The world of technology moves at lightning speed, and if your business doesn't keep up you are going to be left behind. This concept doesn't just apply to your business and products, but also the technology you use to produce those items and even market your business. The web is an ever-evolving environment, and when it comes to digital marketing you are either winning or losing; there's no middle ground. Below you can read up on some of the digital marketing trends of 2016 that have proven successful.
Mobile is a Must
Smartphone adoption around the globe is continuing to skyrocket at an almost blinding pace. The number of smartphone users in North America and Western Europe may be reaching a plateau, but as devices become more prevalent and less expensive in the Asia-Pacific region, smartphone use just continues to boom. This means it's vital for your business to have not only a mobile presence (mobile site or dedicated app), but also to adopt an effective digital marketing approach for mobile devices.
Smart Insights provides the data:
- More than 50% of searches now take place on mobile devices
- 91% of daily Facebook usage occurs on mobile devices
- 80% of Facebook ad revenue comes from mobile
- 90% of mobile media time is spent in dedicated apps
Rise of the Bots
If you've never heard of chatbots, it boils down to the application of artificial intelligence in messaging applications to engage and service customers. Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and IBM's Watson are some of the early examples of this, but applications such as Facebook's Bot Engine for Messenger allow customers to interact with your band without having to speak or even chat directly with another human being.
The Hyatt hotel group has one of the first successful deployments of this technology, using chatbots connected to Facebook and Twitter that allow customers to interact with the brand in a search for local hotels or available rooms. Rather than calling or looking on the main website, customers ask the chatbot and it can provide them with room availability and rates nearby.
Social Media Marketing
It goes without saying that Facebook is the primary social media platform today, but Instagram has also proven popular when it comes to social media marketing in 2016. Companies can use both platforms in a cost-effective manner for B2C advertising that is precisely aimed at the right segment of the consumer base and developed using behavioral data to ensure maximum engagement and ROI.
For example, your company can use Facebook targeting options to direct your ads toward users based upon their location, interests (listed in profile and by activity), age, gender, profession, and other factors to produce accurately tuned messages.
Sometimes you do enough with your digital marketing to catch the consumer's eye and get them to visit your site, but they might end up leaving before converting from shopper to buyer. Retargeting ads allow you to re-engage with those same customers in a variety of ways. Examples offered by Google services or other programs such as Ad Roll allow you to practically follow your customers around the web.
Retargeting ads take a lot of different forms, but the idea is the same. Your brand is following them from website to website, posting ads from your business in their search results pages or displaying them as banner ads on a new website while they shop or read the news online.
Before you rolls your eyes, we're not suggesting spam emails or worthless newsletters. Lots of online customers purposely signup to receive your company's emails on a weekly or monthly basis, but the value of email marketing comes from what you offer the customer in terms of value inside your email. They are going to end up deleting and never reading your emails if all you ever send are update newsletters informing them of where your brand is at and how the company is doing.
Instead, you need to be sending the right type of email that offers simple engagement with the customers and even entices them to remain a loyal shopper by offering a discount or special shopping period only for registered users during which time certain products of interest are on sale. If you want your email campaign to succeed, remember the following for your emails:
- Use high-quality images
- Provide a concise message
- Make it a mobile-friendly design
- Offer a compelling subject line
- Close with a clear call-to-action
These are the leading digital marketing trends that have dominated 2016. Whether your business is using all or some of these marketing strategies, you're no doubt hoping to extend that run into 2017 and continue building your brand's consumer base.