It is that time of the year again,when we all look back and re-evaluate last year’s goals and make plans according to the predictions for the year ahead.

In the online marketing sphere, change and evolution are the norm. So keeping abreast of new tools and techniques is the only way companies can outshine their competition and become more efficient.

So let’s take a look at the top 10 digital marketing trends to look out for in 2016 that we’re all excited about!

1.App indexing

Google App Indexing was introduced a couple of years ago, but 2016 will see it go mainstream with more companies adopting apps in place of websites for mobile devices.

App indexing basically allows users to click on search engine results right through to the apps on their mobile devices.

A few weeks ago, Facebook announced that it would be using Google App Indexing. This means when people click on the Facebook app indexed pages on Google search, instead of loading web pages with that content, they will be directed to content within the app.

App indexing presents a huge opportunity for brands to gain more traffic through Google. Many brands have already built dedicated apps to serve their users better and get more visibility on mobile results.

2.Wearables

Wearable technology devices have come a long way and are predicted to become a bigger part of our everyday lives in 2016.

Smartwatches, activity trackers and communication devices which seemed like futuristic gadgets, will now move from early adoption rates to becoming more widely used – especially by the millennials.

That said, a lot of opportunities arise for innovative means of communication for brands with their audiences such as enhanced retail experience, hyper-targeted advertising and improved customer service.

But at the same time, for wearables to really become mainstream, they will need to carve out a distinct value proposition as they are often considered a niche alternative to smartphones (eg consider smart-watches)

3.Mobile first

Mobile first design and marketing strategy are topics that have been in the industry for a few years now. Every year that passes by, seems to be the “year of the mobile” as mobile searches are constantly growing along with mobile device adoption rates.

Mobile is no longer the second screen users turn to. With mobile traffic surpassing desktop traffic on Google during the summer of 2015, it has become the first screen users turn to.

So 2016 is predicted to be the definitive year of the mobile, with mobile entirely overtaking desktop. This means marketers no longer have any excuse for not having a strategy for their mobile users.

4.Video marketing

With ad-blocking on the rise and traditional advertising no longer making the impact it used to, marketers are looking for new means of reaching out to their audiences.

Video advertising is such a tool and it is growing faster than any other ad format, having much higher click-through rates and revenues.

In 2016, video ads are predicted to reach a $5 billion revenue, having grown at a 19.5% three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to the Business Insider.

5.Expanding role of content

Content marketing is increasingly becoming a major tool for brands to engage users and keep them hooked.

In 2016, content is predicted to continue to evolve, with many quoting content as the “new SEO”. Users now seek instant relevant content, tailored to their individual needs. So branded content will have to be optimized, personalized and timely served in order to be noticed.

Marketers will have to be on their feet in order to serve the right types of content, to the right people, at the right time. Thus making way for the following two important trends: marketing automation and personalization.

6.Marketing automation

With marketers having more and more tasks on their hands due to the sophisticated demands of their average user, marketing automation is a trend that will be going strong in 2016.

From CRM, scheduling, email automation and behavioral targeting, marketing automation enables marketers to get more things done, better and faster.

To this date, a Smart Insights survey on the biggest trends for 2016 shows marketing automation as the prevalent choice for marketers!

7.Personalisation

The one size fits all approach is a thing of the past. Today, more and more marketers are focusing their efforts on creating personalised experiences for their users.

It comes as no surprise that users now expect some form of personalisation from brands, as ¾ of questioned online users report being frustrated when they are served irrelevant content!

For 2016, personalisation is predicted to dominate the digital marketing landscape. The plethora of data and of tools available will enable brands to engage their audiences on a “one-to-one” level more than ever.

8.Predictive analytics

Along the lines of the previous two digital marketing trends, predictive analytics is another trend that will take off in 2016.

With the explosion of big data and smart tools available to marketers, it makes sense that we should be able to create campaigns based on predicted future outcomes instead of just current interests of the customers.

Predictive analytics can be utilized by marketers to make efficient data-driven decisions through predicting user behavior, identifying future trends and better understanding of their users.

9.Virtual reality

Once mainly a technology for gaming, virtual reality has gained a lot of traction making it a top trend for 2016.

A lot of major investments have been made in virtual reality technology, such as the Oculus Rift acquisition by Facebook.

Marketers will be able to monetize on these devices by creating engaging and educating experiences for their users. Eg think virtual changing rooms for e-tailers!

10.Exit intent technology

Finally, our last trend for 2016 is exit intent technology. It is predicted to become more of a mainstream solution, as more and more websites embrace it to improve their conversion rates and increase ROI from their marketing campaigns.

Pulling together marketing automation, personalization and behavioral targeting, exit intent technology software enhances a user’s website experience.

Exit intent overlay campaigns can be triggered on exit, and targeted to individual users based on numerous defining factors such as website page, geographic location, previous behavior or on-site behavior, time spent onsite, traffic referrer, amount spent and many more.

 

Which trend do you think should be a digital marketers #1 priority for 2016? Comment below!

 

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Victoria Stamati

Digital Marketer at Exit Bee. Loves helping websites create great campaigns to get more conversions and re-engage abandoning visitors. Keen film buff and cheese appreciator.

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