The two digital marketing trends that will define 2016
1. The future is in the palm of your hand: mobile will dominate
Mobile internet usage is overtaking that of desktop – it definitely helped that Google gave mobile responsiveness a starring role in its most recent algorithm update. The better geared your site is towards mobile, the higher up you’ll be.
How else can you capitalise on mobile? There’s a short and a long answer to that question. The short answer is: if your business doesn’t have an app, what are you waiting for?
The long answer is this: app indexing means that app content shows in Google mobile search results. This is especially pertinent because apps are convenient and responsive to their users – and it’s clear that marketing is driving ever-faster towards creating personalised experiences for customers.
Smart digital marketing means business
Mobile is potentially the most important channel your business has to communicate and connect with both B2C and B2B customers. If you think its usage is driven by gaming, shopping, or hashtags and selfies on “the ‘Gram”, think again – mobile usage is driven by your business clients, who’ll often be researching and working outside of standard business hours (usually the evenings).
Because of the instant-access nature of the medium, meeting your customers where they are (and whenever they’re there) has to be baked into your strategy; it’s no longer a ‘nice to have’. A clever way to implement this is to ensure your business is found by digital assistants like Siri and Cortana. Leaving it until you’re only found on the web will soon become far too late.
Digital videos (not necessarily cat-driven) are also becoming a cornerstone of digital marketing. Now that Google’s search algorithm also includes videos, it’s clear that users and businesses value the format. We’ve seen that the likes of Facebook are now offering video options to their advertisers – and nearly 80% of Marketing Land survey respondents said they’d devote a chunk of video ad budgets to tablet devices.
2. Tech will become more wearable; virtual reality will become real
It was a slow start for the likes of Google Glass, but products like Oculus Rift are aiming to make a major impact in the virtual reality market. And where games, social media and video channels go, digital advertising surely follows. Until then, wearables like Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2 are picking up steam.
It’s all in the wrist?
An optimistic 2015 report from Business Insider states that the future of digital marketing may also be on your wrist: the smart watch is set to become “a leading product category”, and the “global wearables market will grow at a compound annual rate of 35% over the next five years, reaching 148 million units shipped annually in 2019, up from 33 million units shipped this year.”
That means taking a closer look at your content strategy: while the need for content isn’t getting any smaller, the types of content you’ll be publishing should shrink to fit the ultra-small screen. We think outlets like Buzzfeed will lead the way here, but your marketing and content teams will need to think about how content is presented and searched to make the most of it.
So your main takeaway is this: when it comes to digital marketing, think pocket-sized to win big.