With the digital marketing climate constantly changing and evolving, many business owners and marketers have a common concern about their website and internet marketing efforts becoming obsolete. Although we cannot fully predict what new "trends" will come in 2016, here are a few tactics that are worth keeping a close eye on as they continue to grow and expand into the new year.
Brands will Continually Adopt Responsive Design and Apps
In 2015, Google announced their “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update, rewarding mobile-friendly pages with a boost in Google’s mobile search results. As we approach 2016, mobile usage and mobile traffic will continue to rise. While desktop traffic won’t disappear entirely, it is predicted that mobile traffic will dominate in 2016. In fact, it’s already happening. Google announced last year that search on mobile has taken over desktop in 10 countries including the United States and Japan.
When Google released the algorithm, information from indexed apps also became a factor in search rankings. Since then, app indexing which drops app content into Google mobile search results has taken off. Although it is becoming incredibly important to have an optimized website to attract mobile users, apps are proving to be just as effective. In fact, 72% of mobile engagement relies on apps vs. on browsers. Apps have the capability to do everything that websites can, except in more intuitive, convenient ways. Mobile apps may not completely replace optimized websites in 2016, but it could be a substantial turning point in how consumers gather, use, and interact with content.
Content Marketing Isn’t Going Anywhere
It shouldn’t come much to a surprise that content marketing will continue to grow and be an essential part of the digital landscape in 2016. Google is becoming more advanced in filtering out those who are trying to trick the system, and reward those who provide content that is genuinely useful to the end user.
About 67% of consumers rely on content when researching and making a purchase decision and 75% of consumers enjoy when brands offer personalized offers and content. Whether your content marketing strategy includes social media campaigns, email newsletters, blogs, seminars, infographics, videos, or your website itself, in order to reap in the benefits, content has to be defined and remain relevant and useful to your audience.
Video Content will Dominate the Web
Video proved to be a key content platform in 2015. In fact, 69% of marketing, sales, and business professionals have used video marketing, and 54% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Experts are also going as far to predicting that video will take up 69%of all online traffic by 2019. This goes to show that as the digital landscape continues to advance, so will the ways that we consume content. For example,Facebook revealed that the number of videos posted on the social platform per person in the US increased by 94% between 2014-2015, and 50% of Americans regularly use Facebook watch at least one video daily. In regards to website performance, studies have shown that visitors will stay on a homepage for two minutes longer if it has a video.
Written content will always remain in the marketing space, however video content has the power to engage and attract users on a whole different level. 2015 was the year for storytelling, audience curation, and consumer engagement. As video content continues to flourish in popularity and favor among consumers, smart brands will continue to renew, adjust, and broaden their marketing strategies to include this medium.
Brands Allocating More Funding Towards Social Advertising
Social media advertisement spending has grown substantially and will likely continue to do so in 2016. According to eMarketer, by 2017 social network ad spending could reach $35.98 billion, representing 16.0% of all digital ad spending globally.
Taking Facebook for example, some brands have actually seen a decline in organic reach on their posts over the past few years. Why? Facebook has shifted its focus on creating positive experiences for users by de-cluttering the news feed, ultimately cutting down branded posts. If marketers are wanting to reach their targeted demographic, raise brand awareness, increase organic reach, and drive referral traffic on a larger scale, whether to their business page or website, they now have to pay for it. Going into 2016, it’s highy likely that brands will allocate more funding towards social advertising if they have not already done so.
Marketing Automation Tools Maturing as a Reliable Resource
Marketing automation tools help marketers gather important data insights, guiding them toward making better strategic decisions and improving their bottom-line. Organizing and sifting through mounds of data can be daunting, but if the marketer has the appropriate knowledge to accurately analyze and utilize the data, these programs can be a tremendous resource to cultivate information.
Approximately 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation tools, and 65% of marketing executives plan to spend more money on marketing technology in the coming year. Thanks to search engines and social platforms, these mediums have closely monitored and tracked user behavior – giving marketers access to an enormous bank of information. In 2016, marketing automation tools will continue to mature and serve as a great resource for marketers to analyze this data; aiding marketers to make confident, real-time decisions about their marketing strategies.
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