The Future of Digital Marketing
Way back in February of this year (that’s before you could catch Pokémon on your phone, before Tim Peake visited space and when you could get 5-1 odds on Leicester winning the premiership) we made some predictions about ‘What should be in your 2016 digital marketing strategy?’
As we’re now well into the second half of the year, we thought we’d have a look at what digital marketing trends are performing in 2016.
Earlier in the year we looked at ‘10 Reasons to Use Content Marketing in 2016’, and cited a survey of marketers by Smart Insights which found 18% of marketers believe content marketing will have the ‘greatest commercial impact’ out of all digital marketing activities in 2016.
Seth Godin, best-selling author, entrepreneur and general marketing legend, insists that “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
According to Content Marketing Statistics: The Ultimate List, 80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy and, if the North American market is anything to go by, then as much as 88% of marketing will be done through content.
Thanks to the sheer volume of companies and individuals in the content marketing game (it’s predicted that by 2017 51% of companies will have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy) businesses need to rise above the noise with original, substantial posts.
With readers wanting a more interactive experience, 2016 has seen an increase in brands (53% of content marketers use interactive content) using quizzes, calculators, flowcharts, and polls as ways for users to get directly involved with the content they produce.
Video continues to be one of the biggest content marketing trends of the past few years, regardless of whether you sell to businesses or individuals. In fact, Syndacast finds that 74 percent of all Internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
HubSpot reported: adding a video to a landing page may increase conversations by roughly 80 percent, enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97% and 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.
Again, due to sheer volume (more video content is uploaded in 30 days than all three major US TV networks combined have created in the last 30 years!), it’s important it’s done right.
“Video style is changing to short, texted videos that grab attention quickly and have an emotional angle.” Nic Newman, Reuters Institute (Source: Econsultancy)
We all know the importance of making your website and all other digital marketing content mobile-ready. 2015 saw mobile searches surpass desktop searches for the first time and according to Google, more people now search via their mobile devices than their computers in ten countries, including the US and Japan. In fact, recent data shows 1 in 3 online minutes are now spent on mobile
“Mobile and app usage accounts for 60-70% of orders.” Ben Carter of JustEat, self-professed champion of online takeaway ordering with over 14.2 million customers worldwide (Source: Econsultancy)
Mobile marketing is the future.
We mentioned in How to Claim Pole Position on Google in 2016, if your site is not mobile-friendly then Google gives it their lowest rating. Google’s emphasis on brands ensuring their sites are easy to use on mobile devices seems to have paid off. According to their data, 85 percent of all pages it shows on its mobile search results pages are now mobile-friendly.
So if you’re not already mobile-friendly, what are you waiting for?
We’ve seen some big changes to social platforms this year. At the end of June 2016, Facebook announced that the News Feed algorithm was going to shift so that it more favourably promotes content posted by friends and family. This means business page posts will reach less people, potentially meaning businesses will need to spend more on advertising or boosts to be seen.
Less controversially, Twitter announced four changes to its iconic 140 character count aiming to improve the ease of conversations between users while ensuring the essence of Twitter (short, to the point, tweets) is maintained.
- @names will no longer count towards the character count when you reply to a Tweet
- Tweets beginning with @ will now show to all your followers, meaning no more “.@”.
- Media attachments (images, GIFs, polls, etc.) will no longer be included in the character count, effectively freeing up 24 characters.
- You will now be able to easily Retweet/Requote your own Tweets.
It’s been suggested that these ‘simplifications’ to the site are because newer platforms, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, now have more users than Twitter.
While social media marketing strategies may need tweaking to reflect these changes, social is still vital for businesses (a survey from socialmediatoday.com showed that over 70% of marketers believed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be essential for advertising):
- A study by The Social Habit showed 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
- In the State of Social Selling in 2015, nearly 75 percent of companies that engaged in selling on social media reported an increase in sales in 12 months.
- Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support—and companies that deliver win out.
- A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies engaging in social customer service see much bigger annual financial gains (7.5 percent YOY growth) vs. those without (2.9 percent).
In 2015, advertisers spent $23.68 billion on paid social media advertising. By 2017, that number is predicted to increase by 33.5% to $35.98 billion according to eMarketer.
Other social media marketing trends in 2016 include:
- Utilising social media to drive event and experiential marketing
- Hyperlocal social targeting
- Tapping into social mobility with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Need Some Help?
The year isn’t quite over (despite how it might feel with all the memes telling you how many shopping days you have left till Christmas!), you still have a couple of months to get on board with these trends.
If you need any help updating, or implementing, your digital marketing strategy then we’re here to help!
Call our friendly team for a chat on 01763 877110 or click this link.