As we stepped in 2016, we looked back at the digital marketing landscape, which is evolving at astronomical rate in comparison at any other industry; that’s because the web, itself, is changing faster than ever.
With heaps of data pouring out of new devices, products and social platforms every minute, it is of utmost importance for marketers to understand how this data will impact their content & community marketing strategies in 2016.
Therefore, in this article, we try to boil down what changes are requiredfor tomorrow, what traditional strategies are no longer relevant, and what marketing trends will carry us forward in the coming year, especially for the B2B Businesses.
Here our 6 digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2016:
- Be Mobile Ready –
This includes responsive websites, landing pages, mobile marketing, and mobile-specific content. With the number of smartphone users worldwide predicted to surpass 2 billion in 2016, this could turn out to be the game changer of marketing trends. In 2015, we saw brands allocating almost half of their digital advertising budgets to mobile, a 50% increase over 2014 spending.
In 2016, we expect location-driven mobile marketing to gain momentum through wearable technology, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things.
- Be the veritable social butterfly –
It’s true, the importance of social media, social engagement, social networks and social sites can no longer be denied. The world has gone social, and marketing is the veritable social butterfly. In 2015, social media marketing was rooted in personalization. Brands can use platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, to deliver targeted messages to their customers.
In 2016, in a bid to grab their share of marketplace attention, brands will need to connect with their customers in real time. Live social sites likeSnapchat will dominate the social media marketingdomain as Virtual Reality (VR) technology goes mainstream.
- Watch out for content marketing as it continues to dominate –
As mobile and social media marketing takes over the more traditional forms of advertising, the demand for platform-centric content is going to get bigger than ever.According to CMI, 51% of B2B firms plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2016.
The biggest advantage of content marketing is that it helps prospective customers move through their Buyer Journey much faster because the brand is providing answers to questions that are being asked before the prospect is reaching out to the sales person.
In 2016, B2B firms will need to adjust their marketing budgets, increasing investment in content marketing – from people to vendors, to tech solutions, which manage, measure, and optimize content.
- Be ready as search indexing evolves yet again-
Every year, Google comes up with almost 500 changes to their algorithms, so organic search is on a continuous cycle of evolution. Currently, we’re at the precipice of two major shifts in how people will be searching on the web, both of which will have a significant impact for B2B marketers to take notice this year.
The first major change will be in terms of how Google and other search engines index mobile apps. And the second significant change will be in the way that search engines incorporate virtual assistant app data, like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Facebook’s M.
In addition to the traditional keyword-based, social signal-based, and link-based SEO, B2B firms will also need to re-examine how their content is being crawled and indexed for the always on-the-go user leveraging one of these assistant apps.
- Be ready to embrace video content –
While 2015 was a significant year for online video, according to a report the medium will become an even more essential part of the digital marketing mix in the coming years. With many teenagers preferring YouTube to traditional TV, online video is particularly key to engaging those under 18, or Generation Z.
Where user behavior goes, so must your digital marketing strategies, and B2B marketers who start video early will gain the first-mover advantages with their prospects as well as with the media.
- Ride the marketing automation wave –
Over the last year, we have realised that a business with any number of customers needs to have a CRM system to manage customer information, send those customers time-based or trigger-based email communications, and recognize when a customer might be ready to buy again. This will not only ensure customer retention, will also facilitate repeat purchase from those loyal customers along with positive word of mouth.
While most of us spent a majority of our time looking for the ‘Next Big Thing,’ B2B firms need to ensure that their strategies are adaptable to the changes happening in the industry, while still positioning their brandfor success by staying ahead of the most important digital trends.
In 2016, B2B firms should focus on creating a refined, almost personalized digital journey that is consumable on all devices, at all touch point, and can be attributed back to the marketing efforts of the brand.