Digital marketing trends to look out for in 2016

Here is a look at the hot new digital marketing trends for 2016 and how you can use them for your business.

Update: The digital marketing trends for 2019 are here.

It’s hard to believe that the internet is now over 45 years old and the World Wide Web is now 26. In the years since its launch, it’s become so heavily relied upon that it’s hard to imagine our lives without it.

We not only use it in both our professional and personal lives for business and pleasure, but it’s also the very thing that marketers are putting most of their budget into when dividing up their marketing finances, with 84% of marketers increasing their spend in 2015.

The internet is such a large domain, that it can be overwhelming at times and knowing where to put your money can be a hard decision, especially when your brand is a stake. There are so many digital trends vying for attention it’s important to assess which ones are for you and will give you the best results.

Before you begin to plan your 2016 marketing plans, it’s important to assess what worked and what didn’t in 2015 and to establish your goal for the coming year. With so many new platforms and software packages often launching at the beginning of the year it can be hard to identify the emerging trends which best suit your brand.

If you’re stuck as to what digital marketing trends you need to know for 2016 then these are the trends that are worth investing in, in the fast paced, ever evolving tech industry.

Interactive Content

We’ve all seen the phrase content is king, however content as marketers traditionally know is changing and on the horizon is a new form of content which aims to create a lasting impression on audiences. At its heart, content needs to inspire and engage audiences and interactive content pieces will be able to do just that.

Content takes on a new persona for 2016 and investing in a digital training course will allow you to create high quality interactive content pieces.

Chris Hardy from XChange Training said “Digital marketers have already seen the benefits of increased infographic use to better communicate their message with visual appeal and brand building and this is likely to continue.

>See also: What I’m reading now – Understanding Digital Marketing

This trend along with the addition of more video content and other tools like quizzes are all designed to grab the attention of the end user more than traditional text based advertising.”

Audiences have access to a wealth of data and information so making sure your content stands out amongst the crowd is essential. Allowing the user to drive the experience through an interactive quiz will allow them to generate the result and provide an immersive and customised experience for the user. Infographics are a great way to provide your audience with an overview of key facts and statistics relating to your brand.

A visual feast, interactive infographics will keep your content relevant for 2016 by allowing users to rate their preferences or give feedback as to whether the piece resonated with them.

Niche Social Media Platforms

In a world obsessed with social media, it’s now the go to place for sharing content and it’s a busy market place. Facebook and Twitter are becoming heavily saturated with brands keen to get their message out and whilst 2015 was the year Instagram introduced advertising, looking to niche social media platforms in 2016 is a trend to watch.

Henry Joseph-Grant, Technology Entrepreneur and Angel Investor involved in building Just Eat from start up to £1.4billion IPO said, “Discovery is ever changing, Generation Z are increasingly using platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to discover and engage with brands, which is why these platforms become so valuable.”

>Related: Harnessing big data to market to Millennials

Creating instant, real-time connections with audiences can help to bolster your brand and create new connections with actively engaged users. Periscope, a video sharing platform, and Snapchat an app which deletes photos and videos after 24 hours, allows brand to create meaningful connections through providing personal or behind the scenes insights.

New discussions will begin to take place on different social networks in 2016 and if you don’t want to be left behind then getting on board with niche networks is the way to go.

Invest in Mobile and Apps

2015 was also the year mobile traffic overtook desktop, and with Google releasing a mobile-friendly algorithm update, mobile friendly sites are getting a boost to their page rankings.  Audiences are continually looking to the easiest way to access information and mobile and apps are their chosen platform.

App indexing has also enabled those who offer apps to appear higher in search results on Google. Although apps essentially offer users the same functions as mobile and desktop sites to a degree, they do so in a more intuitive way which enhances the user journey.

Tom Bourlet, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at The Eventa Group,  agrees that investing in mobile and apps is the way to go for 2016, “it appears like deep links on apps will become increasingly important over the next year, as apps start to overtake websites presence, with mobile search overtaking desktop.”

Whilst, desktop is still active, investing in a mobile and app strategy now will set you in good stead for the future where mobile and apps are standard practice.

Digital is a continually involving industry and with content curators driving developments in every direction it can be hard to establish which trends are worth investing in. However, taking the time to consider the digital trends for you will give you the opportunity to expand your brand and keep you ahead of the digital challenges in 2016.

Further reading: Five disastrous marketing campaigns

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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