Game-Changing Digital Marketing Trends in 2016

January 17, 2016

The second decade of the twenty-first century is now nearly half finished. Extraordinary developments continue to develop in the digital world. The coming year will see its share of exciting announcements and new technologies. Those who love gadgets, and even those who just like to make things easier, will find the coming year full of wonderful news in the digital world.

Indeed, if you are involved in marketing in any way you will be pleased to know that the digital and social media trends that have been gathering apace over the last few years will have a significant impact on marketing in 2016. Among the top advancements to look out for are new ways of establishing social platforms and fresh developments in personal branding and live streaming.

The coming year will see the visual image continue in its ascendency. There are now so many ways to create visual images and it has become so easy to distribute them that most people now expect to see them attached to digital and social media platforms of all kinds. Whether this wide preference for the visual over the textual is a good thing in the long term is difficult to determine. But for now everything from videos to emojis will continue to dominate the virtual sphere.

Advertising through Facebook and other social media platforms will take an interesting turn. They will continue to control the reach of their organic content to further their power to advertise. The prevalence of content shock—the volume of content produced being more than the ability of the public to consume it—will make require anyone who wants to use social media as a marketing tool to pay a premium to do so. The free-wheeling days of the cowboy Internet entrepreneur are coming to a close. Anyone who wants to gain customers and an audience to sell content will soon have to establish themselves as a brand—and that costs money.

Another interesting development that will be noticeable in 2016 is the emerging differences within Millennial generation. Research shows strong differences between how Millennial moms use the web versus how Millennial non-moms use it. Surprisingly, the latter are not as susceptible to being influenced by social media advertising, nor are they so much into using it to give advice. Social media entrepreneurs will have to formulate and test new strategies for attracting the attention and interest of the various cohorts within this important demographic group.

Influencer marketing will become super-charged in 2016. Ad blocking software has become so sophisticated that it no longer pays to invest in such a tool. Instead, it will become more important to work with platform-specific influencers to gain publicity for your products and services. YouTube, Instagram, and other such platforms will become ever more important in marketing.

Research shows that 95% of women cite online reviews as being very or extremely important in deciding whether to buy a product. This means that e-commerce will move closer and closer to becoming the main channel for retail sales.

The coming year is likely to see an increase in the commercial functionality of social media platforms. Facebook and other social media sites will probably introduce Buy buttons and Shopping Carts. They already track the viewing habits of users who shop on Amazon. It is only a matter of time before you will be able to skip the middle man and buy the same products directly on Facebook from a variety of vendors.

The move towards live streaming and immediacy in social media will continue unabated. User demand for raw, unedited social commentary and video imagery will grow in the coming year.

Signs that all is not loss for traditional, brick and mortar, shops will appear in 2016. Increasingly, consumers will use online media and high street shops in combination. In greater numbers, people will walk into stores with recommendations they’ve obtained online. This will greatly shift the retail landscape as brick and mortar stores will be forced to track trends on social media sites and integrate them into their sales strategy.

There are many changes coming this year in the world of digital and social media. If you are in business, you should do your utmost to make the most of them.

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