Another year is done and 2016 is starting to get rolling. What will that mean for digital marketing? What will it mean for companies, firms, and brick-and-mortar and online schools who want to continue to promote themselves successfully in this ever-changing world?

Marketing Synergy

Companies with several departments that are involved in online marketing have traditionally worked "in silos"; that is, somewhat independently of each other. Companies who provide a seamless customer experience will have a decided advantage over those whose departments still work independently. This means there is seamless communication between departments about who orders what and who processes complaints or queries about available or already-purchased products. Customers don't want get passed around from one agent to another to get their question answered. Essentially, the company's right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing.

Increased Email Click Throughs

It is anticipated that adding social media sharing options to emails will increase click through rates by up to 158 percent. Companies who neglect this side of their online marketing strategy for 2016 will miss out on the huge potential source of revenue. In fact, email will continue to be the default method of communication between businesses and customers.

Continued Increase in Social Media

It's probably no surprise that use of social media for business is expected to increase in 2016. Online marketing gurus are suggesting that social media-related advertising budgets for companies will double by the end of 2020.

Increased Native Ads

Native ads are the online marketing answer to pop-up blockers. We've all seen those annoying pop-ups when we're browsing, although most of us have pop-up blockers installed. While people don't like being bombarded with in-your-face advertising, particularly about products and services that aren't relevant to them, they will respond to native ads because they look, read and feel like traditional pop-up ads. Ad blockers don't work on this content. Native ads are relevant to what people looking or coming to your site are looking for.

Increased Importance on Overall Digital Assets

Digital assets are those things which combine to generate a company's or business's online presence to generate revenue. These things include:

Increased use of Marketing Robots

There's just too much happening too fast in the Internet marketing world for humans to keep up. Companies will focus on marketing automation so that a lot of the generic, background type of interaction with potential clients happens quickly and efficiently via automated email sequences, pre-scheduled and pre-loaded Facebook updates and tweets, and paid digital advertising that will present a company's brand like Kulutusluottoa24 and/or products in front of thousands of potential customers all with a simple few clicks of the mouse.

Mobile First

Many sites will be making their mobile page their primary page over the traditional landing page. This is in light of the emphasis Google has placed on mobile friendliness by reworking their algorithms to place those sites that are mobile friendly higher in search engine results than those that aren't. Also, the number of searches done on a smartphone or tablet has leapfrogged over desktop searches, so businesses need to stay focused on this target market.

Digital marketing in 2016 will only grow in terms of its overall importance and role in a comprehensive marketing strategy. The only way to continue to have a successful digital marketing campaign is to make sure you know what's coming and incorporate new strategies to keep up with these trends.

Published on: Jan 21, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.