Digital marketing is constantly evolving and 2016 will be another big year of expansion and maturation. You need to be on top of your game if you want break away from your competitors or take your business to the next level. Evolve or dissolve! As you read this post keep in mind that my professional experiences in digital marketing are primarily in the retail, food, health, fitness, automotive, and publishing industries… so my perspectives and priorities might be different than yours. These are 5 areas I’m focusing on for 2016:
1. Digital Marketing Expansion & Integration
Businesses of all kinds have been shifting to digital marketing in droves because it’s affordable, flexible, and measurable. Overall advertising budgets in 2016 will continue to shift towards digital marketing from traditional television, radio, and printed publications. The smarter traditional media should already be integrating their advertising efforts with their digital campaigns. Every print ad should include their website, social media icons, hashtag, email newsletter, or whatever is applicable to get the most bang for their buck. I wouldn’t invest the majority of my advertising budget in traditional media, and most companies will continue shifting their perspective in that direction even more during 2016.
2. Cut-throat Competition
Competition is fierce and only getting more intense in 2016. Business rivals can come out of the woodwork, scale quickly, and poach your profits in a matter of weeks or months. You have to be ready to compete globally for website traffic, search rank, advertising bids, mobile domination, Kickstarter campaigns, investors, sponsors, screen space, and most importantly ATTENTION SPANS. Can you hold the attention of a reader, viewer, or customer long enough to make that sale or display those ads? Can you make the customer experience an exceptional one that they will remember and share with their friends? How will you stand out from the pack?!?
3. Be Ready To React
Digital campaigns run at warp-speed now and can be seen by more people than ever. In 2016 everything will be cranked up another notch. Videos, images, and posts can go viral in a positive way or implode spectacularly. You have the opportunity to help a customer resolve a problem effectively or share their positive experience with the world. On the flip slide, if you have a large corporation or controversial product, you are very susceptible to damaging negative social media backlash or even online sabotage . Your company’s Monday – Friday 9-5 office hours social media monitoring isn’t going to cut it anymore. You might have to check yourLinkedIn account more than once a week now! Customers, prospects, and critics are viewing all over the world and potential problems could amplify by the minute. Create a specialized team and comprehensive plan of social monitoring, customer service, conflict resolution, and consumer appreciation.
4. Must Master Mobile
2016 will be a year dominated by mobile media. As you may already know, more traffic is coming from mobile phones and tablets than ever before. In many countries, mobile traffic is now exceeding desktop traffic. People are also making larger and more frequent purchases on mobile devices than ever before. It’s no longer a choice, it’s a must: go mobile or go home! You must optimize your websites, user experience, and ads for the mobile user or lose traffic, customers, and Google PageRank.
5. Make A Good Impression
The definition of a valid digital ad “impression” has been tested and critiqued in 2015 and will get even more specific in 2016. With more rigorous guidelines, digital ads should be more effective and statistics should be more accurate. If you are a publisher, it might mean a little less ad revenue and more vigilance on your part to display engaging and optimized advertisements. If you are purchasing digital ads, you’ll be getting more value with more ironclad criteria for what is considered a valid impression.
There are dozens of other major areas of change for digital marketing in 2016. Unfortunately I can’t summarize them all in a single article. My advice is that you stay up to date on the latest business, marketing, and technology news and bring the best to your business every day. Get educated and get motivated!