With the first quarter of 2016 well underway, the biggest digital marketing trends of the year are beginning to emerge. Don’t wait while the competition tackles the biggest bets of the season: bring you – and your company – up to speed on this year’s most critical digital marketing trends. Although many of the tried and true trends from years past are still making the cut, 2016 brings new breakthroughs in customization and data mining that take our top digital marketing trends to the next level.
Are you surprised to see this at the top of the list (again)? We weren’t. The amount of money companies are willing to spend on content creation has been steadily increasing over the past five years. It’s also ranked as having the highest predicted impact on commercial marketing in 2016 according to Smart Insights. Whether you choose to create new content in-house or leverage a local Florida digital marketing agency like ours, it’s important that all your content is crisp, clear, and speaks directly to your target audience. It’s time to get painfully focused on your top customers – the rest will follow in a halo effect of unbeatable brand value.
Census studies show that more than 60% of consumers are willing to make a major purchase on a mobile device. In years past, the hurdle was getting customers to purchase big ticket items online. Now, we’ve reached a pivotal point where people are not only willing to purchase online, but they’re willing to do it from their mobile phones. This means businesses must invest in responsive websites, mobile friendly e-commerce platforms, and streamlined trial and purchase flows. If your website is still stuck in 1999, the quickest (and most effective) way to bring your site up to speed is to work in partnership with a digital marketing agency. Due to the importance of good user interface and information architecture, we don’t recommend beginners go the DIY route. Splurge here and prepare for the future with a clean, easy-to-use mobile-ready site.
As competition heats up, SEO will become even more critical as a competitive advantage. Google has (again) changed their search results pages sending many search marketers into a flurry of activity. Earlier this month, Google removed text ads from the right rail of their search results and will now show four paid ads before users see organic search results (with a maximum of four ads per search query). That means showing up in that number-one organic search slot is even more important than EVER if you hope to compete with paid advertisers. Understanding how internal linking, tagging, and content marketing play a part in search rankings is a great place to start. Simple but effective enhancements can easily be done on your own, so we recommend starting there and then partnering with a digital marketing agency if you need a little extra fire power.
Personalized marketing has the power to disarm prospects and add new value to your existing (and hopefully repeating) customer base. Receiving personalized emails, custom product recommendations, or promotions and offers based on behavioral triggers are one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience. It’s no secret that people like feeling as if you’re talking directly to them or tailoring an experience to their needs. Even though yes, we admit, it’s kinda creepy. However! This speaks to the fundamental marketing psychology principle that people are more likely to convert if the experience has greater perceived value to them – and the best way to boost someone’s perceived value is to speak to them (rather than at them) and anticipate their needs. Using data to look for trends in your customer base and creating a marketing plan around these behaviors is one way to do it. Layering in “right for me” product selectors, quizzes, or bundles is another easy way to get close.
Leveraging big data
Knowledge is power. Which is why big data is such a powerful tool. While the data itself isn’t a trend per se, using it to craft better website content and create meaningful digital marketing experiences is. Partnering with a digital marketing agency or third party data management tool can give you the detailed insight into your customers that you crave and need to succeed. The sheer volume of information we have about our customers and people like them is staggering – the trick is using it to make a best-in-class marketing experience. Digital specialists are best positioned to achieve this goal and help you understand the levers you need to pull to enhance your customer experience.
Retargeting is the marriage between personalized marketing and big data. Dropping cookies onto your customer experience to both track trends and serve them content based on what they were previously looking for is invaluable and one of the biggest conversion drivers to combat cart abandonment or close large scale purchases. Retargeting allows you to remind your prospects why they want to move forward in the purchase experience or show them new products and experiences your brand has to offer. Amazon owns this experience.
Well, there you have it. Now hire us already, geez.