Top 6 Digital Marketing Trends that will dominate 2016

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As 2016 rolls in, it’s time for those new year’s traditions – but aside from clichéd resolutions about hitting the gym, or achieving a better work life balance, have you considered your digital marketing objectives for the year?
A lot of the time, people’s new year resolutions never see the light of day because they fail to consider one critical factor – what’s actually happening in the world around you? The success of your goals is largely determined by whether or not they fit into the current scheme of things. As a digital marketer, you’re faced with countless new updates every week and keeping up with them becomes a large part of your overall marketing strategy and success.
As you stand at the edge of this year, assessing your accomplishments of 2015 and wondering where you need to make a change, take a look at 6 key digital marketing trends that will dominate 2016…

1. This Thing Called Relationship Marketing

B2B Marketing

Estimates indicate that the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016.This ever-increasing rise in users across the digital sphere inevitably means that the need to stay connected with customers and prospects is more important than ever. 2016 will see a big transition from short term customer relationship goals, to fostering customer engagement that leads to stronger commitment and increased sales.
New technology allows brands to alert their customers via smartphone notifications, whenever a new product or service becomes available. This leads to increased and real time engagement, promoting customer loyalty and generating new leads.

2. Buy Buttons

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In July 2015, Google announced that they were experimenting with a buy button. In 2016, marketers predict that social sites and Google are going to turn into retailers themselves, with the introduction of a buy button that allows you to make a purchase directly on Google or social media sites like Twitter. As a marketer, what you have to consider is, how will this affect my conversion rates? Although Google claims the buy button will increase sales, marketers are still anxious about the potential impact on brand loyalty and business.

3. Personalised PPC

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According to an Adobe study, one-third of marketers see personalisation as the most important capability in the future of marketing.
Personalised targeting, personalised offers and personalised ads are going to be the major trends in world of PPC this year. In September 2015, Google launched a new type of targeting to overcome the obstacles associated with customers switching devices. This targeting method called ‘Customer Match’ is no longer cookie based, but uses ID based targeting. What this means is you can continue the conversation with your users even if they switch from laptop to their mobile phone. But, how does this personalise your advertising efforts? Customer Match lets you create and target a custom user audience simply by uploading a list of email addresses. You can use an existing database to target customers at different stages of their user journey and it allows you to reach them on Search, Gmail or YouTube.

4. The “Everything App” – FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Facebook for business

Facebook Messenger was the fastest growing app of 2015. The company has big plans for this App in 2016 – the aim is to turn it into the “Everything App”, by ensuring that users can access almost all businesses and services via Messenger, making other Apps irrelevant. Another interesting change was delinking the App from the core Facebook platform, allowing users to use it without a Facebook account. What’s truly relevant to marketers is the new Facebook Messenger for Business. The widely popular Messenger was transformed into a chat service for B2C and B2B conversations. An article by Business Insider described it as “So big, that it doesn’t even think of Messenger as an app. Facebook thinks of Messenger as a platform on which entire businesses will be built.”
“One day, there will be companies built on Messenger, and we are at the beginning of that ecosystem.”- Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships.

5. Show me the Sales! – The Focus on ROI

ROIMost marketers will agree that digital marketing is seeing a new wave of change, dominated by a focus on sales. For the last few years, our social media strategies have concentrated on creating unforgettable content, real time engagement and building brand credibility. These social media metrics are now increasingly being viewed as ‘fluff’ (I realise this sounds a bit harsh); but the reality is that the new age of marketing requires more than just brand management in the digital arena. CEOs and Directors are now looking at how social media management services can generate leads and increase revenue.

2016 will see a large shift from traditional marketing practices, focused on conversations, content and creativity, to an emphasis on leads, leads and more leads! While this new addition to digital marketing gains momentum, a marketer’s biggest challenge for 2016 is maintaining a balance between quality content and sales-driven content.

6. Will Video Run the Show?

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The rise of videos is one of the biggest trends to hit the digital world in recent years – every major digital player has made videos a central part of their service. This includes Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and Bing. It’s no secret that platforms like Twitter and Facebook have been experimenting with videos for a while. GIFs and Vines play automatically as users scroll down their Twitter feed; and embedded videos on Facebook play automatically as well, despite many users’ annoyance with this feature.
The latest development in video advertising has been put forth by Google – the search giant has announced that it will embed videos in search results. This transition from text-based Ads to video-based Ads will change the way content is created and presented across the internet. This is an exciting time for marketers who are looking to revamp their content marketing strategies and transform their digital approach. As an article in Forbes summed it up “With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless.”

At Hannon Digital, we work hard to incorporate the latest digital trends into our marketing strategies. Each piece of content is designed keeping in mind the ever-changing landscape that makes up the digital world. To speak to an expert on how you can leverage the power of social media to elevate your brand, call us on +44 (0) 0845 056 3446 – or e-mail Colm@hannondigital.com