Digital marketing underwent an enormous transformation in 2015, with businesses taking advantage of social media, mobile advertising and marketing automation software to increase the visibility of their brands and generate new leads.
In 2016, they show no signs of slowing down. Marketers are predicted to increase their digital marketing spending to 35 percent of their total budget this year and platforms — like Reddit and Facebook video — are suddenly emerging as powerful marketing tools. Here are four hot digital marketing trends for 2016.
1. Marketing Automation
Salesforce forecasted marketing automation would be among the most piloted marketing technologies of 2015. Marketers should expect even bigger things in 2016. In an online poll by Smart Insights, 20 percent of digital marketers thought marketing automation — including customer relationship management (CRM), web personalization and behavioral email marketing — would be the digital marketing activity with the biggest commercial impact in 2016, followed by content marketing and big data. This powerful marketing method improves lead management and nurturing, allows for better campaign execution and tracking, improves user engagement and enhances targeting and personalization.
2. Mobile Marketing
Mobile has been a digital marketing trend for several years, but with the number of smartphone users predicted to exceed 2 billion in 2016, expect more marketers to optimize their pages in the coming months. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a new technology led by Google and announced in October 2015, will revolutionize the way consumers access information on their devices in 2016. AMP removes features found on slow-loading sites, such as lots of code and scripting, enhancing the user experience and providing a speedier mobile web. As more prospective customers search for local information on their smartphone or tablet, marketers will need to make their pages mobile friendly if they want to boost sales, generate leads and capture this growing market.
3. Reddit and Imgur
Last year saw a bigger shift toward user-generated content on websites like Reddit and Imgur. CEOs and digital marketing executives were quick to utilize these digital platforms, with Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Jerry Stritzke, CEO of REI, posting on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything subreddit and engaging with users. According to FireCask, the popularity of Reddit and Imgur proves that consumers want to interact with content. In 2016, marketers will need to take advantage of these platforms, which generally skew toward a younger demographic, and expose their brands to an ever-growing audience. The Reddit generation responds to GIFS, blogs, videos and memes instead of traditional communication methods. Marketers need to generate relevant marketing material that connects to these new consumers.
4. Facebook Video
If you thought Facebook’s video platform wasn’t as effective as YouTube when it came to targeting a demographic, you thought wrong. In the first quarter of 2015, the technology grew rapidly, with videos generating a collective 4 billion views per day, up from 3 billion in the previous quarter. Expect Facebook video to prosper in 2016, especially as video sharing continues to thrive (53 percent of Facebook video views came from shares in Q1 2015) and mobile usage grows (75 percent of videos were viewed on mobile). Facebook video is perfect for marketers who want to upload creative content to their social profile and encourage their followers to share their videos. Some of the most successful brands use the platform for demonstrations and tutorials, how-to guides and introducing new products and services,
Digital marketing will flourish in 2016, thanks in part to existing technologies like marketing automation software and emerging trends like Facebook video and Reddit. Marketers will need to incorporate these digital platforms into their campaign strategies for a better return on their investment.