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Guest Post by Leah J. Thurber
Digital Marketing is always changing and, sometimes, it becomes very hard to keep up with it. There is a large number of players, solutions, and resources just getting their online business started at this very moment, so any digital marketer will find it difficult to decide which one they should choose for their clients or own business.
So what about checking a list with the 5 most relevant trends in Digital Marketing for 2016, so you will be able to find out what you can’t leave behind on your next marketing plan?
1 – E-commerce on Facebook and Twitter
With more ads being published on Facebook, and Twitter making a huge investment in their marketing strategy, it is very likely that people will start to buy things on these social media networks. It is not clear yet how their behaviour will be, but experts believe that those selling products or services with an appeal that doesn’t disrupt their timeline will do better.
Unfortunately, both Facebook and Twitter have a very strict model, and they don’t leave much space for creativity. So you will have to listen to your intuition, follow their rules and target your audience properly (considering that you have already checked that they are there, of course, and interested in listening).
Also remember to make sure that your metrics tools have been adjusted so you can track the results of your new advertising channels – also, as a consequence, you will find out if anything needs to be adjusted or replaced.
2 – Advertising on Instagram
Instagram is proud of their 400 millions of users and offers a relatively efficient advertising solution for business. And this is believed to be one of the digital marketing trends of 2016. There you can choose to publish simple photo ads, or you can go for a video ad (landscaped and up to 30 seconds) or carousel ads, on which you can post more than one photo or image (and one of them can be a call-to-action, for example).
As you can see, it is very simple to advertise on Instagram what increases your margin of profits – some people will even say that is possible to create a killer Instagram ad in less than 10 minutes. But remember that Instagram is a mobile social media network, so you need to think about how your ad will be seen on a small screen – but, hopefully, all your digital marketing strategy is mobile- focused at this stage, right?
Also, it is known that users spend less time on Instagram compared to Facebook or Twitter, for instance. So you should be prepared to adapt your existing ads to a specifically-tailored format, or maybe to just create new ones.
3 – Content Remarketing
You create that amazing content, marketed it properly, and yet you didn’t get as many conversions as you need. So here is where Content Remarketing get itself started.
This trend is about trying to reconnect with those leads and to make sure that they will do what you are expecting from them, so our content marketing efforts don’t go to waste. As an example, you created the best lead magnet, got plenty of emails, but nobody actually has bought your book. So what you will do next is to send emails to all of them offering something else in a way that you can remind them of your book.
What you will have to know here is how you can approach those leads without sounding annoying or desperate. So first things first: you will have to consider it before launching your campaign – then when your leads give you those e-mails they will be informed about maybe hearing from you sometime soon.
4 – Marketing automation
There is so much to do and so little time. And the same scenario happens when it comes to digital marketing. The number of social media networks, websites, leads, influencers, just to name a few, is so large that becomes impossible for anyone to keep it all updated and still have a private life.
So it is no surprise that marketing automation has become so important that is now a trend for 2016. It is likely that more and more digital marketers will not only understand its need but also have no choice but to contract tools such as Hootsuite (for social media).
The goal of marketing automation is to make your work easier and faster, but it certainly won’t do it for you. The hardest, but the more fun, part – thinking, planning, analysing, doing fixes – will still have to be done by you.
Just be aware that making some parts of the process automatic might be too close to also making them impersonal. This is especially true when it comes to email marketing, a strategy that is so naturally boring that becomes very easy to leave it to a machine do it for you. And yet you know that you won’t get many conversions for a cold email, so be careful here.
5 – Location-based Marketing
Working remotely is becoming more and more common so might sound strange to say that anything location-based is one of the trends of 2016. But you probably understand that a large number of businesses can only exist within their facilities and making sure that they attract potential clients living nearby is crucial to them.
Location-based marketing integrates mobile and geolocalization services, and it is much more effective than many other strategies. And this is because it targets what your clients actually like to do, and where they usually go, so you can make things happen more precisely.
2016 will be the year when social media platforms will become a digital marketing channel in a more professional manner. It will also be when the execution of boring tasks will be left behind and replaced by marketing automation – giving to marketers more time to be creative and proactive.
Content remarketing will become a serious thing this year, as digital marketers want spend money and time in strategies that increase traffic and convert. And location-based services will be giving to businesses relevant information so they can target their audience better.
As a digital marketer, you should be aware of these trends and try to apply them to your next marketing strategies. Check which one of them suits your clients or your company better and follow the metrics so you can make adjustments along the way.
Leah J. Thurber is a freelance writer, personal trainer, and animal lover. She lives in Austin Texas with her boyfriend, a horse, 3 dogs, and 2 cats that she rescued from local shelters. She graduated from the University of Houston a little over 5 years ago with a degree in business administration. After graduation, she worked for a Fortune 500 company 3 years. She started in public relations when an internship turned into a job offer, but moved into HR after a year. Her job was to travel to their different locations and teach their employees about their health benefits, training programs, EAP, tuition reimbursement, and other perks. She also go to head the organization of their annual company and family events. It was a great job, but the best part was that she was in charge of putting together the quarterly employee newsletter. She wrote the majority of the articles and curated the rest from a variety of entertainment and industry sources. It was a big hit.