As we kick off a new year, the first thing people in digital marketing want to know is what will be trending. Online marketing is complex and volatile, but exciting – new hardware, software, new companies and new user preferences dictate many changes. Trends are not so easy to predict, but here are some popular opinions. In a poll where people were asked to vote on the single marketing activity they thought would make the most commercial impact, the top five results were:
- Marketing automation (including CRM, behavioral email marketing, and web personalization).
- Content marketing.
- Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics).
- Mobile marketing (mobile advertising, site development, and apps).
- Conversion rate optimization (improving website experiences).
In a study on trends in consumer purchase behavior, it shows increasing complexity with purchase decisions. Consumers are spending far more time online comparing prices against different websites than ever before. A particular study with car insurance shows 82% of consumers researching online, against only 4% using offline. Video adverts are set to dominate – while video ads are not new, the reason they’ll be different in 2016 is because Google is getting on board with in-SERP video advertising. It’s a sign users are becoming more accepting of online video ads, and you can expect to see more ads popping up in unusual places. As the ranking possibilities for apps become more complex, more business owners will realize the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app. Apps can do everything websites can, in more intuitive and accessible ways. While apps won’t replace websites for a few more years, 2016 will be a pivotal year in app adoption for business owners. While 2015 saw the biggest mobile traffic (Google announced that mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries), it’s likely this year will continue the rise. With mobile sites no longer needing a desktop site version, desktop traffic is predicted to fade away. Virtual reality is stepping up – with the release of Oculus Rift, a most hyped VR device, in the first quarter of this year, we’ll see a new medium of online advertising emerging, with integration to social media platforms, video channels and direct messaging. Wearable technology and the Internet of Things will gain more traction. Like the Apple Watch, more smart watches and wearable devices will be released – think hats, shoes and even shirts – changing the landscape of local marketing. Another more disappointing trend is that online advertising is set to become more expensive. The increase in demand will no doubt increase the prices, which may push smaller companies out. New social platforms are popping up – Snapchat, Periscope, and Instagram are the new kids on the block. The promise of instant, real-time connections makes these social media platforms exciting for marketers as they search for new ways to keep users engaged and active. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are pretty saturated, so digital marketers need to know where their customers are. Predictive analytics, or Big Data, has shown big growth, with marketers able to set up campaigns based on a probable outcome, using data to highlight trends and patterns. For marketers, it means a more relevant way to interact with individuals on a personal level. More digital marketing campaigns will use Big Data as their leading strategy. It’s good to keep up with trends if you want to keep your edge as a sharp digital marketer. 2016 will bring a lot of opportunities as new tactics emerge.
WSI can help your business stay on top of the trends
To help you kick start your business this year, WSI has developed a downloadable checklist to show you how to get started and run an Inbound Marketing campaign. WSI develops comprehensive digital marketing solutions across a range of industries: Social Media strategies, Banner advertising, SEO and Paid Search. Contact us today for more information on how we can take your business to the next level.
| WSI eBiz Solutions | Atlanta GA
About the Author
Rick spent 20 years in the insurance industry in finance, primarily developing reporting platforms for B & C stakeholders. His ability to speak to consumers of data (managers and analysts) and translate their needs to programmers led him to start his own digital marketing agency in 2004 to develop data driven solutions for business owners.
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