76 Marketing Pros Reveal the Biggest Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

Digital marketing seems to be in a constant state of flux. With new marketing platforms emerging seemingly every day, it’s a challenge for marketers just to keep up with the latest up-and-coming social networks to stay ahead of the curve, let alone stay on top of the emerging technologies and strategies that promise to make your marketing more targeted than ever.

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Add to that the fact that consumer and buyer behavior isn’t static, meaning you must predict these shifts in order to continue reaching your audience on the right channels and with the right messages, and things get pretty complicated. The other challenge is that most marketers don’t have the luxury of endless budgets, so you must carefully select the right marketing mix that offers the best ROI.

As the first quarter of 2016 comes to a close, we thought we’d examine the major trends set to make the biggest impact in digital marketing this year so that you can focus more effort on the things that matter. To gain some insight into the major shifts and up-and-coming technologies that are shaping the digital marketing space in 2016, we asked a panel of marketing experts and thought leaders to answer this question:

“What are the biggest digital marketing trends this year?”

Find out what our experts had to say below.

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Experts and Thought Leaders:


Mario NatarelliMario Natarelli

@MBLM

Mario Natarelli is a Managing Partner at MBLM, the Brand Intimacy Agency focused on strategy, design, creative and technology. Mario is a trusted advisor to executives and their companies as he looks to leverage their most important asset-their brands. By first being able to uniquely understand a brand’s true challenges and untapped potential, then through deliberate and extensive analysis he’s helped major Fortune 500 companies-and even entire countries-tangibly transform while helping to align their cultures and deliver unprecedented growth and value.

“Following its extensive Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, in which the agency analyzed the responses of 6,000 consumers, MBLM surveyed 150 senior marketers and discovered their ambitious goals for 2016…”

1. Embrace the opportunity
Make this year the time to establish real bonds between customers and your brand. While almost 75 percent of marketers interviewed rated their company’s performance as very good or good in terms of creating brand intimacy with customers, MBLM’s global research suggests only about one third of consumers feel they have an intimate connection with the brand. This suggests marketers may have overstated their brand’s success or underestimated the challenges in creating ultimate brand relationships.

2. Fight the good fight
Marketers surveyed lamented the main reason they aren’t building stronger bonds with customers is due to internal resistance. Fight the data-driven mindset that pervades the C-suite; marketing’s strength is its ability to combine rigor with emotion, creating a unique blend of art + science. Arm yourself with facts about decision drivers and boast about the performance that intimate customers deliver. Leverage the emotional currency of your brand and represent this powerful perspective.

3. Break the silos
To deliver a compelling brand to customers means marketers need to effectively engage and cut across an organization. This is neither easy nor welcome, but it appears many agree. Improving the product offering is the #1 way marketers feel customer intimacy can be improved. This requires channeling the internal silos that make a product stronger. Domains of insights, engineering, and operations must be able to work with marketing to elevate beyond customer expectations. Creating Brand Intimacy is challenging and rare and requires greater degrees of enhanced internal collaboration across disciplines.

4. The human element
Make your brand essential by striving toward personalization, relevance, and anticipation. Marketers stated customer service is where they can most effectively build intimacy. They also indicated that the majority of their customers associate their brands with the Brand Intimacy archetype of fulfillment: exceeding expectations, delivering superior service, quality, and efficacy. Focus on keeping customers fulfilled and engaged with your brand by continuously delighting them.


Casey MarkeeCasey Markee

@MediaWyse

Casey Markee is the founder of digital marketing agency Media Wyse and Head of SEO Support for industry news site SearchEngineNews.com. Casey has over 16 years of experience in the fields of SEO and Digital Strategy and has trained SEO teams on five different continents. Casey is also an in-demand speaker and has dozens of conference speaking credits, including SMX Advanced, Pubcon, SearchFest, MN Search Summit, State of Search, and more.

“The new marketing trend I expect to make an impact throughout 2016 is…”

BLE Beacons. Briefly defined, beacons are low-cost transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy to provide Bluetooth smart devices a new level of proximity awareness. Retailers or general brick-and-mortar locations can install beacons throughout their stores and venues then hypertarget their audience with offers and marketing messages through apps and mobile devices.

Because of their widespread acceptance, low-cost entry point, and ease-of-use, 85% of the top 100 US Retail Locations will be equipped with Beacons by end of 2016; that’s about 3.5 million unique locations. Estimates for total beacon deployment continue to skyrocket, and worldwide deployment is projected at 400 million beacons by 2020.

Beacons can be used in a variety of ways including navigating users through a store map virtually via their phones, serving users pop-up notifications when they are near a retail display, acting as a virtual docent as they navigate through an exhibit hall or museum, and by providing timely arrival and departure information when they are near a bus or train stop.

If you haven’t looked into beacons as a hyperlocal marketing initiative for yourself or your clients, now is the time.


Ben RobsonBen Robson

@GoatDigital

Ben Robson is co-founder of Brighton-based digital marketing agency, GOAT. The business boasts over 18 years’ combined experience in digital marketing and prides itself on providing ‘digital marketing with heart.’ GOAT is community focused, investing time in local campaigns to raise awareness of issues close to our hearts – from raising charity donations, to increasing awareness of homelessness issues, support for those in need, and more.

“The most significant digital marketing trend for 2016 is…”

App development and content for an instant society.

Good storytelling and generating emotional response among your target audience will be more important than ever this year – how this content is delivered, though, is key.

Creating evocative content that resonates with the target audience has always been key to achieving business objectives and developing a successful digital marketing strategy. However, with attention spans of most audiences online thought to be a mere eight seconds, the key trend for this year is businesses tapping into that need for instant information to fit into people’s busy lifestyles.

