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Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016

Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016

Happy New Year! 2016 is finally here and as businesses gear up for the year ahead, savvy marketers are already scouring for the next big trends. Here are our top 5 predictions to look out for in digital marketing this year:



  • Will show no signs of slowing down now that it has passed desktop usage.

Mobile web browsing might have overtaken desktop in 2015, but it’s only just getting started. Usage data shows that the rate of growth is still increasing and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

In 2016, websites will be made to adapt to all mobile devices; with responsive design implemented to seamlessly fit all screens sizes: smartphones, tablets and laptops.

  • Marketers will segment tablets from smartphones.

When we talked about ‘mobile’ usage in 2015, we referred to tablets, smartphones and everything in between. With the increased usage in mobile devices, marketers will no longer consider this to be an appropriate grouping, and will start separating tablets from Smartphones to gain greater insights and deliver more customised content.

  • SO (Siri Optimisation) will become a thing.

Digital assistants are available on all smartphones and with usage and dependency rising, the recommendations that they make are becoming more valuable. In the same way we optimise our websites to rank in search engines, we expect data analysts to research and make appropriate changes to their website, links, ‘reputation’ and ‘location’ indicators to increase the chances that digital assistants like Siri recommend them ahead of their competition.


  • Social will work on its strengths

Social media for business has always been about tapping into the conversations that people are having, and adding value to it. Social networks will release marketing tools that help businesses respond to trending topics and issues much faster than ever before, and at the same time, they will also improve targeting to make sure that you can send your hot topic posts to people who are most interested in it.            

  • Snapchat will be huge

Businesses will move into Snapchat in a big way. Snapchat, with the help of some innovative marketers, has shown that it is a viable marketing platform, and in 2016, we will see a significant uptake of businesses adding Snapchat to their social media strategy.

  • Most businesses will do it wrong

Just like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, only a small percentage of businesses will truly succeed on Snapchat. While social media marketing has been around for years, most businesses still use it as a one-way broadcast where their messages, products and services are sent to an audience. Although some companies are getting smarter with their social media strategies, the vast majority will continue to do the same thing and receive poor results.



  • Expect a meteoric rise in video consumption

Data gets cheaper every day, and download speeds have increased through a combination of infrastructure improvement and innovations in delivery technology. This combination has made video a viable medium on mobile devices using mobile data, which means video is in everyone’s pocket wherever they are. 2016 will see video become the preferred choice of content consumption, and businesses will rise and fall based on their ability to meet that demand.

  • Video ads will become an essential part of the marketing mix

With more audiences starting to engage with other types of content, video marketing is expected to continue to dominate as the preferred visual medium. 2015 has already shown that video ads are more effective on sites like YouTube than text or images. In 2016, marketers will need to incorporate video ads into their marketing mix or risk losing their audience.

  • Video content marketing, especially long (60min+) videos will grow significantly

Top video content marketers in 2015 are already producing longer videos, ranging from 30 minutes to well over 1 hour. In 2016, the increased usage and improvements in speed will increase the audience for video content marketing; attracting more marketers and more competition.

In 2016, expect an increase in longer, more engaging video content.



  • In-app advertising feeds on increased mobile usage

As more people spend more time on their smartphones, app usage will drive more in-app advertising. Advertisers will need to shift their budgets to suit where their audiences are moving.

  • More brand ads in-app taking some share from traditional app ads.

Traditionally, in-app advertising has been used to advertise similar apps to the ones being used. In 2016, we will see a significant increase of ads for brands, digital products and physical goods. This change will be due to a combination of improved targeting options, increased audience, and better advertising options that make these types of advertising more viable.

  • Interactive ads and demos will become the new app ads

Trials towards the end of 2015 have proved that interactive ads, where users actually go through a demo or tutorial of the app being advertised, is much more effective than a video demo. In 2016, we will see an increase in ads where the user is able to experience the UI and functionality of an app as part of an advertisement.

  • Apps will be indexed and displayed as individual results in search engines

In 2016, search engines will need to continue to innovate to meet the demands and changes in the behaviour of their users. Since more users will be browsing and searching from their mobile devices, search engines will improve drastically by displaying results that are based on the person, the query, and the device. This means that when you search for angry birds 27 (we are up to that right?) you will see the app in the results page, and it will be the version that suits the device you are on right now.


Virtual reality

  • Virtual reality will be common for new video games

In 2015, Virtual reality headsets have become reasonably affordable and less bulky, which means they are marketable as a gaming peripheral. The main reason this technology has not already become mainstream is the computing power required to run the virtual environments. Top of the range gaming machines can handle the workload, but are also extremely expensive. With the rate that processing power is increasing, by mid-2016 VR could be handled with a reasonably priced gaming desktop or laptop.

  • ‘In world’ advertising

As more people, especially young individuals, move into virtual reality gaming, there will be a valuable niche for marketers to work with game developers to insert their brands and marketing into the virtual worlds that the users interact with. This form of advertising will become extremely specialised in 2016 and will require a subtle approach so that it fits in seamlessly with the user’s experience of the world.

 Which predictions are you most excited about? Let me know on twitter @nathan5riTry our  AdWords Audit.