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8 Top Game-Changing Online Marketing Trends to Watch out for in 2016

8 Top Game-Changing Online Marketing Trends to Watch out for in 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Kumarpal Shah

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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