Step into the spotlight with app development and associated content. With mobile overtaking desktop search for the first time in mid-2015, apps and the content within them represent a huge opportunity for companies to attract and retain customers this year and in the long-term. From book summary apps that allow people to consume whole books in 20 minutes, to instructional recipe apps, and social content that teaches you a new meal in 15 seconds – the trend for this year is apps and quick-fix, quickly digestible content.


Eyal PfeifelEyal Pfeifel

@Imperson

Eyal Pfeifel is the CTO and Cofounder of Imperson, a conversation technology company that has worked with big brands including Disney and Universal. Eyal has been working in artificial intelligence and technology for more than two decades and is also an expert in business development and product marketing.

“The next big thing in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Messaging. The 5 most popular messaging apps feature 3.5 billion monthly active users, according to Statista, and marketers are beginning to take notice. Facebook has already integrated branded campaigns into Facebook Messenger and plans to do more of this come Spring 2016. Whatsapp is opening up their platform for business accounts. Snapchat has introduced Snapchat Discover and the option for any advertiser or individual to create their own geofilter with Snapchat on Demand. Messaging is already huge in the digital world. Expect digital marketers to make it even bigger.


Andrew HubbardAndrew Hubbard

@A_Hubbard

Andrew Hubbard is a Facebook advertising and business technology strategist. He helps online business owners get the technology side of the business right so they can focus on getting clients and making sales. He also helps them grow their business using Facebook advertising.

“In digital marketing in 2016, I think we will continue to see…”

A trend towards a longer sales funnel where digital marketers provide an increasingly high level of value upfront, before moving towards asking for an email address or moving into a sales sequence. This will usually be in the form of content marketing – via blog posts, YouTube videos, and webinars, as well as through the rapidly growing live video space using platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live.

The most successful digital marketers will be those who are able to establish a high level of trust before asking potential clients and customers for the sale. This is additional work for marketers because they will have to strategically craft a large amount of free content, but the rewards will come in the form of an easier sale when they do ask for it, simply because they have already established authority and trust with the prospect.


Simon SladeSimon Slade

@simonslade

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, an online wholesale directory of over 8,000 prescreened suppliers; Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal with 300,000 members and over 100 free video lessons; and their parent company Doubledot Media Limited, which provides seven different training and software applications to over 500,000 customers worldwide.

“The biggest digital marketing trend of 2016 is…”

Live streaming. Facebook Live, Periscope, and even the smaller Meerkat, are rapidly becoming more relevant – people want their information in real time. What does this mean for marketers? A timeless piece of advice: go where your audience is. If your audience is hooked on Periscope, find a way to personalize and humanize your brand by creating interactive content. You need to be engaging with your audience more and more on these platforms.


Lily CrollLily Croll

@findlilyhere

Lily Croll is the strategy director at Wire Stone, an independent digital marketing agency for global Fortune 1000 brands. An expert at developing and executing social media programs integrated with live, digital, and media campaigns, Lily has worked with brands such as Frito-Lay, HTC, Campbell’s Soup Company, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, and CenturyLink.

“The new digital marketing trend making a big impact in 2016 is..”

Big data and real-time analytics. Historically, marketers viewed data as something static and tied to reporting. But data is now more dynamic, accessible, and broadly understood. This will open up new opportunities for messaging optimization – but, more importantly, this access to data will challenge marketers to become more nimble and responsive.


Travis BennettTravis Bennett

@travbennett

Travis Bennett is the founder and managing director of Studio Digita, a website development and online marketing agency based out of Bangkok, Thailand.

“For 2016 the biggest shift in digital marketing is the growing trend of…”

Video and live streaming. You can no longer rely on static content like a blog post or even images to make an impact with your audience; fans want immersive experiences that connect them to a particular brand.


John TurnerJohn Turner

@UsabilityGuyPGH

John Turner is CEO/Founder of QuietKit, which provides guided meditation for beginners (for free).

“While there are many trends shaping the direction of digital marketing in 2016…”

Fast-loading websites and apps will trump all others.

Even though speed has always been an issue for users, with the advent of Instant Articles from Facebook and AMP from Google, a lot of the traditional bloat around loading content and info from the internet will be discarded.

To compete in 2016, there can be no delays with your marketing efforts, so make sure to optimize for load time and speed going forward.


Matt GibbsMatt Gibbs

@gibbs12

@UPshowTV

Matt Gibbs is Co-founder and CMO of UPshow, the In-venue Social Marketing Display Network. No matter how much he talks about turning every TV in every venue into a social screen, most people want to hear about his previous job as Playboy’s Director of Social Media.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing impacting 2016 is…”

Customer Generated Content is going to shift from a consumer trend to a key marketing focus. The days where a business’ own social media posts have an impact are fading, and now it’s all about inspiring as much Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat content from customers as possible.


Steve BarberioSteve Barberio

@iCiDIGITAL

Steve Barberio is the Head of Digital Strategy for iCi Digital.

“The cornerstone of digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Mobile strategy development.

With the incredible growth of consumer mobile usage continuing as we move into 2016, organizations will have an opportunity to bring more value to their customers by threading their own mobile service into that of another enterprise as part of an overall mobile strategy or by simply creating a mutually beneficial promotional collaboration. The partners can then both benefit from a pooled investment, a broader customer base, and shared data.

When looking to create a mobile service or application integration, there are important things to remember in order to make it a successful venture. First, make sure you are enhancing a customer’s experience, yet still keeping it genuine. Think about the personal nature of taking an Uber ride with a driver you just met.

Second, the offered service needs to make sense in that it fills a real, true, human need. That comes from a thorough understanding of your customer base and recognizing your own shortcomings.

Third, start with one solid partnership. Put your efforts and resources into the right match instead of spreading out into multiple situations just to see what sticks. Evernote started out their partnership strategy with a single, successful 3M Post-It integration.

