The New Year is now not-so new and 2016 is in full swing. Marketers everywhere are gearing up for a busy year ahead, and looking for the latest ways to connect with their audiences and convert them into happy customers. While digital tactics and strategies aren't new to the marketing arsenal, digital marketing is rapidly changing. Here are five digital marketing trends that will change the marketing landscape in 2016:
1. Video ads
If you've ever had to wait for an ad to play before you could watch cute animal videos on YouTube, you know that video advertising is nothing new. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter already offer advertisers video options, and last year, Google integrated its TrueView video with search network and display network campaigns, creating a more streamlined buying and reporting experience across all AdWords campaign types. This year, the search giant is expected to offer even more options to video advertisers, including video ads that appear in Google search results.
It seems like every year in recent memory has been declared the "year of mobile," but 2016 is poised to be the year that actually takes that title. Google's 2015 "Mobilegeddon" update, which gives mobile optimized sites a boost in search results, shows just how important mobile has become and paves the way for increased mobile searches. Google also revealed in 2015 that mobile searches eclipsed desktop in 10 countries. In addition, more than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices. We're sure to see some even more impressive mobile vs. desktop stats in 2016, as mobile devices continue to be an essential part of our daily lives. (Read more about mobile marketing in our free eBook, Go Mobile! The Essential Guide to Mobile Marketing.)
Apps are already a big part of our digital lives, but in 2016, they will present new opportunities for brands to connect with customers and prospects. Thanks to recent updates to Google App Indexing, app download suggestions can now be part of the search results on mobile browsers, bringing app awareness to a larger audience. And while mobile websites aren't going anywhere anytime soon, apps will score big wins in 2016 by being more convenient, accessible and feature-rich.
Last year's unveiling of the Apple Watch opened up exciting new opportunities for marketers, and competition in this category will heat up in 2016. Wearables are expected to reach a 28 percent user adoption rate this year. While these devices give marketers unprecedented access to users, they also require unique strategies and formats. Small screen sizes require shorter web and app content, and marketers must also consider how to create content that can be easily searched via voice commands.
5. Marketing automation
If you use ClickDimensions, you know that marketing automation isn't new. In fact, it's a staple for many marketing teams, helping them increase their productivity and implement effective content marketing, email marketing, nurture marketing and SMS messaging campaigns, and so much more. In 2016, companies will continue to adopt marketing automation solutions. And those companies with marketing automation systems already in place will look to get the most out of this technology and ensure that their teams receive complete training to maximize their marketing automation investment.
Here's to a great year and all of the innovations it brings!