This is so 2016! See what’s happening now in 2017.
Now 2016 has well and truly bedded in, it’s a great time to take stock on what the digital trends of 2016 are shaping up to be and ask yourself what you can or should be doing to market your business this year.
Here are some key digital marketing strategies to consider in 2016.
Content marketing is still at the forefront of digital marketing and in my opinion a strong content strategy should underpin any decent digital marketing campaign. What story are you telling your customers, how are you telling it.
One of the more recent trends is content co-creation, where brands create content together with their consumers. This might be as simple as twitter campaigns where your customers have a voice, customer endorsements, competitions, vlogs or blogs. By embracing the voice of the customer and letting their customers create content, brands build loyalty and a community.
You might not have the budget of Oreo cookies, who ran a very successful co-creation campaign creating branded cookies, but by listening and interacting with your customers and encouraging them to talk about your business/product online, you are engaging in content co-creation in your own way.
I have entitled this bit visual marketing as images as well as videos both encourage greater engagement. So keep going with infographics and use of imagery in your digital marketing, however the real growth area in 2016 is video.
CISCO prediction that 74% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2016, rising to 80% by 2019. Looking backwards, from 2013-2015 there was a 360% increase in video views. Facebook jumped on the video bandwagon and began hosting videos to keep more users on their network (instead of sending them to YouTube). Meanwhile Google is going ahead with in-SERP video advertising in a move similar to Facebook and Twitter.
If you haven’t explored using video in your marketing, now is the time to think about it. It doesn’t have to be budget blowing. Videos can be images brought to life with free online software, a whiteboard video, a simple video done with your phone or camera or you can work with a local video producer to put together a simple piece – it’s a great investment and you can use it on your website and across so many other platforms. Video is a great way to attract more views to your content and your business.
In 2015 mobile became even bigger as it overtook desktop traffic and Google released the mobile-friendly algorithm update to boost rankings of mobile-friendly pages. So mobile optimised sites are a must, and according to Google, a mobile-only site with no desktop counterpart is perfectly acceptable.
So if your website isn’t mobile friendly, then make that your priority this year otherwise you will be missing out on valuable web visitors.
The jury is still out on wearable technology but it would foolish to ignore how it will influence marketing. Wearable technology heralds a far more sophisticated era of reading people’s biological responses when purchasing and using products and services thought sensors embedded into smart clothing, glasses, watches and jewellery. Marketers will be able to respond to people’s emotional state rather than just their location or search query.
But if that it too much to take on board, at the very least consider how the rise of digital assistance, through smart phones or wearable technology, has changed the way we search.
Voice search is becoming more and more popular, so marketers will have to adjust marketing strategies to accommodate voice-based queries. Think about longer tailed searches and whether these digital assistance will even use traditional search engines at all. The key to optimising in this new format is to make sure your business information is easily accessible to these assistants, rather than trying to funnel people to your site specifically.
Which brings me onto the final section…
Search will expand beyond search engines
Not only are the rise of digital assistance taking people away from traditional search engines, search is moving beyond the likes of Google onto social networks where search capabilities are expanding.
Pinterest expanded its search algorithm and incorporating guided searches. Facebook is already working on tests for its own search engine and Twitter is being indexed by Google so that public tweets are seen on both the micro-blogging network and the wider Internet.
If you are a local business you need to invest in expanding your listings and start monitoring social more closely. Not only should your local businesses claim a social profile on every popular network (Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn), but you also need to be able to respond to what may be said about it online.
An advantage of having stronger search сараbіlіtіеѕ within the ѕосіаl media realm іѕ that brands will get elevated visibility. Combine thіѕ with thе fасt thаt payment, messaging and buy buttons will be the new norm for social sites in 2016, and you’re left with an all inclusive platform. A site user will be able to make purchases, tell their friends exactly what they bought and then post it to their profile for all to see without going near Google.
A lot to take on board and perhaps you can only scratch at the surface with your digital marketing budget, but be aware of the trends and plan wisely if you do have any budget to spend this year.