Heading into Q4, now is the time to start thinking about what your business’s goals will be in the next year, including how you’ll to organize your budget and what your overall marketing plan will include.
You already know the organization of your current digital marketing channels — from SEO to coupons and deals — and which were the most effective for you this past year. Going into the next year, you’ll want to make sure that your local business takes advantage of 2016 digital marketing trends so that you can reach new customers that use these mediums.
This article will provide you with guidance about how to structure the different pieces of your marketing plan — 2016 digital marketing trends included — so that you can build a successful marketing strategy. From the up-and-coming social networks to the next mobile device your local business can use for quick customer check-outs, we’ve got the most important 2016 digital marketing trends that can help you start the year on the right foot.
Instagram will take off
Since Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, the social media giant has been consistently making small changes to the photo-sharing platform. In late 2015 and 2016, all these smaller changes will start to culminate into big developments on the platform.
Facebook is now the social media network that every local business needs to have a Business Page on, accompanied by an advertising package so that you can reach the followers you worked hard to amass.
Reaching your followers on Facebook with a post used to be free — just like it currently is on Instagram. However, with Instagram offering advertising in the form of “sponsored posts,” we predict that soon you’ll have to pay to ensure that your post is seen by your followers (just like you do on Facebook).
Instagram advertising gets strong results for its advertisers. The photo-sharing app says that their ad recall is 2.8x higher than other online advertising platforms, making it an attractive option for those businesses looking to get the most bang for their marketing buck.
Ad recall on Instagram is 2.8x higher than other online advertising platforms.
New tools that combine trending topics on Facebook and Instragam, such as Signal, are further proof that Facebook plans to continue integrating Instagram into its platform. As the two continue to be more tightly integrated, Instagram will certainly become a bigger and bigger player in the 2016 digital marketing trend arena.
It has been predicted that by 2017 Instagram will have $2.8 billion in advertising sales (it already has $600 million in advertising revenue YTD for 2015). Instagram is available exclusively via mobile and tablet apps, positioning it for a clear leadership role as small business marketing shifts to mobile.
Expand your social media presence on the network that will get the most user engagement in 2016: Instagram.
Search will expand beyond search engines
Search is moving beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo and onto social networks where search capabilities are expanding.
Pinterest jumped into the search engine game, expanding its search algorithm and incorporating “guided searches.” Pinterest isn’t the only one in the search game either; Facebook is already working on tests for its own search engine and Twitter is, once again, being indexed by Google so that public tweets are seen on both the micro-blogging network and the wider Internet.
88% of consumers are influenced by reviews and comments online and the ability to search on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube will connect people to these comments quickly. For small businesses that have been monitoring and building up the amount of positive customer reviews on social media sites, such as Facebook, you’ll be pleased to hear one of the side effects of a search engine: your business’s reviews are about to get a lot more attention because they will show up in searches.
Expanded search means that your business needs to invest in expanding your listings and start monitoring social more closely. Not only should your local businesses claim a social profile on every popular network (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yelp and LinkedIn), but you also need to be able to respond to what may be said about it online.
If you’re looking for help with reputation management, The Berry Company provides a service that you can use to track everything being said about your business. With this reputation management service, you’ll be able to learn what is being said about your business and also respond to it.
Targeting will be the new black
As the digital market continues to expand, the more consumer data it collects along the way. With all this data, more sophisticated targeting algorithms can be created to help you get better results by using more targeted messaging.
Depending on the state of your business’s online marketing strategy, targeted messaging can be a good or bad thing. You’ll be excited about targeted data if you have a comprehensive local online marketing program that you would like to refine and get more qualified results out of. You’ll be bummed if you don’t use local online marketing because your competitors are — and they’ll be able to reach more local customers than you can.
Take advantage of targeting by starting pay-per-click or re-marketing display ad campaigns. As more and more data is added to the funnel, your ads will automatically take advantage of new targeting capabilities.
Mobile payments will skyrocket
With the development of Apply Pay and the reliance on cell phones, mobile payments will have a steep increase this year.
In 2015, nearly 15% of Starbucks customers already began paying for their daily latte fix with their mobile devices. As a whole, nearly 60% of consumers use their smartphone to pay, so that they receive some sort of reward or benefit from the business.
Furthermore, mobile technology continues to become more and more affordable, as demonstrated at Apple’s latest conference with its line of iPhones. As prices continue to drop, smartphones will replace older phones — eliminating limited payment functionality.
As mobile technology becomes more affordable, mobile payments will continue to penetrate the market. Start looking into different platforms and hardware that your business can invest in to accept mobile payments.
Webrooming will become as important as showrooming
Consumers want to know exactly what they will be buying before they make a purchase, consulting 10+ sources before making a purchase.
Now these savvy-shoppers can use the web want to see how a product or service will fit in their lifestyle before they head to the store to make a purchase. By showcasing your product or service, or “webrooming” (it took me a minute to get that, web-rooming for anyone like me who didn’t get it ), you can help a consumer imagine how your product/service fits into their lifestyle.
Ikea does a remarkable job of marketing their products to many generations, from millennials who prefer webrooming, to baby boomers who are used to showrooms and window shopping.
Pick up a few of Ikea’s out-of-the-box marketing strategies to expand your offline experience with your online one.
Video will get the most views
Video has been a part of many online marketing strategies for years, but 2016 will make video the center of attention.
From 2013-2015 there was a 360% increase in video views. Facebook jumped on the video bandwagon and began hosting videos to keep more users on their network (instead of sending them to YouTube).
Your local business can leverage video in 2016, too. Share (and host when available) videos so that you can to attract more views to your content and your business.
Video is an incredibly versatile medium. From showcasing a product to sharing behind the scenes look at your business, start creating videos to drive up your customer engagement.
It may be 2015, but these 2016 digital marketing trends will have a big impact on your 2016 budget and strategy. Make sure you stay in the know with the latest digital marketing trends for local business by subscribing to the LocalVox blog which will also help you implement and track your marketing success.