Finally, understand that customers are more savvy than ever; you need to be exceptional and always deliver a great customer experience. They are willing to pay for the convenience of an innovative new service that fills their needs, but the first time they are disappointed, they will go elsewhere.


Elizabeth VenafroElizabeth Venafro

Elizabeth Venafro is a self-proclaimed, high-heeled modern marketing technologist with a decade of experience in digital/print media, public relations, advertising, and corporate events for start-ups and multi-million dollar companies across diverse industries. She currently acts as the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Konvergent LLC.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

When considering search engine optimization (SEO) in 2016, it is important to be aware of algorithm updates which place a higher emphasis on visual content rather than just keywords. Pictures, infographics, and video keep users on a page much longer than just plain text. SEO best practices will continue to change as technology evolves.


Max CronMax Cron

@MaxCron

Max is the Creative Strategy Director for Online Optimism, a marketing agency based out of New Orleans, Louisiana.

“The trend that continues to grow in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Influencer marketing. It has emerged from the frequent use of social media and key individuals that influence other members. These individuals help to promote products to a target audience of potential buyers. Most people are influenced by these opinions and thought leaders. For this reason, marketers are now spending more and more on influencers. Below are three tips to keep in mind to drive awareness and traction through influencer marketing.

1. Seek out many influencers in your field. Some may not be interested in your brand, so by listing out more than you need you set yourself up to have better odds of gaining some traction. If you want 5 influencers to be part of your campaign, list your top 5 choices, then 10 more as alternatives.

2. Allow influencers to take control. These influencers know their brand and audience better than you do. Being over-controlling in a photo shoot or product placement ad will not make influencers happy. Give them as much information as you can, but also be sure to step back and use their voice for your brand.

3. Contact well in advance. Building a relationship with various influencers takes time and energy. If you start building a relationship right when you want something from them, the chances of it working out are not as strong as if you laid some groundwork months ahead of time.


Ricky GarveyRicky Garvey

@RickyGarvey

Ricky Garvey is a Social Media Marketer from Orange County, CA. Working with a wide variety of clients – including musicians, politicians, and credit card processors – Ricky loves to provide an online voice for the brand and connect with fans through digital marketing tactics.

“Based off of what I’m seeing in digital marketing, I think the big thing we’re going to see this year is…”

A massive attempt by brands looking to ride the growth hacking train. Growth hacking is a noble attempt by brands to ignore traditional marketing techniques and focus on alternative methods to grow the brand. It’s my prediction that many of these brands will fail. Growth hacking will, unfortunately, become a gimmick that users become accustomed to. Unless the technique is an honest and real way to provide value to the user, it will need to be reevaluated. Brands will also need to understand just how important it is to quickly analyze the data from the results and pivot on their technique if necessary.


Mariah MenendezMariah Menendez

@lwmrktng

Mariah Menendez is Account Manager for Local Work Marketing, a Phoenix digital marketing team. Our passion for digital marketing is driven by the success we bring to local business owners through SEO, web development, and content strategies.

“The team at Local Work Marketing recently attended the Digital Summit Phoenix and the theme within the digital marketing experts?…”

The art of storytelling. Offering useful content to your audience is one great approach to providing value, but it’s not enough to build an army of brand advocates for your company. Content experts are finding that storytelling is stealing both the minds and hearts of consumers.

During storytelling, specific areas within the brain are activated and these:

  • activate emotion,
  • aid memory,
  • and are distinctly human.

In order to build brand recognition or to motivate customers and persuade them to action, craft a storytelling message with your content that highlights a person’s challenges and victories. You will capture their brains and earn their hearts to your brand.


Deborah SweeneyDeborah Sweeney

@MyCorporation

@DeborahSweeney

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses.

“In the digital marketing space in 2016, I’ve noticed a definite trend towards…”

Micro-partnerships. A lot of companies have approached us and asked if we’d be interested in swapping blog posts and generally supporting the digital marketing efforts of the other business. Previously, companies either wanted to become fully affiliated partners – swapping data, reports, tactics, and branding – or they just wanted a one-off post for their blog. This new middle ground is actually kind of nice and offers businesses a chance to grow their marketing network without having to hand over the keys to the kingdom.


Adam BinderAdam Binder

@creativeclicknj

Adam Binder founded Creative Click Media to help businesses and organizations realize their fullest potential through a leveraging of innovative and evocative digital marketing efforts. Acting as Lead Strategist and Designer, Adam personally oversees each project, bringing years of industry expertise to every campaign and ensuring consistent quality and award-winning results.

“There’s one trend that will prove to have the single biggest impact in digital marketing in 2016…”

Offering a personalized user experience. A personalized UX is all about speaking directly to a customer’s habits and interests, taking their past visits to your site and tailoring future visits based on these behaviors. Creating an experience unique to each user’s needs will yield several business benefits, such as higher conversion rates and user retention. We can also expect to see more and more business owners taking this personalized UX to a mobile platform through the use of beacons, which re-engage in-store visitors via social media. Our agency has used beacons in the past, and alerting repeat customers about deals and coupons on their mobile device has proven to be a successful marketing tactic with some of our retail and food service clients.


Christine RochelleChristine Rochelle

@CLRochelle

@lotus823

With a background in all aspects of digital marketing, including social media, content development and search engine marketing, Christine Rochelle, the Director of Digital Marketing & Operations at lotus823, has launched digital strategies for a diverse portfolio of clients in the consumer tech, pro audio, and automotive industries. Christine specializes in executing digital strategies for clients of all sizes, from legendary pro audio brand Audio-Technica to the well-loved Broad Street Dough Co. of New Jersey.

