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Trends That Will Dominate 2016

The end of the year is a great time to wrap up what you have done so far, check what’s being working for you in a year behind you and prepare your digital marketing strategy for a year ahead of you. As blueprint for your 2016 digital marketing strategy takes shape I thought about presenting you with what’s currently in focus of most marketers and spread out some predictions for the year 2016. Take the time over the holiday season to do the research and plan where your focus should be in next year and focus is, believe me, what you’ll be needing the most.

Marketing has changed drastically over the past couple years and will continue to change as the buyer’s/visitors/prospects habit’s change and new technologies rise. As marketers we need to evolve and adapt. However, quality branding, creative content creation and knowing and understanding your target audience behavior and hangouts are still at the core of any real marketing strategy.

Online #marketing #strategy trends that will dominate 2016 Click To Tweet
Today there are too many channels to cover for your business. Still, your website should be at the center of your business now more than ever. You may rely on the big guys and popular websites in many ways but you have the control over your website and that’s what makes your website your most important digital asset and the one you should start with.

At The Core Of Your Website Should Be Effective Content Marketing

At The Core Of Your Website Should Be Effective Content Marketing
There is too much of content marketing already! A staggering 93% of marketers are already into it. However, 50% of content is getting just 8 shares or less which indicates just how hard is to win the audience. So, how do you make your content marketing efforts stand out in such a crowded space and grab the attention of your potential customers?

With so much content around bar is already set high. So, start building high-quality content. Sounds easy but when you think about it, it involves carefully planning your actions from writing to sharing, keeping up with the trends, doing a proper research on the subject of your interest and identifying specific target audience you’re trying to reach. Stop focusing only on making the sale, and start focusing on delivering true value to your prospects and potential clients.Define and clarify to your potential customers what problems you are solving for them. Give them value they can appreciate and share.
Start building high-quality #content and brand yourself as well as your content/company/business. Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016
Brand yourself as well as your content/company/business. Create content that offers not only solution to your potential customer problems but that showcases your authority on the subject as well. It is the best way to establish connection and trust which in turn secures engagement from your potential customers.

Personalize your content marketing. Find a way to speak directly to your potential customer.

Interactive content marketing. Spice up your content with interactive features such as interactive videos, quizzes, galleries, interactive infographics, polls etc.

High-quality Content Is The New SEO

High-quality Content Is The New SEO
Best free traffic in the world still comes from search engines, the organic search, and it’s highly unlikely this will change in 2016. In that regard YES, SEO still works and, believe it or not, it brings more traffic than social shares. Competition for keywords, page rank, etc. with so much content is only going to get more difficult so making a long tail keyword oriented posts is must. Popularity of those posts ie social signals, link building and authority site links will only add up to your search engine result placements.

Educate yourself in 2016 more than you have before. For the first time, Google has released the full version of its Search Quality Raters guidelines and handbook. It is 160 pages of wonderful SEO knowledge you need to use in your high-quality content you are making. Also, SEO world is a living organism watch it change with Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors.
High-quality media rich #content is the new #SEO Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016
Media rich content. Already posts with videos and other rich media have priority in search engines for the categories that rely on video as a medium. Those posts attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts but don’t expect much from it if you’ve done a lousy job on your video SEO. Proper keywording should follow your page SEO maximizing your chances to appear not only in web search query but image/video search as well. Having a speedy and trustworthy online video platform helps as well.

The World Is Already Social Now You Need To Focus

The World Is Already Social Now You Need To Focus
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram were the top seven platforms used by marketers and users in 2015. 67 percent of Twitter users are more likely to purchase a product from a brand that they follow on the social media site. 70% of car buyers who use YouTube are influenced by video content when making their purchase. On the other side of the coin 64% of marketers are already using social media to promote their business for 6 hours or more weekly.

You don’t need stats and surveys to tell you that we live in the world of social media. Everyone is opinionated, everything is shared and everything is just a click away. Shares/likes have become a commodity for businesses even though more often than not it turned out it’s more likely someone shared your post because of how it makes them look to others, than because they just really into what you published. What more you can no longer rely on social networks to provide you with free traffic to your website as more and more of them are becoming just another paid advertising channel.

A lot has happened in 2015 with social networks. YouTube challenged Twitch for its gaming audience. FaceBook made a move on YouTube’s audience with their native videos. SnapChat and Instagram joined in for their piece of video space. YouTube Red was announced. Twitter killed the API that tracks their share counts across the entire web. Instagram and Pinterest advertising options are on the rise. Landscape is constantly changing so should you approach to social networks.
Focus on traffic from #socialnetworks not vanity metrics ie likes and shares! Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016
Focus. Instead of covering every damn network that is out there focus on those that work for you. If you are starting a new business, by all means, test them all out. But if you already have a presence put in all your effort and budget on selected well performing ones.

Traffic. Move beyond vanity metrics ie likes and shares, and focus on the only measurable thing social network can provide that truly benefits your site: traffic. Organic or paid it doesn’t matter as long as you have a positive ROI on them.

Combine. Social networks are great for traffic, brand awareness and customer engagement above all. Combine your social network presence with other digital marketing tactics like landing pages shares and/or email list submissions to maximize your ROI.

Ads. Social ads are highly targetable and (at least for now) relatively affordable. Use it while you still can.

