Saying that digital marketing evolves quickly is like saying the sun is hot or bacon is really good – a big understatement indeed. Each new year brings advances in hardware and software and new user preferences. In order for small, local businesses to stay competitive they’ve got to be aware of the latest trends in consumer behavior as well as what is and is no longer working.
As 2016 unfolds before us, here are 7 trends to consider as you plan your marketing strategies:
More Budgets Will Be Allocated to Social Marketing Ads
An Adweek survey of 5,000 marketers found that 70% plan on spending more of their digital marketing budget this year on social marketing ads. A sizeable 66% of those companies surveyed consider social media fundamental to their business.
Content Marketing Becomes Even More Impactful
Content marketing has been king for quite some time, but 2016 will see it become even more impactful to bottom lines. A Smart Insights survey found that nearly 20% of marketers feel content marketing will have the biggest impact on their businesses. This far outweighs the combined totals of marketers who believe organic search, paid search and social media marketing will make the biggest impact.
The same Adweek survey found that 70% of marketers plan on using content marketing to up their organic social marketing game as a way to build their online presence and expand their brand reach. Brands plan on using useful and entertaining content to complement their social media ad spend and drive action.
Mobile Websites Become Critical
In May of last year, Google announced that mobile traffic outpaced desktop traffic in several countries, including the United States. Data from Smart Insights suggests that the average time spent on a PC isn’t really decreasing, but that time spent on mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Marketers have been hearing for years that they had better ensure their websites include a mobile design, and 2016 is the year brands will definitely feel the sting of lost revenue if they haven’t already heeded this advice. This does not mean efforts on updating desktop sites are unimportant, as these efforts remain as important as ever.
More Ad Spend on Video Content
Video ads are not new, and 2015 saw many companies experience success by uploading video ads onto social media sites and YouTube. Google also began testing video ads in their PPC search ads, and marketers found using Facebook paid ads worked well. This year we can expect more brands to spend ad budgets on promotional and creative videos.
Marketers Will Spend More Time Wooing influencers
Since the beginning of advertising and selling goods, business owners have always looked for the best way to acquire new customers. Come 2016, marketers will realize the newest and best way to gain new customers is to chase and woo influencers.
Called influencer marketing, the strategy of having an industry expert or even celebrity mention or promote your offering to their followers is expected to grow faster than PPC and SEO in the coming year. There are different ways marketers might attract these influencers such as sending free products to review, offering a cross promotion, or even just paying a fee.
Email Marketing Remains a Core Pillar of Online Business
Adweek’s survey also found that nearly three-quarters of business owners felt that email marketing remained a core pillar of online business. You could say that the money is still in the list and can expect good chunks of marketing budgets, specifically for paid and organic search, to go toward capturing emails and list-building efforts.
How much time will you be dedicating to these 7 digital marketing trends in the new year?