The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, which means that some of the techniques that have been recommended by digital marketing experts or your search agency may no longer work, or may need to be tweaked. Ultimately, it is important that your business moves with the times, to avoid being left behind.
Each year, however, certain trends stand out as being more important than others and 2016 is no different. So, with that in mind, here are some of the top digital marketing trends you need to be aware of this year.
1. Mobile First
Mobile optimisation is no longer enough. Google recently announced that searches from mobile have overtaken those from desktop, while an IAB report shows mobile is still the fastest growing digital channel and will remain so for years. Therefore, marketers need to work with the best SEO company they can and think ‘mobile first’ instead.
Interestingly, Forrester Research recently reported that smartphone owners are now spending 85 percent of their usage time in apps. From a marketing perspective, apps offer search engine visibility and are great for dishing out customer loyalty rewards. Crucially, they are also effective for generating advertising revenue. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of Facebook’s advertising revenue now stems from its mobile app.
2. Beacon Technology
The rise of wearable technology like smart watches, combined with current levels of mobile use, have also made beacon technology one of the key trends of 2016. Already deployed to great effect by Apple, beacons use GPS tracking to target customers based on their location, and the marketing potential of this is enormous.
In particular, beacon technology allows retailers to send notifications to nearby customers, advertising new products or offering them discounts. A projection published by Statista suggests this type of geo-targeting will trigger $44 billion worth of sales in the U.S. in 2016, representing a $40 billion increase from 2015.
3. Augmented Reality
Finally, while much has been made of the release of new virtual reality headsets, it is still expected to be several years before virtual reality really becomes mainstream. Nevertheless, augmented reality is already heading that way and you may have already noticed things like 360 degrees video marketing becoming more prevalent.
An even more obvious example comes in the form of the Pokemon GO app, which has taken the world by storm this year. Many small businesses have taken advantage of this augmented reality phenomenon, using in-app purchases and connecting in-game rewards to their premises, attracting more passers-by and more customers.