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8 Digital Trends in 2016: How They May Impact Your Marketing

Posted on: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Digital Trends

Every year, new trends in digital technology emerge as the world moves towards an increasingly digital era. 2015 saw the continued popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter; ushered in the rise of new platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram; and set the foundations for new technologies such as virtual reality. All of these trends are especially relevant to digital marketing, which affects millions of people and is recognized as the most effective way for business owners to interact with and attract customers. As 2016 approaches, it is important to know what new trends are the most likely to attract your business, both positively and negatively. Take a look at the top 10 trends that will affect your business:

  1. Social media videos

In 2015, Facebook reported that its daily video views had increased to 8 billion, more than doubling from the previous year and surpassing YouTube as the most-used website for video content. This trend is expected to increase even further in 2016, with features such as Suggested Videos providing even more video content for Facebook users. As a result, businesses can expect to spend more of their digital marketing budget on creating video advertisements, optimized for a digital format (which is usually shorter and more informal). Platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope, which all offer a platform for businesses to share their videos, allow you to utilize this trend without spending the money necessary for professional video.

  1. Mobile expansion

According to Google, mobile overtook desktop as the primary way for people to conduct searches in 10 countries for the first time in 2015. In 2016, this trend will only increase; as more and more people around the world use the internet through mobile devices, it will become more crucial for businesses to utilize mobile platforms through websites, apps, and social media. Mobile optimization is the first step in this process; although it will require an investment of time and resources, it will ultimately help businesses reach more people through mobile platforms.

  1. Social messaging apps

The rise of social messaging has expanded to include apps such as WhatsApp, Kik, and GroupMe, all of which are used for instant communication between people. Furthermore, the continued integration of messaging into larger social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter means that this function will be all the more important in 2016. Although these apps have not been utilized as much as others for marketing purposes, that is likely to change in 2016; look out for increased information about who uses social messaging apps, and what they are used for, so that businesses can better harness them for digital marketing purposes and direct customer service.

  1. Virtual reality

Although the concept of virtual reality has been around for years, 2016 is expected to be the year that it takes off. Numerous VR devices – most notably Oculus Rift, which was acquired by Facebook – are set for release in 2016, and they provide nearly unlimited opportunities for marketing as well as customer engagement. Companies can look into optimizing some of their advertising for virtual reality as more information about this trend emerges.

  1. Personalization

The key in digital marketing in 2016 will be personalization; because of the incredibly vast amount of content that users are bombarded with every day, it is crucial for businesses to target their marketing specifically towards the people who will respond to it most. As a result, personalization will help businesses increase efficiency and engage with customers; however, it will also require a significant effort and investment on the part of the business.

  1. Paid social media advertising

Although social media offers a platform for free advertising through videos, photos, and messages posted to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, paid social media advertising takes this to a different level. However, organic reach for these platforms is minimal simply because of the volume of advertising on social media. As a result, business owners in 2016 will turn increasingly to paid social media advertising. Facebook, for example, includes sidebar ads that target people with interests relating to those ads; this optimization helps make them more efficient and effective.

  1. Wearable technology

Technology such as the Apple iWatch, just taking off in 2015, will grow in prominence in 2016. This means specialized apps, which businesses can utilize along with the idea of “wearable” technology. For example, fitness, fashion, or health businesses can find numerous advantages in the idea of a wearable device.

  1. Importance of online influencers

Increasingly, people are following niche bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers who appeal to the specific interests of certain social media users. Having so many followers allow these accounts to leverage significant influence over how they “influence,” or endorse, certain businesses or products; for example, many YouTube makeup gurus will use and advertise a particular makeup brand, which includes compensation from that brand.

If you are concerned that the projected digital trends for 2016 could negatively affect the way you manage your online marketing, Social Connect can help! Give us a call at (239) 601-4340 to learn about our Social Media Analysis so that you can prepare your business for the upcoming new year.


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