The online marketing industry is complex and volatile, but an exciting one for anybody who stays up on modern trends. Each year, new hardware, new software, new companies, and new user preferences dictate a host of sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by the businesses of the world. Early adopters get a leg up on the competition, appealing to new markets or cementing their reputations as industry leaders, while those lagging behind miss out on a key opportunity to retain their positions.
2016 looks to be a great year for online marketing, and I anticipate it shaking up the game with these seven trends:
1. Video ads will start dominating. Video ads are certainly nothing new, with social channels like YouTube dedicated to hosting billions of videos and advertising platforms like Facebook and Bing already offering advertisers video options. 2016 is set to be different because Google is finally getting on board with in-SERP video advertising. It’s a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online, and as that trend continues, expect to see more types of video ads popping up in more unexpected places. With Google’s ownership of YouTube, the possibilities are virtually limitless.
2. App indexing will lead to an explosion of apps. Google has offered app indexing for a while, but as the ranking possibilities for apps become more complex, 2016 will be the year more business owners realize the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app. A mobile-optimized site works wonders for appealing to the mobile crowd, but soon, apps will begin to replace them. Apps can do everything that websites can, except in more intuitive, convenient, accessible ways. We’re still several years away from apps completely replacing websites as a medium, but 2016 will be a pivotal year in app adoption from business owner’s perspectives.
3. Mobile will completely dominate desktop. 2015 was a big year for mobile—not only did Google announce that mobile traffic finally overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries, it was also the year they released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update to phase out sites not optimized for mobile. But apparently, you don’t have to have an optimized desktop site in addition to a mobile version—according to Google, a mobile-only site with no desktop counterpart is perfectly acceptable. This alone won’t be enough to drive down desktop traffic, but it’s clear what side of the fence Google’s on; they’re banking on desktop traffic fading away, meaning the smart money rests on mobile-focused online marketing.
4. Digital assistants will lead to a new kind of optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two highly popular strategies for getting your site seen by thousands of previously unknown visitors. But the rise of digital assistants is going to lead to a new kind of optimization. Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana do utilize traditional search engines, but only when necessary to find information. The key to optimizing in this new format is to make sure your business information is easily accessible to these assistants, rather than trying to funnel people to your site specifically.
5. Virtual reality will emerge. There are dozens of different virtual reality devices set to release in the next few years, some of which are dedicated for specific applications like video games, and others which are available for general use. Oculus Rift, arguably the most hyped VR device, is set to release in the first quarter of 2016. Oculus Rift and other VR devices will introduce an entire new medium of online advertising, with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and even forms of direct messaging. There’s always a chance VR could fizzle as a temporary fad, but there are billions of dollars of funding in limbo, ready to bet otherwise.
Online video has been exploding in popularity for the past decade (in fact, 79 percent of all the traffic online is related to video) and there is one name that has always been synonymous with online video – YouTube.
While YouTube is still a major traffic destination, there is a relatively new (although familiar) competitor on the scene that is slated to give YouTube a run for its money.
That competitor is Facebook, and in a short period of time, they have been gaining some serious traction in the online video and content marketing space and industry experts have been taking notice.
Gene Marks, a New York Times columnist, author and entrepreneur puts it quite well:
On FB, how can it not be a success – with just about every survey naming Facebook as one of the leading resources for small business marketing, and with just about every analysis pointing towards the explosion of video online (Netflix and YouTube consume 60% of the internet now) the merging of FB and video will be the future of small business marketing.
So, you may know....no one likes to read anymore. Everyone wants to be entertained, and they want to be entertained by videos, photos, Memes and GIFs. So how do you capture attention with your business Facebook page when the algorithms of Facebook are working against your business posts? You get creative with videos, photos, memes and GIF's, of course!
If you want to see the entire video, check it out here.
So, if you're still with me, way down here at the bottom of the page, I hope you've got some ideas clicking in that pretty head of yours to get creative! If you need help with your social media, marketing plan, Facebook advertising, contact us today!!
Please Help Me Socialite!
Please don't invite me...
...to your boring, dull, business, business-y, business-page! Social media is about being social! If you just hammer me (and your clients) with loan programs, underwriting tips and all your listings I'm going to check-out! All that stuff is completely boring and doesn't matter to me unless I'm interested in that specific subject on that specific day, otherwise you lost me! Dis-engaged, not interested!
You've got this page going to get more business and to connect with your clients and potential clients, right? Then do it! In addition to sparingly used business posts, use crowd sourced material relevant to your marketplace and clients! Is there a fun event happening in your city, link to an article about it! Do you like make-over's, like I do...post a before and after shot of a kitchen, give gardening tips, DIY home improvement ideas, something about your favorite home town sports team! There is so much interesting stuff happening everyday, don't be afraid to tap into it!
Wait, there's one more element to add...it's the true part of the social experience...you have to get a little personal. Now I'm not talking about a #tbt picture of you at the prom in your sweet mullet (don't get me wrong, I love mullet pictures but there is a right place and time for them), I'm talking about a picture with happy clients at a closing, a "selfie" with a referral partner at lunch, a group shot at a networking event, or your foursome at that charity golf tourney! Did you go somewhere interesting, did you do something fun, did you see an amazing sunset? Share it!
So I feel like I smacked you around a bit about all the business posts, I'm sorry about that, but it had to be done. There's a whole lot more to getting this social media stuff right, like algorithms and consistency, but this will give you a start! If it's too much, or you know you can't do it right, we need to chat, and I promise to leave the boxing gloves at home!