Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Strategies for 2016, Trends and Predictions

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It’s once again the year end and people are geared up the welcome 2016. Marketing heads and business owners have you made your marketing resolutions for 2016? Hope Digital Marketing is part of your marketing plan for 2016. Looks like Dubai is all set to embrace the digital marketing strategies this year, in my last few gatherings and conversations with marketing minds, it seems 2016 is going to be benchmark for digital marketing spending in this region. Dubai, and the UAE at large is still set catch up with digital spending with the rest of the world. Nevertheless it looks we are all heading in the right direction, where the marketing money can be measured easily.
 
trending01Industry experts have predicted what will trend in the upcoming months of 2016. I will spotlight a few trends and hints on this blog in order to make decision little easier. The online marketing trends and techniques keeps evolving, and most importantly user preferences are changing and shifting. The companies who can identify the next big thing in digital marketing strategies will sure take advantage over their competitions and reach the new emerging market and establish reputation and brand value.
 
No doubt, over the past few years digital marketing has become challenging and competitive, this trend will continue for another few years to come. Digital spending has doubled in the last two years, this year alone Google Insider reveals that 10 billion USD is expected to be spent in all the areas of digital marketing.
 
These aren’t the only trends we will see in 2016, but these are the ones poised to deliver the greatest wallop. As the old saying goes, “The early bird catches the worm.” Companies should think around how they can incorporate these trends into their marketing strategies right away, as opposed to halfway through 2016.

trending02Video Ads:
With the emergence of Facebook, Bing and other advertising networks offering video options to advertisers. And Google’s decision to include video content in its search engine algorithm. And most importantly, users are finally accepting video ads (8 out of 10 video ads are either clicked or viewed in the last 3 months, with 55 percent viewing the full video), and businesses are discovering their strength. Altogether this is summed up that 2016 will be year of videos to tell your tales.  
If you want to fetch home the bacon, keep your videos short, precise, humorous and shareable. If you need your videos to go viral then be creative.

Mobile Friendly Site and or Mobile App:
In April Google changed its algorithm to reward mobile friendly websites, and with Google’s App indexing, more users will start using the apps. With these changes more business owners will realize that online visibility advantages of a dedicated app or mobile site. Ignoring these changes will be dangerous for your business.
 
The industry predicts that mobile usage will eclipse desktop usage in 2016. And if your website is not ready for the change, then…...
 
This reminds me of Dubai Now App, how DubaiSmartGov is leading by example by clubbing 53 government services from 22 Govt. entities in one single app. I envy the marketing minds behind Dubai.
 
Digital Assistants:
Apple Siri, Google M, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Facebook M all these giants have their own digital assistants that they’ve been pumping lots of money into. Since these assistants are capable of answering user requests more and more business owners should be looking to ensure their business details can be easily found via virtual assistant. This medium is still young, but I advise you to optimize all your sites to digital assistants.
 
SEO is still valuable and worth investing in:
Why do you necessitate a website if no one can see it? Or as Greg Gifford said “Simple. If you want to be found by customers in online searches, it’s an absolute necessity. If you’re in a vertical where there are more than 10 competitors in a city, that’s more possible results than Google can show on page one… and even if there are less than 10 results, you still want to be higher in search results than your competitors. Even if you’re already the number one result, you still need to do SEO to keep your position.”
 
And don’t forget that organic search rankings can bring in 300% more traffic than social. You can read some of my previous blogs about SEO if you are not convinced that you need SEO.
 
Engagement:
Shy away from vanity metrics in Social media and stick into real actionable metrics. Push the social media bar to the next point of engagement, not merely in your social channels, across your fan/followers channels. Use social media to tell your story and listen to your followers/fan's story.
 
trending03Remember in 2013, Jaguar launched #MyTurnToJag, which called upon consumers to say why they should win an opportunity to test ride the brand new F-TYPE convertible. The results were astonishing proving that Jaguar has an avid fan base willing to endorse the brand publicly. Plan something of this nature and engage your users with your brand.

Content Marketing & Influencer Marketing:
Communicating well to your audience through your writing isn’t just nice; its necessity, because your contents can either make you look smart or look stupid. Learn to use your brand heritage to tell the stories behind products or service. I remember reading Simon Sinek “Start With Why” where he explains how great marketing starts by explaining why they exist. Despite this, the majority of companies still market their products/service by explaining what they do.  
Aston Martin do a great job telling the story of their brand heritage on all of their product pages and digital content.
 
Nike pays Tiger Woods and many other athletes for one thing. Helping them reach the right audience.
Online influencers and niche bloggers now offer this for brands to reach targeted global audiences. They offer not only global reach, but credibility and trust. Companies are now willing to pay for that attention.
A recent report from Group High reveals that influencer marketing is no longer a freebie, but often requires a paid investment. So another tip hire a good content writer for your web content and use few influential bloggers to blog about your brand/service/products.
 
E-mail Marketing:
Email is alive and kicking so don’t simply write it off. According to a report, there are more than 3.2 billion email accounts today. 95% of online consumers use email and, 91% check their email at least once a day (Source: Exact Target). There is simply no competition in this area. More significantly, it is such an integral component in our lives, no human being walks around saying he will give up email. Electronic mail is still a digital movement that isn’t moving out anytime soon. It is even the default business communication tool.
 
Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack – a chatroom app for teams in workplaces says this about email. “The reason email survives – even though everyone seems to hate it – is that “email has many benefits, it’s the lowest common denominator for official communications”. For those that expect email to disappear…. wait another 30 years!
 
trending04For marketers, email will continue to be the key communication channel for acquiring leads and customers. The money is indeed in the list. Suggestion subscribe to some newsletter delivery services and make your life easy.
 
Wearable Devices:
This is another medium business owners have to concentrate on. Internationally, consumer uptake of wearables is expected to rise 35 percentage per year between 2015 and 2019, which will have a big impact on marketing strategies. Because the devices' screens are so small web and app content should be shorter, favoring a “listicle” format over a traditional article format. Wearables also require online marketers to think about how to best provide “on-the-go” information, as well as create content that is easily searchable via voice commands.
 
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