Let’s take a look at some digital marketing trends and how they’ll impact your online marketing ROI in 2016.
1. New Niche and Social Platforms
The big players in social media — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — aren’t going anywhere in 2016. But they won’t be the only places to reach out to your audience. 2016 is the time for brands to broaden their social horizons. Niche social networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope will offer brands unique opportunites to engage with their base.
Periscope is owned by Twitter and Instagram is owned by Facebook, but these networks provide a different user experience than their principal sites. In 2016, we’ll begin to see more advertisers making use of these platforms to reach their audience. Instagram has already rolled out sponsored content in users' feeds while Snapchat is utilizing its Discover feed to let brands showcase themselves.
2. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is the future of marketing. By analyzing large swaths of data about consumer behavior, complex algorithms can recognize patterns that are surprisingly accurate in predicting future behavior. Not only do predictive analytics let marketers nurture their audience with personalized messages — predictive analytics can make your marketing more efficient. The models created can be used to run simulated campaigns, predict the best outcomes, and ultimately maximize your ROI.
3. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is the trend that is expected to have the greatest impact on digital marketing in 2016. Automation improves the effectiveness of marketing to consumers at every stage of the customer lifecycle — from first engagement to repeat purchasing. That’s because by being able to work simultaneously across multiple channels, and automate tasks, marketers can focus their efforts on the most important part of the job — nurturing valuable customer relationships that last.
4. Context is the New Content
As buyers continue to research products and services, the need for businesses to create content that educates them will increase. As such, content marketing will remain strong in 2016, only not in the traditional sense. Context is the new content. In an increasingly noisy world of content, the key to creating a lasting impression now relies on content that engages the user. To quote Hemingway, look for ways to “show, not tell” your audience how your product or service works.
5. Continued Focus on Mobile Marketing and Mobile Optimized Content
Two billion people will own a smartphone in 2016. If you’re still creating ads and content that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, not only are you hurting your Google search ranking, you’re effectively excluding nearly one third of the world’s population from seeing your message.
Mobile marketing will continue to be the focus for marketers as consumers continue to utilize mobile devices, but at this stage, mobile is less of a trend and more a necessity for your advertising. If your digital marketing plan doesn’t include a solid strategy for targeting mobile users, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate.
These five trends are sure to have an impact on your digital marketing efforts and your ROI. Utilize these trends and make it your new year’s resolution to integrate them effectively to improve your marketing strategy. You’ll be glad you did.