tumblr, Reddit, or up-and-coming blogs that are inaccessible because they are too small, password-secured, or not registered with search engines. The science journal Nature notes that about for every one web site, approximately 3000 are hidden from engines. A growing trend is to use various social media, apps and strategies to uncover them.

2. Content Marketing

As much as 88% of marketing will be done through content. In fact, Seth Godin insists that “Content marketing is the only marketing left.” Virtual space has become so saturated that advertising, websites, blogs, telemarketing efforts and similar pull in far less than they ever did when the web was young. Businesses need to rise above the noise, and the only way they can do so is by original, substantial posts. Articles that interest and differ from others attract repeat viewers. This is why content is the new monarch that rules only when it is relevant, serves people, or solves their problems.

Content marketing is changing form. Longer posts seem to be on the rise, and a growing number of companies are turning to case studies.

3. Video Marketing

2015 was called the year of video marketing according to Forbes, but actually the years 2016 to 2017 may see even more companies integrate videos on their websites. Syndacast finds that 74 percent of all Internet traffic in 2017 will be video. Studies show that using the word “video” in the subject line of an email will prompt 19% more recipient to open them, 65% more to visit your website, and 26% less subscribers to leave. Twitter says that videos and photos get the most retweets. Videos impact because they entertain, have viral potential, demand little of the brain, and can be used for educating, too. The Animoto research blog says that 58% of customers tend to trust companies that feature clips.

4. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is the future. Go almost anywhere and you’ll find bypassers absorbed with their mobiles. Seventy-five percent of Americans bring their phone to the bathroom. Forty percent of shoppers ream through four or more sites before buying. Four out of five customers use smartphones to shop. And nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone today, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. These are just some of the statistics that explain why marketers are falling in love with mobiles.

The three most common mobile marketing methods are, in order of importance: short message service marketing (SMS) or text messaging, search engine marketing (SEM) followed by display-based campaigns, where you target ads to website’s typical keywords.

5. Internet of things (IoT)

As futuristic as it sounds, wearable devices have tapped the horizon and are wonderful gizmos for marketers who use them to connect with their wearers. Marketo says that 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect IoT to revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020. Marketers will use IT to analyze customer behavior, to learn how customers interact with devices and products, to gain better insight into consumer decision making, for real time interactions, and to improve their customer service.