What will 2016 bring in digital and online marketing strategy? Will there be a new kind of Facebook? (Yes), will we see everyone next year with a wearable mobile device? (No) and is content marketing still reigning king? (Partly). Based on studies of a number of trends from previous years and a well-developed PPC agency research, here the digital marketing trends of 2015-2016. Some were used in previous years, while others are completely new.
1. Facebook gets hard (er)
No, Facebook will not die this next year (and the year after too!) it really does not disappear. What will happen is that more people will leave the platform and with that goes, how easy it was to get traffic to your website. Partly due to the barrage of negative publicity surrounding privacy and fair use (images and video stealing problems with copywrite) and also by many ads. But perhaps even more important; the use of it has changed. Facebook is the way to stay in touch with friends and acquaintances and communicate with them on a daily basis. Today we see that Apps like WhatsApp and other platforms are going to (slowly) take over.
“Facebook Alternatives” trends
It is also expected that a competitor who will stand on a (small) proportion of Facebook will nibble away at its market share. *cough Intagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Periscope, Meerkat etc…
This does indicate that people are hungry for an alternative to Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook has a solid position. How quickly users will shift is difficult to predict.
One thing is for certain…Facebook… meh, it has moms on lockdown!
2. Inter connectivity and wearables are emerging
The rampant exchange of digital data between two devices is increasingly being considered as a USP to roll out new products (like smart thermostats, fitness equipment, cars etc.). Especially for the medical industry and automotive industries this technology will bring major changes. This trend we have seen more and more coming up the last three years will only increase.
Although Samsung already been engaged with various smart watches, it is they have not been able to let consumers massively embrace this concept. But with the next year’s anticipated Apple mobile remarketing dream watch will end the concept smart watch / wearable momentum.
But it certainly will not take the form that predict certain trend watchers. This has several causes:
The real added value of a smart watch to be seen
There is no need, in contrast to e.g., the smartphone
It is an addition, not a replacement or stand-alone device
Competition of “single use wearables” (eg activity meters.)
So wearables will be sure to see next year, but it is expected that a large group of people consciously choose not to will.
3. Digital Consumer automation
In a world where we are increasingly distracted by smartphones, iPhone in app notifications, social media, pay per click management campaigns we are actually starting to have less time disconnected and will need to automate the increasing demand from us as consumers for digital marketers.
A good example of digital consumer automation is IFTTT (if this then that). IFTTT is an app / online platform which provides compounds and certain actions between two services (known recipes), eg: But don’t let the new safari IOs9 with Add blocker Apps with in App ads of course scare you.
Flagging Gmail email as favorite ==> IFTTT adds a TO-DO to your iPhone’s to-do list
It’s raining outside ==> IFTTT automatically adjusts the color of your Philips Hue lamp
You drive away from the office ==> IFTTT automatically sends an email to your partner that you drive away from the office (which I use myself)
New LinkedIn connections automatically saved to a Google spreadsheet
Automatic telephone conversations allow write in your calendar
The possibilities are endless and you can select from a large library of known recipes or make one yourself from scratch. With IFTTT you can create recipes for Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar, Android, Evernote and Dropbox.
4. Design is queen
Design and particularly user experience design(UX|UAUAX) will become even more important in 2015-2016. Users are becoming more accustomed to technology and the expectations and intensive use quality requirements will only increase. Users are no longer satisfied with a website that is not, or bad, or has been thought that just does not work fine. A digital experience should go smoothly, the content must be relevant and preferably personalized.
5. Content remains king
Content marketing and production of social content for brands and companies will only increase further in 2015. This is due to the fragmentation of social media analytics a quality content marketing strategy and consumption and short cycles (how quickly you as a person encounters new content and consuming). Also by the fragmentation of social media (more channels) will need to increase content. So more content on more channels. A good indication virals: who today spend less time “new”.
You will be so if the brand or company should amount screws (especially social area). BUT. You’ll have to make a good balance between the quality and frequency. Because being seen is one thing, let your audience interact with and converse result of that content is very different. Make also clear choices in your channels.
6. Email is chat
Do you have more and more people that you send an email with a subject line alone and that your emails are getting shorter without salutation or signature? This is because we are increasingly using e-mail in a different way. Email was once an alternative to the old fashioned letter, email nowadays often used as a kind of real-time chat or tasks list. Email has itself also needs replacement. It was years ago perfectly normal if you had to wait a few days for an answer today is a same-day (or minute) reply the most normal thing in the world.
