As we say goodbye to the year of the Beliebers, we take a look at five of the latest digital trends that are gearing up to take over digital marketing in 2016:
#1 TOTAL MOBILE DOMINATION
IN: Mobile optimized websites with a focus on user experience
As mobile traffic continues to surpass desktop traffic, it is more vital than ever that user experience be enhanced for mobile and tablet devices. With less real estate than a desktop, marketers must step up to the challenge and focus on a user experience with a more simplified design. Mobile-friendly websites should have easy-to-read content, calls to action, and a navigation menu that allows users to browse easily.
OUT: Complex websites with no mobile optimization
Last April Google rolled out a major algorithm update the industry dubbed “Mobilegeddon”. The Google update incorporates a mobile-friendliness factor into the search engine’s ranking algorithm. This means if your website has not been optimized for mobile, you are now phased out of search results.
#2 IN-SERP VIDEO ADVERTISING
IN: Video Ads directly embedded into Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Google is finally joining Facebook and Twitter in the video advertising game and we should expect video ads to be embedded directly into search engine results pages (SERPs) soon. So, what does this mean? Google recognizes that users are becoming more accepting of video advertising. What does this mean for marketers? We should be considering video when discussing advertising opportunities on the Google Ad Network with our clients.
OUT: Relying solely on text-based ads
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million and one. Video has the ability to cut through the clutter of a search engine page and engage users through rich media.
#3 Rise of Ephemeral Marketing
IN: Quick and fleeting digital advertising delivered in real-time
With over 100 million monthly users, Snapchat has become a standard for brands to use as a promotional platform. From the White House State of the Union to the Golden Globes Red Carpet, users view real-time updates of events, places, and issues that are important to them, gaining access to an authentic behind the scenes look. BuzzFeed also provides marketers with short, consumable advertising space through creative formats such as quizzes and lists.
OUT: Any advertising experience that takes too much time to consume
Consumers want to connect with brands without having to give up too much of their time. Snapchat serves content that lasts for one to ten seconds before disappearing, allowing brands to increase awareness and generate excitement around a new product or service without losing audience attention.
#4 QUALITY CONTENT IS KING
IN: Delivering high value information
Google’s algorithm updates have shown a shift in focus from keyword optimization to quality content. Instead of just scanning for keywords, search engines are now looking at how valuable the information on a webpage is and how long users are staying on the page to determine where the webpage should be displayed in search rankings. High quality content is key to building trust with your current and potential audience across all industries.
OUT: Limiting content to text
Content should not be limited to text, in fact, users are more likely to spend more time on pages featuring a combination of text, pictures, video, and infographics.
#5 YEAR OF VR
IN: 360-degree storytelling
Set to debut in early 2016 are three very anticipated Virtual Reality headsets – the Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation 4 headset, and HTC Vive. As marketers, we will have to reapproach the types of content we produce and the technology consumers will use to experience it with fresh eyes. This story telling medium will provide us the capability to immerse consumers like never before.
OUT: Augmented Reality
Trends like Google Glass, which project information over real life, will begin to converge with virtual reality creating a full immersion experience.
What digital marketing trends do you foresee in 2016? We want to hear from you – tweet us at @LEVICK!
Rachel Racoosin is a Digital Strategist at LEVICK. She provides SEO, SEM, and social media expertise to a variety of clients.