The digital marketing space is very volatile. Every single year we see new technology updates that completely shake up the space. But in many ways, some things never change, right?
We originally published this list of marketing trends in 2016. Many of them are still hot trends we wrestle with, and others are just coming to the forefront.
Fast forward to the end of the list – virtual reality and internet of things (or chatbots) are things still inching into our marketing plans.
Let’s take a look back at digital marketing trends we can learn from 2016.
1. Marketing Automation
Marketing can be an incredibly time consuming process, especially as the number of platforms you need to be active on continue to grow. Thus the rise of marketing automation.
One of the simplest forms of marketing automation is sending out an automated email marketing campaign. Chances are, most of your reading this are already familiar with this tool. Now marketing automation is expanding out into social media posting, content management and scheduling, and customer tracking.
By automating these aspects of the marketing process you free up time to focus on other high-value activities, like deepening client relationships with those that matter and focusing on long-term business growth strategies.
2. Video Advertising Continues to Expand
Video ads have seen an explosion in popularity in recent years. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook already offer advertisers plenty of options for video advertising. However, Google is finally enabling the use of video advertising within the search results.
This suggests that video advertising is only going to become more prevalent. If you haven’t hopped on board yet, you should; you can bet that a few of your competitors are going to utilize this trend.
3. Mobile Continues To Grow As A Force
Mobile isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only growing. In 2016, Google announced the mobile traffic was larger than desktop traffic in ten different countries. That trends continues to climb as smart phones are often easier for people to afford than laptop computers.
Google’s latest algorithm update also punished sites that weren’t mobile friendly, or didn’t have a mobile version of their website. It’s easy to see that Google has all their force behind a mobile-first future. It’s a smart choice to hop on board.
4. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is going to play a huge role into the future. The Oculus Rift has already been introduced to a very positive response. Now, and into the future, virtual reality will influence how marketers reach their customers and how they tell stories.
Virtual reality enables immersive storytelling at a level we’ve never seen before. It’s a good idea to hop on the VR train sooner, rather than later. Now is a good time to get a first look of what it’s like to use this new platform, and be part of its inclusion in your brand’s eventual strategy.
5. The Internet of Things
Wearable technology is only going to grow. With this growth we’ll see an increase in the amount of data this gives people to work with. This smart data that’s collected throughout the day-to-day lives of potential customers will allow for even more targeted and behavior-based marketing.
Wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch, will continue to blur the line between the online world and the real world. Expect more devices like this to continue to be introduced in the future.
As a business owner or marketer, it’s important to be able to recognize trends as they’re forming, so you can position your company to take advantage. You can expect the trends we highlighted above to only increase in relevance and importance into the future.
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