Digital marketing evolves at a rate unlike any other industry. Over the past year alone we have seen radical changes in everything from online advertising to website design.
What digital marketing trends should you be watching out for in 2016? Keep reading to find out...
1) More websites will go responsive.
As the owner of a digital marketing company, the number one hesitation I hear from companies looking to redesign their websites is that they don't want to be obsolete in a year. Who can blame them for being worried? Technology continually changes the marketing world. That's why, in 2016, new websites will continue to be built responsively. A responsive website is one that adjusts to fit the width of the browser, making the viewing experience optimal for any device it is loaded on.
2) SEO will continue its shift to content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization isn't dead, it's just grown up. What was once seen as a shady, manipulative practice is now evolving into what many marketers are calling "Content Marketing". This is because as the search engines algorithms become more advanced, they are constantly able to filter what content is trying to game the system and what is genuinely useful for the end user.
3) Video will become a much bigger content platform.
In 2015, as YouTube continued to dominate the web, video proved that it was a key player as a content platform. This goes to show that as the internet continues to advance, so will the ways that we consume content. While long form content, such as blogging, will always have its place as a content marketing medium, video is able to engage users at a much higher rate. In fact, studies have shown that visitors will stay on a site for two minutes longer if it has a video.
4) Design and speed will be a necessity, not a luxury.
As we watch the web mature, the websites that "win" are not just those that provide the best content but ones that do so in the most effective and efficient way possible. This means that the way that your site is designed and how quickly it loads play a key factor in whether the visitor becomes a lead. As old sites get redesigned in 2016 we will see a shift from just providing content that is just useful to providing content that is useful, visually attractive, and quick to load on the end user's screen (no matter the device).
5) Content will become more interactive.
In 2013, what launched Buzzfeed to become one of the biggest sites on the internet? It wasn't their clickbait headlines or list-style blog posts... it was their quizzes. Buzzfeed was able to take the simple premise of a personality quiz and turn it into a viral phenomenon by playing on people's egos. Whenever someone would take a quiz, it would encourage them to share their results afterwards. In sharing, the user would be recommending the post and encouraging their friends to take it as well. This type of interactive content also led to one of the NY Times most visited post, a quiz about the regional variations of American English. This style works because it takes content to the next level by engaging the user in a way that their experience with the content is unique, making it a more personal interaction. In 2016 we will see more interactive content through the form of video (such as 360-degree video), virtual reality, and advertisements that are more two-way between the company and their target demographic.