Mobile Will Be Everyone’s Window To The World

Mobile Will Be Everyone's Window To The World
Many brands/websites have survived mobilegeddon but they are still missing out on the importance of mobile in the everyday life of their customers. Smartphones are used more prevalently by younger adults for news, shooting and watching videos, taking photos and listening to the music. New generations ‘millennials’ and those close by aren’t watching TV, but YouTube. No more sitting down to watch the weekly shows, but scanning Facebook on smart phones for news/views/clicks/shares. I read news via my smartphone now much more than I ever did when I was buying newspapers. Now, I’ve done it and I’m certain you’ve done it as well.

No wonder big guys have turned their heads to smartphones. The top three YouTube’s priorities, according to YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki, are “mobile, mobile, and mobile”. Four years ago, only 6% of YouTube views came from mobile devices. Today, more than half of YouTube views and 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices. If that’s not enought stats think about fact that 75% of Facebook’s revenue is from mobile advertising.
There is a powerful connection between social networks and smartphones. According to ShareThis latest study on social behavior across various devices, sharing on mobile devices is notably more frequent than on desktops. Taking all these in consideration if you’re not thinking about your mobile customers you are missing out big time. And it’s not just about making a mobile friendly pages.
Videos are expected to make up 60% of all mobile data traffic by 2020. Don't miss out! Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016
Video. Videos are expected to make up 60% of all mobile data traffic by 2020 and 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. That’s why implementing them to digital marketing strategy is the number one priority for most marketers. However, different formats for different platforms is what’s hardening the work. (anyone who ever used an iPhone knows that video always pops out to full screen player when you want to watch video from a web page i.e. it’s not possible to play videos in page but with Brid player it is).

Proximity marketing. Goes hand in hand with personalization of your content making approach. Basically it uses mobile technologies (GPS) to engage customers offering personalized content (example: different content for when customers are close or inside a store, to serve them with location based content from store info to uniqueness of the products etc).

Wearables. Not a fan but one can’t neglect the rise of smartwatches, activity trackers, and similar gadgets which opens up completely new market.

Don’t Forget The Power Of Email

Don’t Forget The Power Of Email
Even though changes have affected the tactics of acquiring prospects and keeping them hooked on your offers, Email marketing still is, and I believe will be, one of the most effective means to reach your targeted customers and keep up the customer loyalty. Getting new subscribers via social networks and content marketing is already here. Frankly, I can’t remember when was the last time I have red something without ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ pop up. And newsletters are already packed with integrated video, smart pop-ups, animated gifs, customized designs depending upon user’s history etc. if you are not evolving your newsletter in this direction you’ll lose your customers.
#Email #marketing still is one of the most effective means to reach your targeted customers. Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016
Mobile optimized email marketing. With the rise of smartphone usage it is obvious you have to adapt your email marketing to embrace new format. That means your email marketing now needs expert inputs from your graphic designer, video editor, and content writer or jack of all trades to help you maximize your reach.

It All Revolves Around Video

It All Revolves Around Video
Throughout 2015 we’ve been reading different stats claiming the same thing: video is a must in today’s marketing. Whether it is explainer video, how to video…, viral commercial video, home made video, video ad etc. video is the main way people get their kicks on the internet nowadays. We all would rather watch a video then download and read a white paper, right?
Thanks to social networks and smartphones video consumption has gone from prime time family fun to all the time fun. People now want the right information straight away. The average human attention span in 2013 was only 8 seconds leaving you not much of a time to say what you have to say, quickly and memorable, or at least enough interesting so you can try and earn their trust in the following 60 seconds. After the first 60 seconds audience engagement drops, particularly if customers are not familiar with your brand.

Nowadays there are many options available, a variety of distribution channels where you can add and/or promote your videos. Youtube channel and/or embeds, native Facebook video and online video platforms (just to name few.) The obvious question is which one should you choose?

Basically you are competing in a world that watches every move you make, but only for couple of seconds, if you don’t get it right.
Thanks to #socialnetworks and #smartphones video consumption is on the rise. Click To Tweet

What’s gonna be hot in 2016

Mobile video. With IAB setting HTML5 as the new industry standard and Flash out of the way, alongside with other facts presented here, mobile video is the next big thing you should be involved in.

Narrowcasting with video content. Using a specific video to reach to your niche. The more specific your video is, the better results you will have when it comes to conversion, because it won’t get burdened by unqualified viewers and it will directly affect the usage of your service.

Micro-moments. Real-time, intent-driven micro-moments are the new battlegrounds for brands and only personlized approach to each of them, with video, will help your brand stand out. Google already defined those and even gave you a tip on how to use them so now it’s up to you do the the proper home work.

Viewability. Viewable video advertising has been and is a huge topic in 2015 with a discrepancy within the industry as to what this term ‘viewable’ actually means.

360 degree video experience. As much as I love them I’m not sure how much will they pick up especially in 4K resolution. It’s not the expence but the production style that is new and has to be managed first. Otherwise the potential is there.

Instead Of Conclusion

It’s gonna be tough next year. Trends that marked 2015 like mobile browsing, video advertising, Big Data analytics will continue to evolve and grow not just in potential audience reach but competition as well. But it’s gonna be fun as well.

It all boils down to making an engaging content and how engaged your visitors, prospects, potential customers are as they are more likely to share your content with others and they spend more time on your website thus allowing you to exploit them in order to gain exposure, increase your traffic, brand your product or earn additional revenue with your ads.

Did I miss out something? What are your predictions for the trends of 2016? share your views here in comments let’s make this a discussion we all could benefit from. Thanks in advance!

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