By Poppy Watson

Account Manager and Digital Marketing expert Poppy discusses this year’s trends that you should be aware of…

Content Remains King

Creating readable, informative and shareable content should be seen as a priority for any company.

With 90% of consumers finding custom content useful and 78% believing that an organisation that provides customer content are interested in building good relationships with them, content remains the way to consumers’ hearts.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Instead of having to convince them to buy a product or service, a brand can in advance cement its position as the brand to buy by utilising SEO.

Recent algorithm updates from Google have placed a greater emphasis on quality content over keyword optimisation.

By using SERP (search engine results page) rankings to judge how valuable the information is on a webpage, how long users stay on a page (aka “Dwell Time”), and how much of the rest of the site they click through, search engine optimisation should not be ignored.

An SEO strategy should always be agile. Just like the latest tangible technology (iPhones, laptops, etc), SEO evolves and changes.

Mobile domination

2015 was a huge year for mobile, with Google announcing that mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries. With 87% of this digital generation admitting to never being without their phone by their side, and mobiles a large part of people’s daily routine, those who can produce compelling material optimised perfectly for mobile are likely to reap the rewards of this upward trend.

Be sure to not lose out on these sales by ensuring the mobile experience is as user-friendly as possible. This is a particularly important point given that 14% of consumers will refuse to do business with a brand without a strong mobile presence.

Website Design

Quality content is crucial, however the design of a website is often the decider when it comes to how consumers perceive your website and therefore the brand associated with it.

Eye-opening research indicates that the rejection or mistrust of websites comes ultimately down to website design (94%). Companies must therefore ensure their website is at the forefront of website design, both aesthetically and functionally.

Social Media Strategy

The simplicity and low cost nature of creating and posting to a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. seems to have given some brands a false sense of security and confidence.

Companies need to therefore remember that social media shouldn’t be used for self-promotion, but rather as a way to engage users and build brand trust and address customer issues such as complaints. By using personal and emotion driven stories, a brand can humanise itself and gain the trust of a naturally sceptical audience.

Get Personal

Just like entering a shop and expecting to receive a personalised service where consumers are recommended items that they’re specifically interested in, an organisation’s online presence needs to do the same.

Whether creating a personalised email campaign, or sending out targeted social media posts, it’s time to treat consumers as an individual rather than a number on a spreadsheet.

Video ads will start dominating.

During 2016 Google is set to get on board with in-SERP video advertising.

Advertisement videos will therefore begin to stream in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online.

Recognised as a great way to quickly learn about a new product or service or simply be entertained and grow consumer trust, it is predicted that 74% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2017.

App explosion.

Despite the growth of mobile optimised websites in the place of dedicated apps, 2016 will be the year more business owners will switch back to an app, realising the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app.

Although websites have improved, Apps can do everything that websites can but in a more intuitive, convenient, accessible way. Although Apps aren’t ready to replace websites yet, 2016 will be a pivotal year in app adoption as the technology improves.

Virtual reality and wearable technology

Oculus Rift is set to release in the first quarter of 2016. This and other VR devices will introduce an entirely new medium of online advertising. Facebook are in fact so convinced by the technology that they have already began to sell Virtual Reality-Like video ads which suggests VR will have a massive impact on the marketing world in 2016.

While not quite to the level of virtual reality, wearable “smart” devices like the Apple Watch should also start gaining more traction into 2016, blurring the lines between “online” marketing and “real” marketing.

Relationship marketing

Relationship marketing is set to make a big impact during 2016. Predicted that over two billion of us worldwide will own a smartphone, companies will never have had such an opportunity to be so connected to its’ current and potential consumers.

By creating tailored content companies can create a humanised brand which is more approachable, something Coca Cola and Apple are great at. Transparency between customers and brands is consequently essential in order to build long-lasting relationships during 2016 and beyond.

Judging from all these advances and progressions in the digital industry, one thing is for certain, digital marketing is going to go from strength to strength and our conclusions is that if you aren’t involved you will be left behind. On that note we are here if you want to chat through any of the things discussed in this blog today. 01392 267 390