Chat applications for certain types of email communications are a good alternative and will increase in 2015. This year we were already inbox from Google (like a second layer over your normal email) and it is expected that next year we will see the first standards enamel slowly will take.
7. Adaptive Websites
A responsive website is no longer enough. Mobile visitors have a very different information needs and desktop users. It simply displays all the information and elements of your desktop website on a smartphone is not enough. People use mobile website very differently than they do on desktop. And not only the use but also the (information) needs of a mobile user is very different.
Enter Adaptive. Adaptive web design responds to the increasing demand for good ‘mobile web experience. To Apply an adaptive website not only the design of the website depends on the device with which you visit the site but also the navigation, structure and content. Thus, it may be the case that an adaptive website has a different menu or text may be shortened in order to cater to the mobile user.
As we increasingly make use of device-specific features such as location determination via GPS and native apps we can improve the mobile web experience even further. Think of it not show products because they are not sold at a particular location.
8. Social media: further fragmentation
Users move smoothly and rapidly from one (social) media to another and often have multiple social media profiles. A study in 2014 showed that people already use between 16 and 39 on average three or four social networks. This means that you as a digital marketing trends 2016 fan you know the next Facebook will also need to look at other social media. And that is a challenge because your budget tripled probably not.
Thereby mainly niche media like Snapchat, Vine and Instagram enormously difficult to master and often require a different approach / way of thinking and a lot of guts and creativity. So you will have to think like a marketer where you can and will put the focus. If you have a limited budget, choose one channel and do it right instead of doing everything half.
9. Marketing is (big ones) partially technique
Marketing is a tension between creativity, technology and traditional marketing. Through marketing automation, PPC management, big data and real time bidding will IT specialists and developers in the coming years will play a greater role in optimizing the marketing process. That’s a challenge because techies from home often do not have the creativity and marketing intelligence and marketers not the technical knowledge.
10. Optimization and innovation are the keywords of 2015
Where we used to be ‘started extensive research, strategy and execution then we all there is no time for. With a faster time to market, it is therefore vital that we particularly testing & optimization. Not only with websites, apps and campaigns as well as products and businesses will otherwise, or rather adaptive, have to think.
For instance, in our PPC stats 2016 blog post, our research has shown that companies where previously there was about 30 years, they now have more than 12 years of existence (or after they are swallowed or cease to exist because they can not get it). Not surprising, market conditions are changing faster than ever and with disruptive initiatives across markets can change in a very short time.
11. Online Video
First, a few figures and statistics *:
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google Adwords Expert.
People watch an average of two online videos per day
60 second video is equivalent to 1.4 million words
In the Netherlands 3 billion online videos viewed
1 in 2 people looking daily online video
That online video is here to stay but it was already clear next year will be even more important to tell people your story in a short time as a marketer. Especially on social media, video will play a greater role.
* Thanks to Rik Whistler
12. Vision, mission and story is important
In a world where nearly everyone has access to the global marketplace ‘competition is fiercer than ever. Almost every product or service is now subjected to some form of disruption. Simon Sinek said five years ago; “Focus on the why.” Especially with homogeneous products and services it is important that the ‘WHY’ Your emerges. This is what remains “stick”.
13. VR finally comes
Early 90s everyone was talking about: virtual reality. It would drastically change our lives! And then: nothing. The technology was there at that time simply not ready.
Fast forward to 2014. VR technology has become so advanced that VR (and augmented reality) within a few years will be fully integrated into our lives.
As the Oculus Rift was one of the most more successful Kickstarter projects. They have since 2014 a partnership with Samsung and now there is the first VR glasses there that you can connect your smartphone to play games in the VR. Awesome! Google Glass was an extra layer of reality (augmented reality), VR is able to display a digital image which is seamlessly integrated with the real world.
Consider eg once the following applications.:
Online shopping experience that is substantially the same as physically step into a store
Home watching movies where you play along in the movie
Operations and other medical applications
14. Less is more
The latest trend is probably the most interesting. A good PPC Company can benefit you as a small business owner and director of marketing needing great deliverable and communication is shorter and more to the point. This is because people have less and less time. Snap Chat, Vine and also in some of the previously mentioned trends play here. You’ll communications and content so here must adapt. That means even be creative and make clearer choices.
This trend follows I already proverbial digital year. I’m curious if you still have some trends itself signaled not stand here and what your expectation is digital in 2016!