Digital marketing trends to take note of in 2016

It’s a new year and with it comes new trends and inevitable advancements in the exciting world of digital. In an industry in which things are constantly evolving (most times, at the speed of light), it’s important for marketers to stay up-to-date and on top of all the latest developments. Staying ahead of the digital curve is the name of the game, and if brands hope to create the most effective online marketing strategies that will reach and connect with their target audiences, then achieving this is key. We’ve narrowed it down to the four digital marketing trends we feel will be worth taking notice of in 2016.

Advertising through Instagram

Instagram is an app that allows people to share their lives and experiences with others through images. In 2015, paid advertising opportunities through selected developer partners were made available, but soon, anyone will be able to advertise through Instagram. Brands can create either carousel ads (essentially multi-page ads) or 30 second video ads with the aim of connecting with their intended audience in a fresh, exciting way. Marketers will be challenged with coming up with interesting and unique ways of promoting their brand’s products or services using this visually-driven social media platform.

Live video streaming

Video has been on the rise over the last few years and has become an increasingly popular medium. With more mobile connectivity than ever before, together with the advancements in technology, the reality is that video is cementing itself more and more as an integral part of any worthwhile marketing strategy. Live streaming video apps such as Periscope and Meerkat can be used to engage with an audience in real time, grabbing peoples’ attention and allowing them to interact with a brand. This allows the target audience to be part of the brand experience like never before, and when people feel like they’re a part of something, they’re far more likely to garner love and respect for it. The instantaneous nature of it makes live video streaming a powerful digital, real-time marketing tool.

How can this be used by brands? : Think live Q&A sessions, “behind the scenes” glimpses and live new releases.

Identity-based PPC marketing

Being able to tailor and direct ads and content to specific individuals is probably one of the most effective forms of advertising, and AdWords has now made this possible. Particular ads and content can be directed towards particular people, something that can be incredibly powerful because, best case scenario, their wants and needs can end up being answered before they can even answer them for themselves. There is a whole range of criteria used to ensure as accurate directing as possible, one of which would be the interests of certain individuals. This is sure to change the face of digital marketing.

Did you know? Pinterest has now jumped on the bandwagon with its Animated Cinematic Pins. These are new promoted pins that target specific people based on their interests. Users become part of the experience as they are in control – by scrolling down, they set the pin in motion. So ultimately, they decide whether or not to watch it.

Consumers are powerful – let them market your brand for you

User-generated content may just be the way forward. The sharing of positive customer experiences, as told from their perspective, can be extremely powerful. Why? Simply because who better to identify with than fellow consumers? When potential customers engage with content created by other customers, it immediately becomes more relatable. Because they’re more likely to connect with this kind of content, it’s bound to have more of an effect on them, prompting them to share it with others and in the long run, build solid brand loyalty. If your target audience is, essentially, marketing your brand for you, then you’re on to a real winner and a means of reaching a broader audience for less.

There are many more surprises sure to come in 2016 but as a digital marketer, it’s best to stay on top of the game and take note of the trends dominating at all times. There’s no such thing as “knowing too much” in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, so be sure to keep those eyes and ears open at all times. Here’s to a hugely successful 2016!


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