You can’t use the same digital marketing strategy from year to year and expect to be successful.
Too much changes each year in the way users access content, the types of sites they visit, and the type of technology that they use. You need to keep up with those changes each year to continue to reach the customers you want and to remain relevant.
Here are the top digital marketing trends for 2016 to consider when updating your strategy this year:
Increased Emphasis on Mobile
Everyone should have a mobile marketing strategy by now, but if you don’t, you definitely need to create one.
The use of smart phones and other mobile devices is only expected to grow, and brands that want to continue to reach consumers will have to find effective ways to do so through mobile.
Not only will 2016 see more brands increasing their mobile advertising dollars, but those brands will be looking at new strategies for connecting through mobile. That may include mobile native advertising, dedicated apps, or mobile video.
Strategies to Overcome Ad Blockers
As advertisers have become more savvy, so have consumers. More and more of them are using ad blockers.
Ad blockers have cost advertisers billions of dollars and will continue to cost them if they don’t come up with new ways to reach customers.
In 2016, more advertisers will focus on better ad targeting, improved formatting, and greater relevancy to connect with customers and get a greater return on their investment. Other strategies are sure to emerge to get around ad blockers, such as native advertising that looks like organic content.
Use of Conversational Messaging
Content continues to be king as it is still the best way to reach customers. But content style is changing.
Formal and stilted blog posts that promote products and services will be bypassed in favor of articles that use a more conversational tone. Customers want to hear from people who have a personality and who “tell it like it is.” Look at successful entrepreneurs Derek Halpern and Ramit Sethi for examples of how this is used in action, even when trying to reach a professional audience.
Providing a More Authentic Experience
More consumers are looking to get an authentic experience from a brand, rather than buying a product or service that can do it for them.
You can see this in the rise of services that send out the ingredients so that you can make a home-cooked meal from scratch. You see it in the rise of painting classes that show you how to paint a simple picture from start to finish while you sip wine and chat with friends.
If you don’t already provide a product or service that’s like this, you can adjust your marketing to show how what you do offer can provide an authentic experience. You should show how your product or service will enable them to do something else that will help them bond with family, develop themselves, or have an interesting experience.
We’d all love to have Oprah Winfrey invite us on her show to talk about our product or to include it in one of her “favorite things” list — or even to give it to guests during one of her famous giveaways.
But that’s probably not ever going to happen.
You may not get Oprah, but you can get other big influencers in your niche. With the right marketing, you can convince them to share a link, do a review, or create a partnership with you.
Sometimes, influencers might be motivated to do these things because they love your product and feel it would provide value to their own customers. Sometimes, you have to pay.
Some ways you can engage in influencer marketing include sending out free products to review, making partnerships for cross-promotion, or paying for links or social media mentions.
Need for Shorter Videos
Video has taken focus in the last couple of years, but it is shifting this year.
We know that shorter videos of less than a minute tend to capture the attention of customers more easily. Now, we’re seeing that videos need to be even shorter — anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds.
The good thing about this trend is that it forces marketers to really distill their message to make the biggest impact.
Rise of Anti-Consumerist Sentiment
There has been more talk about spending less and living more. People are re-using goods, scaling down, and even buying tiny houses that can be taken “off grid.”
In order to sell in this environment, you need to focus on the real value that your product or service will bring people. Your goods need to be seen as essential, and your marketing needs to highlight that.
Stay on top of these trends and you’ll create an effective marketing strategy that gets you more ROI in 2016.