The digital landscape changes rapidly every year, and 2016 will be no different. Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing and the shotgun approach to attracting new customers; the next wave of digital marketing strategies involves a focused, targeted effort that offers real value to consumers. It’s vital that you evaluate your resources now if you want to be successful with your digital marketing in 2016.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the combination of multiple online tools that help you brand your company, spread its message, and communicate with consumers. What makes this strategy unique over traditional radio, print, and television marketing is the availability of metrics to track the penetration of your marketing efforts, allowing you to tweak the message to make the campaign more effective. A digital campaign typically involves three parts: the content that attracts consumers, a social media presence to spread your content, and the core pages of your website that enable you to sell your products or services. All three parts must work together; otherwise, the campaign will never get off the ground.
What’s Coming In 2016?
In 2015, there was a series of transitions in digital marketing, and in 2016, those changes will become the new norm. In 2016 expect to see:
- Explosion of Video: Right now, almost half of all internet traffic is streaming video. By the end of 2016, that number will be closer to 75 percent. Consumers like video because it’s easily digestible, entertaining, and stimulates their visual learning centers. Expect consumers to demand more how-to videos and product demonstrations, and fewer text-based articles.
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- Mobile Revolution: Every year the mobile market takes share away from desktops. By 2016, roughly two-thirds of all internet activity will take place on mobile devices. For businesses, this necessitates a redesign of older websites and a focus on mobile optimization. This mobile revolution is also driving consumers to prefer apps to websites for their online interactions, especially now that Google announced the indexing and ranking of apps. Apps are often easier to navigate on mobile devices, while still offering all of the accessibility of the website.
- Digital Assistant Optimization: If you’ve ever asked Siri a question, you’ve dealt with a digital assistant. More and more mobile devices are incorporating these assistants into their operating systems. Digital assistants search for answers to queries in a different way than traditional search algorithms, which has a fundamental impact on SEO. Digital marketing must adapt with a move towards conversational tones and more visual content.
- More Advanced Insight: An increased focus on big data, and the ability to learn more about customer behavior through your metrics, will provide you with a more thorough understanding of your customers. Buying habits, demographics, and content consumption rates can reveal correlations about customer behavior that you were unaware of previously. This allows you to better tailor the customer experience to your target audience. In 2016, digital marketing will be more about comprehensive data analysis than just web traffic or keyword targeting.
- Focus on Engagement: Finally, consumers will demand more engagement from the companies they do business with. Consumers want to know their voices are being heard, and that you really care about their experience. The shift in 2016 will involve companies adopting customer relationship specialists, whose sole job is to engage with consumers via social media and the website.
The upcoming changes in digital marketing are exciting, and will expand the power of your digital strategy. Start preparing your campaign for 2016 right now, so you don’t spend a year playing catch-up.