“The digital marketing trend that will have the biggest impact this year is…”

The use of live video content. Brands that employ live video on social channels will continue to receive more engagement from fans and garner priority real estate within social feeds thanks to the push of live content from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Brands that do best on Snapchat have been using live video to connect with fans while Facebook has recently rolled out live video capabilities to all pages and hinted that it will be priority content within feeds. Twitter has also had a focus on live content as part of their Moments feature and has pushed that content during top events from the Consumer Electronics Show to the Presidential Elections.


Ashley CarrierAshley Carrier

@190west

Ashley Carrier is the President and CEO of 190West, a digital marketing agency that specializes in inbound marketing and lead generation for companies in the Human Capital Management, Professional Services, Software Technology, and eCommerce industries.

“The digital marketing trends that will be huge in 2016 are…”

Personalization, Paid Search, and Landing Page Optimization.

Because of Google’s recent 4-stack announcement, Paid Search is going to become even more important, and companies who already use PPC will increase their budget or create additional campaigns to support weak organic results.

Companies are also going to spend more time optimizing existing landing pages through personalization and A/B testing of headlines, forms, etc. The focus will be more on increasing conversions vs. always fishing for more visitors.


Jessica JobesJessica Jobes

@OnTheGridAgency

Jessica Jobes is the Founder of OnTheGrid Marketing Agency in Seattle. Jessica, a former Microsoft Director, has spent 13 years in Marketing, Design, and Engineering roles. The last 8 years were spent on the Bing Engineering team — Bill Gates’ favorite engineering team of all time. When Bing.com launched in 2009, Google.com stopped growing in the US. Jessica says, “We worked hard for every inch of growth against Google using data, technology, and a lot of hustle, and this is the DNA I apply to my clients’ companies.”

“The trend poised to make the biggest impact in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Content Distribution. It’s no secret by now that ‘Content is King’ in 2016. It seems everyone has received that message loud and clear, and articles are proliferating at an unbelievable rate. I recently set up an article alert for the keyword “Marketing Tips” and over the course of 24 hours received 195 notifications – that’s 195 new “Marketing Tips” articles published in a single day. One blog post recently caught my attention, in which the author suggested, if they had to start all over growing a blog with 10,000 views a month, they’d make a list of about 200 blog post titles covering everything they can think of about their industry and start writing. Imagine, 200 new articles from just one company. Who has that amount of time (and patience)? This is a wildly different marketing world we live in, which is why I believe that in 2016, content distribution will be critical. Unless you have a platform to distribute your content, you’re just part of the noise.


Niharika DattaNiharika Datta

@WiseCalvin

Niharika Datta is a content Marketer at Wisecalvin. Previously a Human Resource professional, she shifted to content writing and is still working towards her passion for it. If she is not writing, she likes to grab a snack with a warm cup of tea in the company of a good book or a close friend.

“The biggest digital marketing trend impacting the field in 2016 is…”

Micro-moment marketing is one trend that digital marketers cannot ignore. Today’s smart consumer turns to his/her mobile device to find information on an immediate basis to arrive at a decision. For instance, you are at a busy marketplace and you want to find the nearest Chinese restaurant that suits your budget. Reflexively, you turn to your smartphone to make the search. Such moments are called micro-moments that capture intent, context, and immediacy. In these moments, users look for the most relevant and quick information rather than relying on a specific brand.

Brands have to stay ahead of competition and put themselves right in front of users in these micro-moments in real time. Targeting users simply on the basis of demographic data will not suffice; rather, their intent in the moment has to be captured to send an alert or push notification. If brands are able to satisfy these needs and have themselves discovered, they will definitely emerge as winners.


Kristien MatelskiKristien Matelski

@VizionWeb

Kristien hails from San Diego, CA and can’t live without Mexican food and avocados! She has a journalistic background and is currently a Digital Marketing Specialist at Vizion Interactive. Kristien specializes in Content Marketing, Email Marketing, and all things Social Media.

“I’m seeing the biggest digital marketing trends being in the form of…”

Content marketing. Focusing on quality content marketing is key for businesses wanting to stand out above the rest. A good piece of content promoted correctly, whether that be in the form of native advertising, or by way of social media, or email marketing, can drive the right customers to you.


David PerkinsDavid Perkins

@StudySoup

David Perkins is a marketing and growth specialist at StudySoup. His interests are in brand development and online community management.

“One trend that is set to impact digital marketing in 2016 is…”

We are expecting Pinterest advertising to launch in a big way in 2016. Considering that 93% of Pinners shopped online using Pinterest in the past six months, we can predict that advertising to this market could be quite lucrative. Some companies do not yet have access to this platform; however, Pinterest has stated that it will open up its ad channel for everyone later this year.


DP250Dan Cairns

@DP250

Dan Cairns handles all social media and content marketing tasks at a digital agency, DP250. His agency has expertise in e-commerce website development and marketing.

“The trend that will have the biggest impact on digital marketing this year is…”

The new trend of integrated store fronts within a business’ social channels. Although a business wouldn’t admit it directly to a consumer, the purpose of their social presence is to promote their brand to increase sales. For businesses that are already successful in driving traffic from their social platforms to a separate storefront, having a storefront already in that social platform would likely generate a remarkable increase in revenue.

I predict that the eventual roll-out of Facebook storefronts will be the catalyst for this trend.

I also see many opportunities for the consumer to receive special, limited-time promotions to help generate more sales through social platforms. These could include incentives to buy at that moment to receive a certain % off or to receive a free gift with a purchase.

This trend will slowly change the way consumers locate and purchase new products.


Jamal AsskoumiJamal Asskoumi

@IamCastleSmart

Jamal Asskoumi is the Owner of CastleSmart.com, revolutionary online real estate agents based in London, U.K.

“The trend I believe will have the biggest impact in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Social media has always been dominant in digital marketing, yet one platform, while still popular, has been significantly overlooked. I feel Pinterest will become the new digital marketing fad this year, as businesses will be able to advertise their products and services in simple, easy-to-view images.


