Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 that Every Irish Business Owner Needs to Know

2015 was a big year for digital marketing. We saw the rapid growth of video marketing, social media giants introduced new ways of advertising, the role of the client changed and much more. Find out what trends will play a crucial role in your digital marketing strategy for 2016.

1. E-mail will continue to play a central role in outbound marketing

E-mail marketing has been around for a long time. Because of this, it has had time to be tested, developed and improved. By 2015, 55% of companies generated more than 10% of sales by using email marketing. (source: EmailIsNotDead) While marketing spend has been diverted to many other more fashionable channels (mainly in social media), the return on investment from email marketing for most businesses means it isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

2. Organic Search will continue to grow in value

According to Neil Patel, over 70% of search engine users click on organic results. And this figure has been on the rise as Google gets better at putting the most relevant websites to the top of rankings for specific keyword phrases.

In many ways, search engine optimisation (SEO) has got simpler but what will be key for business owners will be understanding how to adapt to the new rules of SEO so that you don’t lose ground in this key space.

3. Mobile is now officially the first screen

Already this year mobile exceeded desktop internet usage in 10 Western countries. And mobile data usage is predicted to keep increasing over the next years. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the Global Mobile data traffic from 2014 to 2019.

Business owners really must take this into account when it comes to the company website. It needs to look great and function great on all screen sizes. So, the old way of building a great desktop experience and then adapting it for mobile won’t cut it. You will need to give both environments equal priority in the planning stage. Marketers will also continue to push mobile marketing, especially video ads, in 2016. You can read our recent blog post on how the mobile technology has already changed the way we market today.

4. The exponential growth of video consumption

2015 was a good year for video content. Throughout the year, we have seen increased growth in video traffic on Facebook. The auto-playing of video within the stream being a major catalyst for growth.

In June, the social media giant reached 4 billion daily views on their videos. By November, it was already 8 billion. Users have become more accepting of video content, and this includes video ads online. One-third of all content consumed online now is video. Without a doubt, 2016 will be an interesting year for both video creators as well as viewers. Videos will become more interactive, engaging and many new companies will include video content in their marketing.

5. Paid Social has taken off

This year has seen a lot of new advertising features being introduced on several social media platforms. Instagram was the most talked about. However, Facebook wasn’t far behind. The social media giant extended their like button to 7 new reactions allowing customers to better engage with content, a new local awareness feature to help you promote your business locally and a simplified form filling process to help with lead generation. 2016 is definitely going to be a big year of improvements across all social platforms so keep yourself informed through industry blogs.

6. Personalisation is becoming key

In 2016, you will need to research your audience at a more granular level. Trends have changed over the years. For example, different customers will use different devices or apps to engage with different content. 2016 will be the year where you will have to understand what are these different aspects and personalise them in order to engage and keep the customer. We suggest you spend time profiling your different customer types. Find out what makes them tick, what content they like, what their goals are and what your marketing message should be. The more information you can glean from each buyer type, the better you can serve their needs.

7. The Gap between Marketing and Product will Narrow

2015 seemed to be a year of collecting data and analysing it. Well, 2016 is going to be all about putting these results into action. This will mean that client behaviour, needs and wants will be better analysed and in return, the marketing of products will be better targeted and matched.

8. Ambassador/Advocate Initiatives will go mainstream

We know about ambassador programmes because companies such as Google, Apple, Red Bull and Microsoft have introduced them to us. However, the most crucial ambassadors for your brand are the clients. Word of mouth will never be an outdated marketing practice. It is important that you have a group of clients that are involved within the activities of your company. Whether it is through feedback or product development process it is important that your clients think of your brand first when they are discussing your industry.

9. Marketing Teams will become Increasingly Remote

Today more companies are choosing to outsource their marketing because of the many different disciplines required. Agency marketing teams generally contain expertise in Google PPC, social media PPC and management, analytical and data specialists, SEO performance managers as well as graphic or and UX designers to create compelling advertising campaigns. It doesn’t suit many mid-sized businesses to hire full-time expertise in each area so we will see more company marketing managers working with advertising agencies remotely through apps like Slack, Skype, Go To Meeting or Google Hangouts.

2016 will be a big year for online marketing. Make sure that you stay on top of these trends and don’t miss out on opportunities.

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