4 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

I know, I know; 2015 isn’t even over yet, and we’re already talking about 2016. Digital marketing trends move fast, so you always have to look at what’s next to stay ahead of the game and start adapting your strategy early. If you can pinpoint the major marketing trends of the next twelve months, you can begin budgeting for the change, and subtly change direction now. Take a look at these four new trends, and think about how you can move towards them.

United Nations of smartphone operating systems by Jon Fingas via CC BY-ND 2.0

1) Mobile and location-based marketing

Mobile growth had an important year in 2015. At the start of the year, mobile browsing finally overtook desktop and laptop browsing. More people are using mobile devices to get online than any other technology, a trend that is expected to continue to grow in 2016. We’ll also start to see wearable technology find its feet and establish itself, which means coming up with unique location-based marketing strategies. How can your company harness your customer’s location to its benefit? Finally, it’s time to start thinking seriously about developing an app.

2) Long-term relationship building

Until now, digital marketing has focused on short-term success. It’s been all about hitting certain numbers of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, and making quick, easy sales online. After all, the Internet provides a forum for real-time conversations with customers and prospects 24/7. The most successful marketers are slowly realizing that a more traditional approach might actually be more cost effective. By nurturing customers for longer, they can double or even triple their sales over time. Start thinking about a way to retain customers, and make the second, third, and fourth sale.

3) SEO is more important than ever

It’s no secret that Google is always updating its algorithm. Every year, the search giant introduces a new change, and every year, it gets smarter. That means your SEO strategy needs to change and adapt alongside it. We asked the experts at Pay On Performance about what SEO will look like in 2016, and here’s what they told us. First, we’ll need to be more careful and targeted with our keywords. Don’t add redundant or unrelated keywords to pages and posts, and focus on long-tail keywords for more traffic. We’ll also need more organic and natural back links to bring more visitors to our sites and blogs. Finally, we’ll need to focus even more on producing quality content and new metrics like ‘time-on-site’ and engagement. That’s what Google is looking for in 2016.

4) Social media is expanding

If 2015 proves anything, it’s that social media isn’t going anywhere. Many predicted that Facebook’s bubble would eventually burst, but it shows no signs of slowing down (although Twitter has hit a stumbling block). In 2016, Facebook will integrate itself even further into our lives, but it doesn’t end there. Instagram and Pinterest have posted enormous growth figures in 2015. Statistics also show they have much higher rates of engagement and drive more sales. These two platforms will be critical for you next year, so start building a strategy now.

Taking note of these trends now will help you get a head start on next year! Where do you think digital marketing is heading? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you thinking about adding new platforms into your social media mix? Does your digital marketing strategy need an overhaul? Let’s talk, so we can put together a plan for you.

p.s. Wednesday, October 21st is ‘Back to the Future’ Day. What technology from the 80s blockbuster do you wish we had today?

Riding my hoverboard to 2016,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about digital marketing, flying cars or otherwise):
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Live Streaming Apps: The Future of Broadcasting or Legal Liability?

Since Meerkat stormed SXSW this year, live streaming apps have been all the rage. Once the fun of this new trend dies down, what will be left? Is live streaming the future of broadcasting or a legal liability?

Live Streaming Apps: The Future of Broadcasting or Legal Liability?

On one hand, live streaming apps are fun and functional. According to Fortune, early adopters are jumping in to use Meerkat and Periscope in creative ways. Pop star Katy Perry used Periscope to broadcast pink carpet arrivals to her film’s premiere and aired a post-show Q&A, all while encouraging fans to promote the event with #PerryScope. Saturday Night Live, SNL founder Lorne Michaels and MSNBC are all examples of well-known brands successfully utilizing Meerkat to promote themselves and further connect with their audiences.

“If Hollywood can find ways to monetize live streaming, by including advertising or product placement, it could be a great and easy way to boost revenue for the changing industry.”

On the other hand, live streaming presents downsides as well. Even in public settings, recording people on video without their permission can violate “right of publicity” laws. Live streaming concerts, games and other events can present challenges for organizers, who have contractual obligations to sponsors. On a more practical level, thousands of people live streaming an event can eat up bandwidth and keep people from promoting it via their social networks. This is why the NFL banned live streaming of the Super Bowl this year by attendees.

Related reading: Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope pose legal risks for users

Bandwidth issues point to a more practical issue for small business owners and professionals. As Time notes, livestreaming apps will totally crush your data plan. In an era where data limits are shrinking and prices are rising, this isn’t a good thing. So sure, you can live stream portions of your event or even a day at the office. But you’ll be paying for it, too.

Related reading: Periscope vs. Meerkat: Which Is The Livestreaming App For You?

Live stream to the CCC blog

Have you live streamed an event?

Which live streaming app do you prefer?

Do you foresee ways that your business could monetize live streaming?

Drop your thoughts in the comments, and chime in on the live streaming debate!

Cheers,
Jaime

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The Olympics: A Viewing Party

As noted in my previous post, I love watching the Olympics. It’s amazing to see so many amazing athletes from around the world gather in one place to compete. I was invited to participate in NBC’s 2012 Olympics Diary, which helps the network gauge the effectiveness of its coverage via all platforms.

NBC's 2012 Olympics logo

Photo Credit: NBC Olympics

As a participant in this study, I’ve tried to sample the various coverage options available — NBC, NBC Sports & partner channels, nbcolympics.com, the NBC Olympics app, the Live Extra App and, of course, social media. Being billed as the first “social media Olympic Games,” the coverage — especially from athletes themselves — have opened access to fans beyond what was previously possible.

screen shot of #Olympics tweets

#Olympics Twitter Page

I’ve enjoyed some of the non-traditional platforms, such as the Live Extra app (available for iPhone and Android), which allows you to watch live streaming action of your favorite sports and athletes, as well as view recorded action. Select your favorites, so you can easily locate the game or match you’re looking for later.

Michael Phelps

Photo Credit: NBC Washington

Also, it’s been interesting hearing so much directly from the athletes themselves and from fellow fans discussing the festivities. During the course of the Games, Michael Phelps gained his one millionth Twitter follower, an incredible feat for a swimmer. Of course, he’s also the most decorated Olympian of all time. But I think it speaks to how social media can be an avenue for athletes of all types to bypass traditional media coverage and develop a rapport with fans.

How have you watched the Olympics? Do you prefer to wait until prime time on TV or have you been following via live streaming online or social media? Maybe a combination of multiple platforms like I have?

I’m happy to be participating in NBC’s Olympic Diary, and I hope our feedback will continue to help improve coverage for future Olympics. Are you participating in this study? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, what constructive feedback would you have for NBC?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy competition between the greatest athletes in the world.

Jaime