Tamara BudzTamara Budz

@maybudz

Tamara Budz is an experienced marketing consultant and the founder of Silver Shade Group. Silver Shade Group specializes in brand management, e-commerce, and digital marketing for small and mid-sized companies.

“The digital marketing trend that will have the biggest impact this year is…”

Informational content. This is not a new trend, but it is spreading across new channels and industries as companies realize what they need to do to keep up with SEO. This will continue in the near future. The good news is that content in general should continue to improve over time with this trend.


Geoff HoeschGeoff Hoesch

@dragonflyDM

Geoff Hoesch is the Founder of Dragonfly Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency dedicated to customer service, ethical practices, and quality. Rather than focus on exponential company growth that dilutes the ability to provide great customer satisfaction, Dragonfly caps their contracted clients at 20. It’s about being able to provide quality services with a single team of experienced professionals, and about not losing touch with clients.

“On the technical side, digital marketing is trending towards…”

Increased security for websites. While at first this may not seem like an issue for digital marketers, a website’s trustworthiness is a ranking factor, so security elements such as HTTPS are very much part of the whole digital marketing package. Google wants HTTPS – they’ve said it themselves – and I think a significant number of digital marketers will move sites in that direction.

On the content side, digital marketing may be moving in a more diverse direction. Instead of just a blog piece with an image at the top, marketers should consider multi-media posts that include videos, custom photos, infographics, graphs, and interactive elements. This means spending significantly more time on a single piece, but in the end value beats quantity every time.


Alex McEachernAlex McEachern

@alexmcea

Alex is a retention expert by day at Sweet Tooth, and an e-commerce merchant by… well, day as well at Spearhead Life Supply. He turned his passion for hair and male grooming into an online business of his own!

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 relates to…”

As an online store owner, the number one problem right now is the cost associated with digital advertising. AdWords and promoted posts on Facebook are becoming way too expensive to justify paying to acquire each individual customer.

I am guessing as Shopify and others make it easy to start an online store, demand for these ads has gone up, thus also driving up the price. I now need to make each acquired customer go further. It needs to be a longer-term investment. That is why I have focused much more on my customer retention efforts.

I started a loyalty program called On Point Rewards to increase my ability to get each acquired customer back to the store to shop again. Giving incentive to register has gone a long way in growing my email list, and the points give them a reason to come back.

Combining a loyalty program with effective email communication is the future of digital advertising, not fighting tooth and nail for someone’s attention on Facebook.


Chris MartinChris Martin

@CJ_24K

Chris is a digital marketing specialist at FlexMR. He is an advocate of transparency in marketing and believes brands should strive for integrity and honesty in their communications. Chris regularly writes on market research, digital marketing, and innovation in business.

“The one trend that is set to have a huge impact on the digital marketing landscape throughout 2016 is…”

Interactive content. As an increasing number of businesses discover their online voice and implement content marketing strategies, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult.

To create distinctive, authoritative content, the most creative organizations are broadening the scope of what content marketing includes. New types of content include: simple quizzes, ROI calculators, HTML5 infographics, clickable whitepapers, and more. A content arms race has begun, one which places a strong emphasis on audience engagement, participation, and emotional investment rather than views alone.

Throughout 2016, we will witness the diversification of content as brands seek new ways of attracting visitors. In other words, content marketing is going to get weird.


Matthew MercuriMatthew Mercuri

@dupraysteam

Matthew Mercuri is an SEO and SEM Specialist with 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing. Under his leadership at Dupray, he has managed to expand the brand to 6 countries and to increase website traffic by over 5000%. He has worked for brands such as the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Impact and was once one of the largest crypto-currency miners on the east coast.

“In terms of trends, 2016 will be the year where Digital Marketing takes off on…”

Wearables. Wearables have been inching into the market for years. Finally, they have reached a place of recognition and of normality, which at the end of the day will mean that they are susceptible to marketing forces. Have you watched a TV this year? All you see is commercials for the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Android Wear.


Phillip ReinhardtPhillip Reinhardt

@pbjmarketing

@pdreinhardt

Phillip Reinhardt is Chief Efficiency Officer and Managing Partner at PBJ Marketing. Phillip captains PBJ’s new headquarters in Washington, DC. Prior to cofounding PBJ, Phillip was the Sr. Engagement Strategist for LivingSocial. Phillip is an agency-man through and true, account managing some of the world’s largest brands such as DIAGEO, Starbucks, Volkswagen, Eli Lilly, and more. Phillip graduated summa cum laude from University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Economics and Public Relations with a degree citation from UMCP’s renowned Hinman CEOs, the nation’s first living-learning entrepreneurship program.

“There are two trends I see shaping digital marketing in 2016, one a digital marketing strategy trend and the other a digital marketing industry trend…”

Strategy Trend: Content Marketing.

Better content marketing. Despite every tactic and tool, good content continues to reign supreme in the end. The internet always seems to freak out when Google pushes a new search engine algorithm update: Penguin, Panda, etc. Whatever the next may be, at PBJ Marketing we welcome them all. Why? If you’re a good digital marketer, you understand Google’s main objective and key value proposition is to connect its consumers with exactly what they’re looking for in the least amount of effort. Be it page-one ranking, top three results, predictive text, remarketing, or suggested shop products. Google invests large amounts of resources ensuring that the right info gets into the hands of its Googlers. If you’re abiding by Google’s best practices and developing relevant, keyword rich, informative, and compelling content, you don’t have to worry when an update comes out. You’ll even come to welcome it because it knocks out all those competitors who are trying to cheat the system with black hat digital marketing practices.

Feel free to skim our most recent blog on SEO and content marketing.

Industry Trend: Shift from digital marketing back to simply marketing.

