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!!
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Written by Bill Cates | @Bill_Cates
Are you referable? How do you know?
One barometer of your referability is that you’re getting referrals without asking for them. Are you? Do you have such a good initial process with new prospects and clients that they are thinking of people to refer you to before you even do much work for them? And as you work with your clients, do some of them continue to pass your name along and connect you with people?
This is one measure of your referability. And this counts, by the way. Getting referrals without asking for them is a testimony to your good work.
This article will give you a few ideas on how to become even more referable. By purposefully enhancing your referability, you'll get more referrals without asking for them -- and when you do ask, you’ll have more people receptive to your request.
A Referability ChecklistAlan Weiss, in his book Million Dollar Referrals, provides this list of qualities that contribute to one’s referability. Measure this against your current client relationships.
Think Process, Not Products If you’d like to get referrals sooner in your relationships, you need to think process over products. Selling a product will make you some money, but it’s unlikely to make you referable and create a word of mouth movement unless you have a process designed to deliver value every step along the way.
Do you have a clearly defined process through which you put most of your new clients? Is your process educational? Do you ask questions that get your prospects thinking in ways they haven’t thought before? Do you discuss expectations? Do you question their assumptions? Do you remain consistent with your process, or do you wing it? Use these questions to craft your sales process for ultimate referability.
Leverage Your ProcessHere are five steps that will ensure you get the most out of your process to make your clients happy and to generate referrals and introductions:
Never wing it when it comes to client interaction. Have processes in place, and document them with checklists. Then respect the checklists!