In the present times, marketing and technology are considered inseparable. The Internet boom marked by the peaking of the dot com industry in the early 2000s, advent of Google in 2004, followed by the iPhone in 2007 changed that forever. Every year is a milestone in evolution of the online marketing industry. While advent of EVM credit cards, rise in social media conversions and decreased reliance of Google led the way in 2015, the coming year promises to bring in more ground-breaking developments in online marketing. Here are the top game-changing trends to watch out for in 2016.

1. Dominance of videos over written content.

YouTube is the second most visited site after Facebook, with more than a billion users accessing it every month. If this doesn’t indicate a clear dominance of videos over the written word, what does! With production costs falling considerably and availability of apps such as six-second video wonder Vine, even small business can afford to use videos for promotion. This offers an easier and more impactful medium for reaching out the target audience. If market trends are to be believed, written content is going be passé in 2016.

2. App explosion thanks to Google app indexing

With Google taking up app indexing, 2016 is likely to be a year that sees an unprecedented rise in this generation of mobile apps. More and more businesses are waking up to the viability of a dedicated smartphone app over mobile-optimized sites. Although a complete wipe-out of websites is still only a distant possibility, the coming year will definitely serve as a harbinger of this change, with effectiveness of apps for improving online becoming apparent.

3. Clear dominance of mobile over desktops.

When was the last time you used a desktop computer to browse the Internet, log on to social media or shop online? Can’t recall? You are not alone. The growing outreach of smartphones has marked a clear deviation from the use of desktops. The State Of The News Media 2015 report by the Pew Research Center highlights that mobile users account for a majority of traffic on digital news portals. This is reflective of a general trend in the way internet accessibility is changing and not just limited to news websites and portals.

4. Need for newer optimization techniques.

With so many changes coming about in different aspects of digital marketing, how can the same SEO techniques work effectively? A study on the future of SEO carried out by Seattle-based consultancy, Moz Inc, reflects that most crucial SEO techniques for 2016 include mobile-friendliness, with a perceived impact of 88%, dwell time in terms of data usage (67%), analyzing perceived value of a webpage (81%), whereas tools such as anchor text and paid links are likely to lose effectiveness.

5. Content marketing as a standalone strategy in 2016.

Until now, content has been a part of well-rounded SEO campaigns. Come 2016 and content marketing will emerge as a standalone tool for improving online visibility. The focus will shift from engaging to interactive content. Business 2 Community interactions will be marked by features like real-time polls and animated presentations. It is, therefore, important to choose a company that is willing to work on dedicated content marketing projects, customized for a client’s specific needs. There are several online marketing companies that are leading the way with innovative, out-of-the-box solutions. It’s necessary to know what your content marketing provider should be able to bring to the table.

6. Advent of machine-generated content,

While machine-generated content is not completely unheard of even in the present context, it is likely to become a hot topic in the realm of digital marketing in 2016. A majority of online content may still, however, be written by humans. However, e-commerce portals may turn to companies specializing in machine-generated content for elements such as unique product description. Auto-generated content will simplify the problems of affordability for small and medium level players in e-commerce.

7. Rising popularity of wearable technology like smartwatches.

Apple led the way in the field of wearable technology by introducing the smart watch, Apple Watch, and all leading electronics players followed suit. Though the trend took some time catching up, 2016 is likely to be the year when wearable gadgets such as smart watches and wrist bands rule the roost. These devices will make the concept of Internet of Things more tangible and blur lines between real and online marketing.

8. Greater convergence on social media platforms.

Social media platforms are constantly evolving in a bid to address all user needs in one place. Facebook making way for shopping directly through the site is a case in point. With a view to provide an overwhelming customer experience, more and more social media sites will aim for greater convergence of features such as offering search and shop options. This will also give rise to targeted social media advertising.

Looking at the bigger picture of technological advancements, these trends are just a tip of the iceberg in terms of changes that the digital marketing industry may undergo in 2016.

Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

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