We have a great motto at PBJ Marketing: “There is no digital strategy, only strategy in a digital world.” This couldn’t ring truer now than ever before. In 2016, we’ll really start – and we already are – to see a shift away from ‘digital silos,’ where internal marketing departments are segregated – not integrated – between traditional and digital teams and where agencies and brand-team relationships are not integrated. The first big brand team I worked on was a mainstream alcohol brand, and we had a different agency team for everything. One for PR, one for video, one for advertising, one for media buying, one for experiential marketing…and a small, tiny shop for digital (this was 10 years ago). Now, that tiny digital shop is the big agency and all-else-falls under its umbrella.

Jeff Dodds, Chief Executive of Tele 2 Netherlands and previously CMO for Virgin Media, speaking to the CIM Catalyst magazine in Sept 2014, says: “To talk about digital as some kind of separate entity is to not understand it. Our lives ARE digital is not a thing, it is simply a more flexible, response and efficient way to do business.” He continues, “There is too much talk about roles: digital job titles, digital strategies. Digital is not something that needs a job title. This perpetuates the myth that it is a singular, siloed thing. I find some of the terminology that is used incredibly frustrating.”

This is a big change in thought and one that is going to continue to evolve and modify the marketing industry we know today. Businesses and marketers will need to adapt. For those in the early stages of this adoption, brands need to set goals for digital marketing and an integrated digital strategy and bringing in digital marketing strategists. New marketing processes are also required which integrate digital to the heart of marketing strategy.


Kent LewisKent Lewis

@anvilmedia

As President and Founder of Anvil Media, Inc., Kent Lewis is responsible for ensuring the company is living its mission and vision by managing overall corporate strategy including operations, business development, sales and marketing. Specializing in analytics, search engine, and social media marketing services, Anvil is an integrated marketing consultancy which provides measurable marketing that moves clients’ businesses forward.

“As a career-long digital marketer, I’ve spent the past 20 years anticipating and leveraging trends to help my clients grow. I believe to be the biggest marketing trends of the year to be…”

1. Brands Will Go Native. With ad blocking becoming more prominent with consumers, brands are forced to get more creative. While it is a safe bet advertisers will increase their investment in native advertising, we predict the investment will be both significant and unsurpassed in 2016.

2. Experience Is Everything. Google has put ever-increasing emphasis on user experience in its ranking algorithm the past few years. This trend will only become more apparent as websites with a well-designed interface and thoughtful navigation will outrank sites with similar domain authority.

3. Better Analytics = Better Marketing. We believe 2016 will be the year brands reap the benefits of significant investment in analytics platforms and integration with other marketing and measurement systems. CMOs and CTOs will increase their value to large organizations will smaller marketing departments will benefit from more affordable alternatives.

Next year’s big trends:

  • Augmented & virtual reality
  • SnapChat consumer campaigns

I recently wrote this article outlining 10 marketing predictions for 2016.


Elizabeth GiorgiElizabeth Giorgi

@lizgiorgi

Elizabeth Giorgi is the Founder and CEO of Mighteor, one of the world’s first internet video production companies. From strappy startups to major corporates, they’ve helped brands earn more than 5 million views, raise $4.5 million in venture capital, and get video placements on the likes of Forbes, Fast Company, and The New York Times. She is an Emmy-award winner whose work has appeared on PBS, Discovery Channel,National Public Radio, Scientific American, Gawker, Wired, and many more.

“The future of marketing is…”

Authentic storytelling – getting away from overly branded messages and focusing in on what makes a company or a brand relatable, human, and likable. One of the most effective ways smart marketers will translate this idea is through video, especially in non-traditional formats. Think 15 second Instagram videos behind the scenes of a brand or daily Facebook vlogs from the CEO or CTO. Most marketers haven’t latched onto the documentary style of storytelling, but with these platforms, it makes sense and is incredibly easy to execute at a high level.


Kerri GoisKerri Gois

@kerrigois

Kerri Gois is a freelance writer and marketing coordinator for BroadbandSearch.net. An avid reader and social media addict who also enjoys learning how to code, but is a novice at best. She’s an advocate for health and wellness and lives in sunny San Diego with her puggle, Bernard.

“The digital marketing trend that I see having the single biggest impact this year is…”

Retargeting Ads! It has a proven track record of increasing traffic and generating more solid conversions. When thinking from a traffic perspective with Ads you are able to segment your demographics and traffic and spend where you want. There are also a variety of media you can use with ads, contextual ads, and query-based. You have a lot of flexibility and can instantly measure your ROI. This is a very big bonus from organic search traffic. There are also a variety of high-level and highly trafficked sources for these ads. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest are great platforms to place ad campaigns to generate visibility, create conversions, engage customers, and simultaneously create repeat customers.


Derric HaynieDerric Haynie

@SixPeppers

Derric Haynie, Co-Founder of SplashOPM, helps startups and early stage entrepreneurs build customer-centric businesses.

“There are three trends I believe are poised to have the biggest impact in digital marketing in 2016…”

Content – Content will only get better. In the last 2-3 years, we saw a huge rise in content marketing from SMB – Fortune 500, but over 50% of the companies that entered this channel have done so with poor strategies and are underfunded. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 30% of B2B companies believe their content marketing strategies to be effective.

This is because the companies are not creating content that is EPIC, they are simply doing the bare minimum to please their boss on producing the content that they were told needed to get out.

This failure can be attributed to a couple of factors:

  1. Eagerness to enter the space. Just a couple of years ago content marketing was a hot topic and every medium business wanted to jump in with both feet.
  2. No one knows what they are doing. They took traditional marketers and said, “You can write words. How about you create our blog posts for us?”
  3. They never even wrote down their strategies or goals. Over 50% of companies actively producing content online do not have a written strategy. That’s like trying to build a house without a blue print; it’s not going to work.
  4. They don’t want to spend money to make money. A typical organization wants to pay someone the bare minimum to write a blog post and be done with it. They don’t look to make anything substantial.

