It is expected within the next year or so, internet advertising will overtake TV advertising as the most widely used form of brand communication as the chart above shows.
What can marketers do to be ready for the future?
10 experts give their top digital marketing trends for 2016.
- BIG DATA IS SIMPLIFIED: The use of masses of data as an indicator of success will turn to the quality of the data being collected. This means that the variety for each company is likely to decrease, but the specific data that will be collected will become far more efficient, useful and plentiful. The term big data is likely to become used more infrequently as a business function, instead this is likely to be broken down into the sum of its parts. – Chris Towers, Innovation Enterprise
- BUY BUTTONS MAKE BUYING EASIER: E-commerce and retail marketers listen up! Buy buttons have slowly been appearing on social sites like Pinterest and Twitter. In July, Google also confirmed its testing its own buy button. The ability to buy directly from a social site, search engine and mobile sites is going to explode in 2016. – Margot da Cunha, WordStream
- CONTENT IS THE NEW SEO: With each update of Penguin, Google continues cracking down on SEO tactics in violation of their policy. And with every algorithm update like Panda and RankBrain, Google rewards high-quality content. Forbes writes about the the decrease and coming obsolescence of black-hat link-building for SEO: “By the end of next year, new Penguin revisions and an overall decline in opportunities to do this type of link building will make its ROI negligible once and for all, forcing more businesses to pursue… quality content publication that attracts and earns links on its own merit.” – Ben Silverman, Brafton
- CROSS-DEVICE TRACKING IS A REALITY: Tracking consumers across their many devices (mobile, tablet, and desktop/laptop) is a necessity for digital marketers. Marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google can already track consumers who log in on each device. n 2016, more websites are likely to try implementing cross-device login functionality to gain similar visibility on their users and improve ad targeting. – Ryan Wilson, Founder of FiveFifty
- MARKETING AUTOMATION COMES OF AGE: As marketers today are spending at least 50 percent of their time on content, companies are coming up with more ways to automate marketing. Marketing automation alone is worth $5.5 Billion and is leading the way in lead generation and prospect nurturing. Using a marketing automation platform makes it easier to schedule emails, segment contacts, automate social media posting, manage your content, and track the lifecycle of customers in your marketing funnel. – Meaghan Moreas, HubSpot
- MOBILE OVER DESKTOP: Mobile usage will completely eclipse desktop usage in 2016. Mobile usage surged in 2015, thanks in part to Google’s decision to include a site’s mobile-friendliness in its search engine rankings. While desktop traffic won’t disappear entirely, Google is obviously anticipating that mobile traffic will dominate. It’s already happening: this year, more people used mobile search than web search in 10 different countries. – Matei Gavril, President and CEO of PrMediaOnline.com
- RETURN ON INVESTMENT BECOMES MORE REAL: Social media is now to be treated as just another digital channel. No longer can you rely on Facebook to provide free traffic to your website or blog. It’s become just another paid advertising channel. It’s time to get serious and focus on what matters. Moving beyond vanity metrics like traffic, likes and sharing to the sharp end of the sales funnel. Return on investment. – Jeff Bullas, blogger, author, strategist and speaker
- RISE AND RISE OF PAID SOCIAL ADVERTISING: Social media was free. Its pay to play. All social networks are now in this game and as social media has become just another media channel that reality is not going away. You are going to need to adapt. Facebook makes big money from this in 2015. But if you are paying you need to make sure you are measuring the results. You don’t want to be spending $100 in advertising every day and only making $50 in profit. Don’t pay for traffic until you know what it produces. – Jeff Bullas
- VIRTUAL REALITY EMERGES: Offers a refreshingly unique perspective to digital marking. By engulfing the viewer in the advertisement or commercial, virtual reality has developed an entirely new way to engage viewers. A benefit of virtual reality is that it demands the viewer’s attention. One of the struggles of marketing is to engage the viewer in a quick and effective manner.- AJ Agrawal, CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc.
- WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY BECOMES A RETAIL PHENOMENON – Next year should be the year when the consumer benefits of wearables converge to create mass-market adoption. More products will connect users to their health, clothing, technology, media systems and families. Because wearables satisfy two crucial demands of today’s savvy consumer – personalized marketing and on-demand immediacy. – Michael Kahn, CEO, Performics
Is your business involved in any of the these trends to be ready for the future? Are you interested in learning how you could be?