With 2015 behind the corner now, we figured we’d review some of the top trends digital marketing trends we saw throughout the past year, ones that we feel will be important in 2016 too. Without further ado, here they are:
As an increasing number of businesses are coming online, a larger variety of calls-to-actions is required to properly convert their customers. Some businesses have relatively straightforward goals online, for example if a business can sell online then a simple CTA to ‘buy’ is required and the path to a conversion is pretty clear. Others have conversions that cannot be made online for one reason or another, they may not be able to sell online, or they’re not a B2C business, or their target audience is hard to reach online. Despite the inability to sell online, these businesses realize the other benefits of being online, e.g. increasing brand awareness, staying top-of-mind with their potential and prospective customers, keeping up (and surpassing) the competition, understanding current trends, providing information to customers, preparing customers for purchase and more. The customized CTA’s now provided by various social media ads platforms allow for more flexibility with ads, granting a wider variety of businesses the opportunity to create effective ads.
Twitter – can create campaigns around: increasing followers, tweet engagement, website clicks (or conversions), app installs or re-engagements, leads, video views, and custom campaigns.
Facebook – Boost your posts, promote your page, website clicks, website conversions, installs of app, app engagements, local ads (around a physical location), event ads, offer ads, and video views.
Instagram – Boost your posts, website clicks, website conversions, installs of app, app engagements, and video views.
Periscope has been named ‘App of the Year’ by Apple, Meerkat received more than 200,000 mentions on Twitter this March, and Facebook began rolling out live videos to US users this month. It seems safe to say that live streaming is here to stay.
The success of Uber and Airbnb has encouraged entrepreneurs around the globe to apply the shared-economy model to their own businesses. The sharing economy model is based on using technology to allow users to exchange goods and services amongst each other. It’s disrupting industries left and right, in Toronto, city councillors are deciding the operation of Uber in the city, while condo boards are struggling to figure out the legality of Airbnb. Still, these growing pains, have not dissuaded excited entrepreneurs who are rising to the challenge of bringing the sharing economy to their industry. We had the pleasure of working with Ben Zlotnick of Aden Earthworks and Incubes, to develop Eden, an on-demand app for landscaping and snow removal.
Educational, funny, or shocking content
We no longer need to sell the importance of content, in the last few years most businesses realized that content vs. hard advertising/selling is the way to capture an audience’s attention. The content has to be engaging (and sometimes promoted) to get in front of users, or it should offer value, e.g. information, answers, solutions, or directions. If your content is not providing one of these key service to your audience, it’s unlikely it’ll get much attention.
User-generated (& up-voted) content
What’s so great about user-generated content? It’s authentic, human, and relatable. It may not always be high-quality, but it fosters a sense of community with its recipient, which is pretty special. We do not see this trend slowing down any time soon, take a look at the growth of Reddit communities in the last few years.
Facebook’s changing role
When was the last time you saw someone upload an album to Facebook? Probably quite a while ago. Facebook is no longer the network it once was. Today it’s easier to learn what’s going on the other side of the world through Facebook rather than what’s happening with your friends and family. This media-fication of Facebook was, of course, Mark Zuckerberg’s goal all along in making Facebook everyone’s personal newspaper. But do young people want a personal newspaper? Do users want a newspaper that’s curated by Facebook’s algorithms?
A more sophisticated and lazy internet user
So hopefully by this point you’ve explain to your dad, grandma or gullible friend that there is no Nigerian prince that will send them copious amounts of money online, the concept of clickbait, the importance of privacy online, and the slim chance anyone is making $3000 cash a week online. As internet users spend more time online interacting with different types of content, they learn what kind of content is good and which to avoid. This familiarity with content types and new content formats has negative effects too, people rely increasingly on article titles and summaries, and less on reading complete articles. The issue with this is the internet user becomes lazier in a sense, and less likely to click through to a piece of content. This may seem disadvantageous at first, but it could work to your advantage if you place the most important messaging in your title and summary.
We look forward to keeping a close eye on new and evolving trends in 2016, integrating and applying them to your business goals.