So, how much longer can they continue wasting money on a project that isn’t paying off?

As thousands of businesses realize that content marketing is not one of their core competencies, they will either be forced to exit the space or hire someone that can make truly epic content. Either way, the quality of content is going to go up, which means the level of competition to get to #1 in your industry is only going to get harder.

Retargeting – The world of retargeting is expanding. With the invention of new tools, like retargetlinks, we can now pixel and grab the attention of people that not just went to our website, but also clicked on any link that we provide. This means content curators and Social Media Managers will be able to work hand-in-hand with their paid advertising counterparts on providing a large list of prospects for Facebook Ads and the Google Display Network.

Let me give you an example: Imagine you are a large, local restaurant chain and get put in your local magazine’s Top 10 list. That would be something you’d want to send people to from all of your social channels, so you set up a post and send it out. Hundreds of people go to that site, read about how awesome your restaurant is…and then you lose them forever. You have no clue who they are or where they went.

The future of retargeting solves that problem. Now, anyone that clicks on that link will have a cookie placed on their computer, which will allow you to send them targeted ads using Facebook or Google. I can’t even stress how huge this is.

It’s opening the door for massive profit by combining the power of curation in Social Media Management and driving traffic to your website or local business with online advertising.

Business-Owned Communities – We are seeing the rise of niche Facebook groups, Slack channels, and online forums that help to unite a community around a common problem, cause, or idea. These communities are cheap to setup, often run themselves, and provide immense power and value to the business at the helm.

To clarify the difference, an audience is a group of people that listen to what you say, and occasionally chime in with their feedback to you. They rarely interact with each other or start conversations on their own. A community is a group of people united around a cause, problem, business, or idea that freely post their own thoughts, answer other people’s questions, and engage around the core topic on a regular basis. Leading an audience is very me-centric – it’s about whatever you want to talk about. Whereas leading a community is very you-centric – it’s about helping the community get their questions answered.

Think about it: how would you like to have your own corner of the internet, where all of your prospective customers hang out, ask questions pertaining to your product or industry, and express their concerns?

It’s perfect for customer engagement, feedback, traffic driving, retention, and so much more. In the end, it just straight up will make your business more money!

Building niche communities surrounding your business will be mandatory for success in the near future, and in 2016 we will see more and more businesses hop on the bandwagon by offering some sort of online community for their audience.


Jodie ShawJodie Shaw

@TAB_Boards

Jodie Shaw is the Chief Marketing Officer for The Alternative Board (TAB). TAB assembles growth-minded business leaders through business advisory boards.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 is influenced by…”

Through smart technology consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to making buying decisions. A simple search will divulge what other people have to say about your company, your product, or service. Collectively consumers are making buying decisions based on what others say about your product and service. We automatically will pass on a 3-star reviewed product for a 4-star product. We will rethink a job offer based on a bad company review. The big trend for digital marketing will be a focus on promoting positive customer experiences and reviews via online review sites. Having great content, a great website, or great search engine results will not matter, especially if your customers rate you poorly online.


Jeremy LeviJeremy Levi

@marswellness1

Jeremy has been running the digital marketing efforts for small to mid-size businesses for over 5 years, working with companies with revenue ranging from $1 million to $100 million annually. He currently works for Mars Med Supply.

“The trend that will have a major impact in digital marketing this year is…”

Being involved in digital marketing, I read articles with similar headlines from time to time and none of them give good answers. They’re all in the future, hoping that some new, cool technology will become the new norm for 2016 when the reality is that it couldn’t be further from the truth. 2016 will be dominated by what has been happening in digital marketing for the past half a decade, since we hit the age of non-spam digital marketing, and that is good content.

The major driver of traffic across the internet will no doubt be the channels that have been in play since the early part of the decade: search and social, which today are driven by quality content. That’s not to say some new technology won’t gain market share for 2016 and begin moving forward. However, in the span of 12 months nothing can turn an industry on its head, and continuing to produce quality content will be what drives the internet forward.


Tarek DinajiTarek Dinaji

@tarekdinaji

Tarek Dinaji is a Marketer at Ninja Outreach who is passionate about influencer marketing.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing this year is…”

Influencer Marketing is on the rise. More and more brands are starting to understand that working with influencers can add the necessary fuel to make their content soar. I’ve seen dozens of brands get huge amounts of exposure by simply linking to the right people in an article and reaching to them after hitting publish.


Brian StumbaughBrian Stumbaugh

@startup_garage

Brian graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Computer Science. This combination of expertise supports Brian’s omnichannel approach to digital marketing – creative strategy backed by hard data. Brian is an avid baseball fan and tries to never miss a San Francisco Giants game. Brian is the Digital Marketing Manager at The Startup Garage, a business consulting firm for startups located in Encinitas, CA.

“The next big trend in digital marketing is going to be…”

Extremely targeted advertising based off of customer data. This marketing automation uses algorithms to find the ideal times to reach out to customers with in-app messages, push notifications, social media marketing, etc. This is already gaining traction and will be essential to marketing strategies in 2016.


Mark HarringtonMark Harrington

@ClutchSuccess

Mark Harrington is Vice President of Marketing for Clutch, a leading Consumer Management platform, delivering innovative marketing solutions to over 60 million customers of premier brands like Crabtree & Evelyn, Godiva, Meineke, and Rawlings. Previously he served strategic marketing roles for leading brands like eBay, Citi, and Pearson and pioneered startups like Half.com, Ecount, and Infonautics.

