As 2015 winds down and we approach the holiday season, many people are preparing for some much needed rest and relaxation with family and friends. But before you get too cozy, take some time to get acquainted with the digital marketing trends for 2016. Getting a glimpse of what’s on the horizon will help you to start thinking about where your main focus should be to start your year off with a bang.
- Mobile considerations will dominate the digital landscape.
If you’re still sitting on an old website that isn’t responsive, you need to make a move and you need to do it fast. In 2015, Google confirmed that mobile usage officially overtook desktop. Furthermore, Google warned webmasters ahead of time that their April 2015 algorithm change would negatively affect the rankings of non-responsive sites. With this strategy, it is evident that Google is trying to push online content in the direction that it is inevitably going, resulting in a better user-experience. It’s the beginning of the end for the traditional computer and the rise of mobile devices for the majority of internet consumption.
Having an optimized mobile presence is no longer optional; it is a necessity to present your business in a professional and trustworthy manner. This domination of mobile will lead to a rise of platforms and applications that further cater to the mobile user’s experience over the desktop user.
- Visual media will take over plain text content.
Did you happen to catch earlier in 2015 when Instagram hit 400 million users, surpassing Twitter? Instagram, along with many others, like SnapChat, which are based solely on visual content like photos and videos, made enormous strides in 2015 and will continue to do so in 2016.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should cease all use of text-based social platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Instead, it is imperative to understand the shift and try to use a relevant, visual element to go along with your message as much as possible. Otherwise, it’s likely to get lost in a sea of words that users glaze over. This movement of preferring visual media over plain text should be something to consider in your overall marketing strategy as well. Instead of writing up 10 new blog posts, why not invest in a few videos answering or discussing the ideas? Or, perhaps, create an infographic on the subject instead of writing up a long report. Graphics are much easier to consume and share, and in a digital world filled with a million distractions, you need all the help you can get.
- Marketing automation will become vital.
With a massive amount of time being spent on developing relevant and helpful content for your target audience, any automated processes you can put in place to help nurture your leads is helpful. In fact, it’s almost necessary.
Using a marketing automation platform, like Hubspot, helps offload the effort of certain repeatable tasks, like scheduling emails, automating social media posting, segmenting contacts, managing your content, and tracking the buyer’s journey of leads in your marketing funnel. This rising trend toward more automation also allows you to stay lean, attentive, and as profitable as possible without skimping on quality.
Most businesses do not have the resources or personnel to handle every single aspect of their marketing strategy. Find where your team is lacking and create an automation strategy to help walk your leads through your sales funnel with genuine engagement and nurturing. When they are ready to reach out to you, you can easily pick up where the system left off. You should also considering outsourcing some tasks that cannot be automated to a 3rd party Digital Marketing Agency.
- More opportunities for location-based marketing will emerge.
Have you ever been at a tradeshow or conference and wished you could reach out to all the attendees with a direct and targeted message? Maybe announce special events or demonstrations happening in your booth? What about at your store front while they are walking through other stores nearby? It would be ideal to have the capability to target a user in real-time at an event or as they walk past your store in the mall. This location-based technology is already available in options like iBeacons and RFIDs and should rise in popularity in 2016.
iBeacons are transmitters that use Bluetooth technology to detect devices nearby. They can be setup in different areas, like at point-of-sale displays and conferences. This location-based marketing offers the unique opportunity to connect with attendees and send messages (including push notifications) about a special event or targeted deal, capturing the audience while they are there instead of sending them a delayed message after the event is over.
A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), on the other hand, is a small electronic device that contains a chip and an antenna, providing a unique identifier for that tag. This RFID technology can be applied to wristbands, cards, and apps, offering event attendees new and appealing ways to interact with companies.
The applications and opportunities for this type of marketing will definitely grow in 2016 and beyond. It’s exciting to imagine the new and innovative ways marketers will engage with an audience in real-time.
With these digital marketing trends for 2016 in the front of your mind, brainstorm with your marketing team how you might be able to take advantage of these new technologies and strategies. The new year is a perfect time to start something fresh or take care of areas of your digital presence that you’ve been neglecting.
If you’re looking for some advice on how to begin, we’re always here to help. Schedule a free consultation today!
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