Digital marketing is that ingenious branch of marketing that has been in a constant state of inflexion ever since it came into being. It has seen change and innovation at an unmatched pace. Ad campaigns that formed the backbone of the digital marketing vertical sit on the back burner as we prefer to connect with the target consumers online. We, as digital marketers, are all adapting to this change constantly, changing our own outlooks and updating our marketing repositories as we go.
Powerful and adaptive as it is, digital channel of marketing is at the cusp of yet another set of changes that were seeded in 2015 and likely to bloom in 2016. As online ad campaigns begin to feel the stress of reaching out to targeted audiences, CTR on display ads has gone down to a record low of 0.06 percent across the globe. However, the advancement of omni-channel marketing has seeded some hope in countering this effect of display ad CTRs. Omni-channel marketing allows marketers to reach out to the audience repeatedly through multiple avenues using online and offline channels. Many examples of omni-channel marketing have presented themselves in the year 2015 and the trend is likely to continue to scale new heights in the coming year. Let’s examine a few more similar trends from the past year and what to expect from them in the coming years.
An Excess Of Digital Data
There is a data overload that marketers are facing at present. While the ability to acquire data and process it to derive meaningful deductions is the USP of digital marketing, it is also proving to be the curse.
Brands need to shift focus to engaging the audience, generating brand awareness and most importantly, on tangible outcomes like sales. Any digital marketing initiative should limit itself to measuring 5-7 core metrics that help in achieving the above. These data points should signal whether the brand is actually creating meaningful outcomes or not. If there are no clear answer, leave the data and move on.
Digital Platform Is Attracting Senior Audiences
Believe it or not, digital mode of communication is finding acceptance in seniors far rapidly than expected. Grannies are skyping with their grandchildren and shopping on the internet with ease. One of the biggest reason for this change is that the information available on the internet is often more comprehensive than what a telemarketing operator can provide. As a result, the senior audiences have shed their hesitations and adapted to the digital commerce environment.
Content gets bigger and better
Content marketing has seen a renewed confidence from marketers as they poured in the money to create and manage quality content in 2015. Leads generated from content marketing were three times more than traditional marketing channels. Everything from written content to videos, animation and interactive content were exploited by marketers. However, most seem to still struggle with the source and curation of content for and data from content marketing.
Mobile Is The First Screen
Mobile became the de-facto first screen for nearly 80 percent audiences as 2015 drew to a close. With Google giving additional search ranking preference for websites that are mobile-friendly, responsive websites have seen a surge in the numbers. Despite the initial slow response from website owners, most have adopted a mobile-first approach in their web presence.
Social Media Channels
Twitter added the native video feature, while Pinterest started experimenting with the “Rich Pins” feature. Instagram ads that were available in 8 countries, are now available in more than 20 countries. Facebook put a limit to the number of promoted posts on news feeds, while YouTube Spaces garnered more than a billion views – all this in 2015. Keeping these stats in mind, 2016 seems like a windfall in terms of things that marketers can expect from popular social media websites.
RankBrain And Other Google Announcements
Google announced a lot of changes and updates in 2015. One of the biggest announcement was the unveiling of artificial intelligence in search queries. Apart from big-ticket announcements, Google had a lot of smaller but nonetheless inventive advancements to share, like the ‘Better Presentation’ structure in mobile search, and the preference to mobile friendly websites, to name a few. Google also introduced new advertising capabilities across Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube. These new features enable users to upload email lists and reach out to new and existing customers across the Google network.
What’s In Store For 2016?
Digital marketing is still a growing discipline, and the likelihood of it to continue doing so is quite immense. As digital marketers, our job is not only to keep abreast with the changes that have happened already in the digital landscape, but also to stay prepared for surprises and advancements. Because only then we’ll be able to truly change and adapt as the digital ecosystem evolves and train the next generation of marketers in the digital discipline.