The world of online marketing is intricate and subject to continuous changes, yet it is thrilling for anyone who stays on top of new trends. Every year new technological and behavioral changes bring about a range of comprehensive transformations that are either embraced or snubbed by companies around the world.

Seeing this in light of the technology adoption lifecycle, the changes present innovators and early adopters with new opportunities, introducing them to new markets or bolstering their standings as frontrunners in the industry. Companies that grab these opportunities are able to move ahead in the race, and companies that are laggards often fail to get the benefits presented by the newly opened window of opportunity.

Meanwhile, 2016 appears to be holding greater opportunities in store for online marketers and companies. The landscape is going to change, so let's have a look at what to expect from 2016:

1. Video Marketing: Video marketing is not a new concept, thanks to social networks like YouTube and Facebook that are providing advertisers video options. Now, in the New Year, Google is all set to get aboard with in-SERP video advertising. This is an indication that Internet users are more inclined to receiving messages communicated through videos. As the drift towards videos remains there, you should anticipate seeing different kinds of video advertisements showing up around the web. While Google owns YouTube, the chances for this to happen are boundless.

2. App Indexing: Google has already tested app indexing. As the chance for apps to rank in Google fully develops in 2016, you should expect to see a boom of apps in 2016. Companies and online marketers are fast realizing the benefits of apps in online marketing.

It will take many years for apps to completely replace websites, but 2016 is set to see huge adoption of apps by businesses.

3. Desktop vs. Mobile: Mobile traffic has already witnessed a huge surge. In 2015, Google finally stated that mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in ten countries. The search engine giant also introduced the Mobilegeddon algorithm update in order to level down websites not optimized for mobile devices. However, you are not required to have a desktop website optimized for mobile, as a mobile version of your website is just enough. Google also announced that a website made for mobile-only with no desktop version is fully acceptable. This indicates that Google is gradually shifting its focus to the mobile market.

"While the growth of mobile is undeniable, some sales verticals that target boomers and seniors have shown to have an audience that continues to heavily favor desktop computers for their internet browsing. Knowing where your target market accesses their information is key to creating cost-effective campaigns" says Ron R. Browning, CEO of pay-per-sale marketer Intellibright Corporation.

4. The Rise of Snapchat: Snapchat has already captured a large market share, and in 2016, it is expected to witness yet another boost. What makes Snapchat so exciting is the ease with which users engage a large amount of different content in real time - a factor that is especially successful at enticing younger consumers. Snapchat offers businesses the power to deliver marketing messages and engage consumers in real time. Even better, users know that the content has an expiry time, so they get engaged with even more speed.

5. Social Media Search Trend: Users are increasingly using social media to conduct searches, and social media giant Facebook is already working to develop its own search engine, which is expected to have features more advanced than Google, Bing and Yahoo. One of the greatest benefits businesses will get from the trend of social media searching is that their online visibility will see huge surge. The introduction of payment messaging and purchase buttons on social media will further enhance user experiences in 2016.

By combining innovative search experiences, integrated payment methods and social enticements, users of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter will be able to buy stuff in unique and innovative ways. Users would be able to share with their social network what stuff they shopped, how they shopped and where. In 2016, the need for users to shop on e-commerce sites would see a decline, and social media shopping would see a huge rise.

The 2016 online marketing changes are not limited to these five trends only, but these ones will surely be the major changes. The earlier you start to craft strategies with these anticipated changes in mind, the better you will be able to reap the benefits presented by these changes.

Published on: Dec 8, 2015