Digital Trends for 2016

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Hello and a very happy new year to you all. The return to work was a bit of a shock wasn't it? Unfortunately we've all got to pull ourselves together and stop eating chocolate for breakfast. 2016 is here and it’s time to put our marketing strategies into action. 

What are the overarching trends that you need to make sure you’ve got nailed this coming year? It’s time to get dressed, move away from the selection box and add these to your to-do list.  

Mobile

"Mobile. Yawn. Haven’t we got over that yet?"

Sadly not. Yes, it has been around longer than we all care to recall. But even so, responsive, truly mobile-first, screen-agnostic experiences are still a way off for many brands. The mystical millennial generation are cited to spend 18 hours a day on their mobile device, meaning that the vast majority of their waking hours are spent on searching, purchasing and consuming content on mobile. 

In terms of ad spend, eMarketer anticipates that mobile ad spend will account for 51% of total digital ad spend this year. So optimise your promoted content for succinctness and brevity on small devices. 

Content 

"You're going to tell me content is king now aren't you..."

Not this year pal. Give it a year.

Two trends will continue to dominate content development in 2016: Video and Data. 

Taking video first, this doesn’t just mean demos or slick brand overviews. It’s about creating memorable, interactive, on-the-go content. Our attention spans are ever waning. Nobody has time to read long blogs anymore. So if you’ve got this far down in this one. I salute you. I’m going to be quiet soon. Consider how you can use video more effectively in 2016 to separate yourself from the noise. 

In terms of data, the developments will be in the personalisation of data e.g. knowing what your customers interests are as well as their basic demographic details. This will enable you to target products and services to them that will make them feel most valued and rewarded. Data is also about setting yourself apart from your competitors. Consider the market intelligence do you have at your fingertips that you can curate into a premium, reusable resource. 

Social 

"We 'do' social..."

It’s all well and good creating awesome content, but what if no one ever reads it? 

First off. Facebook is dying. You heard it here (probably second, after Ogilvy back in 2014):  

Average organic reach of posts published to Facebook brand pages for all pages and large pages with more than 500,000 likes.

 

In summary, this graph demonstrates that no brand can achieve ongoing engagement with its followers on Facebook anymore without a paid strategy. We have witnessed this first hand with our clients in the past 12-18 months and would highly recommend implementing paid for marketing on this platform to ensure reach, engagement and click-throughs. 

With Facebooks ad platform changes in spring last year to allow carousel style display and integration with Instagram advertising, the channel is likely to see a big uplift in ad spend using strong visuals in 2016. Instagram as a standalone channel is particularly good to show your brands values and culture in a more friendly and less ‘photoshopped’ fashion. 

Social media continues to be a consistent driver of referral traffic, both organic and paid, the challenge is integrating that activity into everything your business does. All functions of the business should input to the platform and it is never about the hard sell. Use a combination of scheduled and reactive updates planned around seasonal and brand-related events and you will garner greater levels of respect and engagement than ‘#buy today…’ style fodder. 

Conclusion

To succeed in 2016 you need a combination of a mobile optimised and interactive content, which is delivered across multiple digital channels in an organic and paid way. If you need a helping hand to get you on your way, get in touch and we’ll put the kettle on. 

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