The Top 2016 Online Marketing Trends
By Hannah Spanhake
Online marketing is an ever changing, complex, but very exciting landscape. Every year, new technology, innovations and user preferences demand a mileage of changes that either get embraced or neglected by businesses.
Those who embrace the changes leap ahead of their competition, while those who avoid it loose their rankings. 2016 will be no different and it’s going to be a great year for online marketing! I anticipate these top 6 trends will be a focus for those embracing the changes to the online marketing landscape:
1. The domination of video advertising
Video advertising definitely isn’t new, with YouTube, Facebook and Bing already presenting the offering. But 2016 is set to be different because Google is finally getting on board with video advertising in their search engine results pages. This shows that users are becoming more accepting of video advertising. As this trend develops, we’ll start to see more video advertising displaying in unexpected places online.
2. Mobile will begin to overtake desktop
Mobile was a huge topic in 2015 with a two significant changes. Firstly, Google announced that mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries. Secondly, Google released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update to weed out websites not built in a mobile friendly manner. These few changes won’t be enough to drive down desktop traffic alone, but it’s clear what Google’s perspective is. Mobile-focused online marketing is the future. For example, two-thirds of email newsletters are now read on mobile devices.
3. ‘In-the-moment’ updates will shine on social
Social media by its nature is ‘in-the-moment’, but some social media channels are more so than others. Periscope, for example, allows users to broadcast live video. Periscope is growing (and fast!) with users collectively watching an equivalent of 40 years worth of live video every day. Other social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat also support ‘in-the-moment’ updates and together could signal a new era of immediacy in social media.
4. Increased competition for organic visibility on social media
Social media marketing will become more established and accessible for a wider range of businesses in the coming year. This will increase competition for organic visibility. Facebook is already choking organic visibility to force businesses to pay for advertising, and as more businesses emerge on social media, that hold will only increase. This will also drive up the cost of social media advertising.
5. Email newsletter personalisation will generate results
Consumers are continuing to focus on what means the most to them meaning personalisation will be a hot topic for a long time. This can be done with implicit personalisation and/or explicit personalisation. Using both types is important for a well rounded and relevant email marketing strategy.
An example of implicit personalisation would be sending specific email newsletters to certain age groups to deliver targeted messages. Explicit personalisation, is used best with existing customers. For example, if you purchased a pair of jeans, you may get a personalised email a few weeks later asking “How are your new jeans going John? They’ll go really well with this limited edition shirt we just got in stock!”
6. Lightboxes will grow your email list
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now the growing number of websites that interrupt your reading or shopping experience with a pop-up? Some marketing professionals view them as an annoyance (as do a number of the general public), however, using these pop-ups known as lightboxes, have been proven to grow email lists 5 to 10 times faster than a traditional email signup fields in a website.
These trends will penetrate the landscape of online marketing in its many forms and many audiences. It is the businesses who embrace change and utilise them to their benefit who’ll benefit the most. My advice? Prepare for, and even invite the changes. You’ll outrank your competition and be rewarded with increased organic visibility and a greater reputation.