Advertising has been an ever-changing industry since its earliest days, and there’s no exception in today’s digitally driven landscape. While your business may rely on some tried and true digital marketing strategies that brought you success in 2015, it’s essential to stay up to date on new trends, too. Here are four of the biggest trends we’re seeing for the first quarter of 2016.
1. Mobile Marketing Dominates
Mobile advertising expenditures overtook all other digital ad expenditures in 2015, and spending is expected to increase even more in the next year. This vibrant mobile marketing landscape exists largely in thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, which allow consumers to conduct searches and connect with businesses while outside their homes. Of course, mobile campaigns also boast reasonable costs and high returns that have made them increasingly attractive to ad buyers.
A set of Google search algorithm updates known popularly as “Mobilegeddon” has emphasized the importance of business mobile presence, too. These updates prioritize connecting search engine users with sites that are optimized for mobile devices. Business leaders who’ve resisted building mobile versions of websites may well need to make the leap to stay viable online in 2016.
2. Crowdsourcing for Content Is Hot
It’s become apparent to most business leaders that content marketing matters, and careful curation of content has become big over the past few years. In the new year, curation duties will expand beyond business walls to draw in social media users. When creating a social media or blog post, solicit reader opinions. Beyond asking what they think, ask commenters to share any articles or online content they think is relevant to your question.
Leveraging your audience is a great way to make consumers feel more valued. Make the most of opportunities to involve your audience by responding actively to their input and answering questions as promptly as possible. Asking followers to share content is also an amazing way to connect to resources you might not know of otherwise. Of course, crowdsourcing is also a smart solution for marketers who need to provide more content than they have time to find.
3. App Indexing Gets Powerful
An elegant, easy-to-use app can do wonders to build brand prestige, drive online sales and attract local customers. Thanks to Google’s increasingly popular App Indexing API, it’s getting easier to expand your app’s user base in 2016. Indexing allows Google to match search engine users with relevant apps instead of websites alone. It’s a solution designed to bring in new app users while encouraging current users to make the most of your app. To be indexed, your app must support HTTP URLs and site association.
Of course, indexing also has an impact on search rankings. Late last year, Google announced that apps utilizing the company’s Indexing API would get a rankings boost. That alone should be reason enough for the majority of businesses in viable industries to launch or revamp mobile apps in 2016.
4. It’s Time to Get on Board with Bing Ads
Google AdWords has long been the choice for digital advertisers who use click-based advertising. With a 20 percent share of the American search market in 2015, though, Bing and the affiliated Bing Ads is likely to become a big player in the digital advertising market.
Bing Ads offers incredible reach possibilities for marketers because it’s integrated with many Microsoft systems that use Cortana, the company’s voice-based personal assistant. The search engine as a whole also undergoes daily updates to ensure that consumers are getting exactly what they want whether they’re searching for a business, sale offer or popular song.
These trends represent exciting new frontiers while offering opportunities to reflect on brand consistency. Building success with mobile marketing, crowdsourcing, app indexing and Bing Ads means launching cohesive campaigns that speak across those strategies and working with partners who love being on the cutting edge.