The online marketing industry is complex, but an exciting one for anybody who stays up on modern trends. New hardware, software, companies, and user preferences dictate the sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by the businesses of the world. Those that choose to adopt the changes are usually the ones that get a head start on the competition, as they tend to appeal to new markets and cement their reputations as industry leaders, while those who choose not to adopt the changes miss out on key opportunity’s to retain and/or enhance their positions.
Trends set to dominate 2016
Video ads. Video ads are certainly nothing new, with social channels like YouTube 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 video advertising. 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. However, this could be balanced out by the continuing increase in online advertising space. There is more TV being watched online, increased web browsing each year and companies like Twitter and Facebook keen to gain more advertising revenue to boost their value.
Mobile will completely dominate desktop. 2015 was a big year for mobile—not only did Google announce that in 10 different countries mobile traffic finally overtook desktop traffic, it was also the year they released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update to phase out sites not optimized for mobile. It’s clear desktop traffic fading away, meaning the smart money rests on mobile-focused online marketing and mobile friendly websites (is-your-non-responsive-website-losing-you-customers?)
Digital assistants will lead to a new kind of optimization. Search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two highly popular strategies for getting your site seen by thousands of previously unknown visitors. 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.
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 end up as a temporary fad, but there are billions of dollars of funding in limbo, ready to bet otherwise.
Wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) will pave new ground. While not quite to the level of virtual reality, wearable “smart” devices should start gaining more traction into 2016. 2015 saw the unveiling of the Apple Watch, a first-generation smart watch, but more smart watches and similar wearable devices should start emerging next year. Such devices will change the landscape of local marketing, and will do more to blur the lines between “online” marketing and “real” marketing.
Advertising will become more expensive. Competition in the online marketing world has increased dramatically over the past few years. 2016 will see it increase even more. An increase in demand is often accompanied by an increase in price, therefore all those new online marketing competitors will drive the prices for online advertising even higher. Currently, online ads are pretty cheap, but an increases in price may drive some smaller companies out of the competition.
These trends aren’t the only ones that will emerge over the next year, however they will be some of the most significant.There isn’t any guarantee when or how these trends will manifest as much of that is driven by consumer adoption, but it is definitely worth hedging your bets in at least a few of these technologies and strategies. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to adjust and reap the full benefits of your forward-thinking campaign. If you’re looking for help or advice getting started with your online marketing campaign, contact us at Realnet.