It’s that time of the year again! As we begin to wrap up 2015, it’s time to start planning and strategizing for 2016. Among the things that you have to work through during this time period is your online marketing strategy, which should be pretty high on your list of priorities. After all, a detailed marketing plan sets clear objectives, allocates resources and defines responsibilities. The trick is to make sure that the plan is constructed intelligently based on your current situation and the online marketing landscape.
After all, the online marketing industry is ever changing and volatile. Each year, new hardware, software and user preferences dictate a swathe of changes and early adopters get a head start on the competition, cementing their reputation as thought leaders in their industry.
With that established, as 2016 approaches, one of the things you need to understand is that the web is becoming an increasingly crowded marketplace where businesses have to fight tooth and nail to stand out from the crowd. This calls for a need to be remarkable, interesting, and add value. 2016 looks to be a promising year for online marketers but you need to understand the new rules of the game.
Online Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2016
1. Less velocity, more quality
Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable information to attract and retain customers and ultimately drive profitable customer action. In 2016, there will be a direct correlation between increasing the quantity of high-quality content and excellent results.
The trick is to publish relevant and interesting content on a consistent schedule – producing minimum content that deliver maximum results.
2. The dawn of the content brand website
In 2015, content brands such as Adobe and Xerox have developed independent content sites to trump branded content with free articles and resources. In 2016, this content marketing initiative of including a separate content brand website will be a successful one where the content website is masterfully integrated within the corporate website.
3. The rise of online videos
This year, another trend that took the online marketing industry by storm is the use of online videos for marketing purposes, which has been steadily growing. In fact, according to Cisco, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. If you fail to include online videos in your 2016 marketing strategy, you do so at your own peril. Video is not only the future of content marketing, it is also the here and now.
4. Watch out for Snapchat
In the past year, Snapchat has faced a fundamental question: “Is the video messaging application a place where businesses can reach their target consumers?” The answer is yes. Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, marketers are starting to understand that Snapchat is not just a tool for fun. It is a platform that users, in particular the younger generation of consumers, are flocking to, to digest content in real-time. The application is therefore perfect for campaigns where making consumers feel connected is a priority.
Take the 2016 presidential candidates, for example, who are turning to Snapchat in order to connect with voters. Snapchat is quickly becoming a standard marketing platform.
5. Relationship marketing
Relationship marketing, as the name suggests, is about forming long-term relationships with customers rather than trying to bag a one-time sale. It fosters customer loyalty and keeps customers coming back for more. In 2016, personalized and data-driven relationship marketing will become increasingly important.
After all, the Internet has made it easier for businesses to analyze and use vast amounts of information, making it possible to offer customers personalized ads, special deals and expedited service. It was only a matter of time before this became standard practice.
6. “Mobilegeddon” is beginning, not ending
Next up, 2015 was/is the year where a lot changed when it came to mobile marketing. For a start, it was/is the year mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in no less than ten different countries. Secondly, in April earlier this year, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly update to boost the ranking of mobile-friendly pages in the mobile SERPs and conversely penalize sites not optimized for mobile.
Note that starting April 21, Google also made another change to help users discover more mobile-friendly content, which is more relevant app content in its search results. This will no doubt lead to an explosion of apps in 2016 as marketers realize the online visibility benefits of indexed apps.
7. Advertising will become more expensive
And finally, as competition in the online marketing world becomes fiercer, paid search is expected to become more expensive. After all, an increase in demand is often accompanied by an increase in price. In 2016, it may become important for marketers to consider paid advertising on newer platforms like Facebook.