“The digital marketing trend that is already having the biggest impact on brands this year is…”

A brand’s ability to finally reign in its disparate data across the marketing technology stack. By adopting a centralized customer data platform which integrates with the brand’s point-of-sale networks, e-commerce systems, mobile applications, email databases, social accounts, and beyond, businesses are now able to centralize and synthesize their data to identify and understand their customers on a path towards motivating them through personalization and relevancy like never before.


Nathan BarberNathan Barber

@daWorksSydney

Nathan Barber is a Digital Analyst at a digital marketing agency called Digital Advertising Works. When he is not reading or writing about digital marketing, you can find him on the soccer pitch.

“The single biggest marketing trend that I see for the year of 2016 is…”

Relationship marketing. More now than ever with the myriad amount of brand options people have to choose from, companies must focus on connecting to their customers over the long term. The goal of relationship marketing is to create loyalty by making emotional connections that resonate with your customers.

People are more connected to their favorite brands than ever before. If brands can establish a relationship with their customers, then word of mouth buzz is going to exponentially increase the awareness of your company. Leverage your best customers by rewarding them throughout every phase of the purchase cycle, and they will keep on coming back. Sometimes, bringing their friends with them.


Heather ClarkHeather Clark

@videobrewery

Heather Clark is the Brewery Rep at Video Brewery. Video Brewery helps companies large and small brew videos (not beer), through a hand-picked community of video professionals. Heather has worked in digital marketing for over a decade for both B2C and B2B companies.

“The buzz for video marketing has grown for several years, but 2016 will be…”

The year video marketing transitions from something a company should do to something a company must do. YouTube alone reported 20 billion branded video views for 2015 (doubling from a lifetime total of 20 billion through 2014). And that’s ignoring Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a dozen other platforms delivering video content to viewers at rapidly increasing rates.

Companies need to reset their marketing priorities to incorporate video into all elements of their digital marketing, engaging customers across all stages of the buyers journey.

The great news is that it has never been easier to produce video content. With a smart phone and a laptop, companies can easily produce VLOGs, video event previews, interviews, and video messages. Across the world and in everyone’s backyard are talented video content producers who can produce the highly polished videos for use on your homepage, emails, and social/video ads.


Chris HoodChris Hood

@chrishood1

Chris Hood is a digital strategists and transformationalist with over 20 years of experience in technology and marketing. He has worked directly with brands including Fox, American Idol, Doritos, Reebok, Electronic Arts, and more.

“In the digital marketing space in 2016, I expect that digital marketing trends will continue to focus primarily around…”

Content marketing and social engagement. Today’s businesses must focus on strong relationships and connecting with customers digitally. Content marketing helps to build conversations around your business and products. These conversations keep your business relevant and extend social engagement. It allows a business to maintain a pulse on trends in their marketplace while collaborating with the business on other marketing campaigns. However, this process is about more than simply focusing on digital marketing trends. Organizations need to begin integrating their traditional marketing strategies with their digital strategies to create a seamless experience for the customer. Digital can no longer be a separate process and must be at the heart of any strategy in 2016. Customers are digital and connecting with them in the way they expect to be is the most important trend to be aware of.


Sean SiSean Si

@SEOHacker

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis, and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

“If there’s one new trend that will make a huge impact in digital marketing in 2016, it’s…”

Definitely push notifications on the browser. It’s a fairly new technology that I tried out just last January, 2016.

It’s the only other way to get people to become return visitors aside from email marketing. I wrote an extensive post about Push Notifications here. That should help you to know where to start.

Push notifications make it super easy for your visitors to opt-in, too. They just click on ‘allow’ and that’s it. No need to input their first name or last name or email address. We’re getting all of our clients to take advantage of this technology and so far we’re getting really good feedback.


Jim ShookJim Shook

@Jim_Shook

Jim Shook is the founder of Dozen Digital, a team of customer acquisition experts. Dozen Digital works with growing businesses to drive traffic and convert that traffic into customers.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing this year will be…”

Smart content distribution.

The last few years have seen a substantial increase in the investment in content creation. From blog posts to infographics and whitepapers, the volume of great content being created is at its highest level.

But for these efforts to be successful, proper distribution is almost as important as its creation. Not only does this drive immediate traffic and new leads/sales, but it increases the likelihood of secondary SEO benefits.

We see a few avenues that companies will be focusing on for content distribution this year:

  1. Paid Content Distribution Networks (Outbrain, Taboola, etc)
  2. Native Promotion via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  3. Influencer Outreach and Guest Posting
  4. Email Distribution (Via a company’s owned email list)
  5. Forum and External Community Participation (Quora, Reddit, Forums, etc)

Companies that actively promote their content as effectively as they create it will see substantial returns in 2016.


Ronnie DukeRonnie Duke

@ResponseCapture

Ronnie Duke has personally been involved in every aspect of website design and development-from graphic design to advanced programming and logic. As an Account Director at Response Capture, this developer-turned-marketer loves the challenge of keeping up with new technologies and achieving technical accomplishments with his team.

“The biggest trend I see happening in the digital marketing world is…”

Personalization. For years we have been told that as marketers we need to be getting relevant content in front of our audiences, but up until now, the technology has been a limitation for most companies. Now that more and more platforms are rethinking how content is served on their web and mobile properties, it will just be a matter of companies dedicating the resources to actually create the content experiences necessary for all of their different audiences.


Matt Buder ShapiroMatt Buder Shapiro

@MedPilotNYC

Matt Buder Shapiro is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of MedPilot. He also advises a major Interscope rapper/actor and the non profit Blue Star Families on Politics and Tech. Previously, he worked at Digitas and the premier marketing firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, which was created by the digital marketers of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

“The digital marketing trend that will have the biggest impact in 2016 is that…”

Content will remain the king. Developing truly quality content should be a crucial priority for every company. Content marketing gives you the ability to build trust, develop the brand, and become a true thought-leader in your field. While this is not a new trend, it has become front and center as the marketing ecosystem has evolved. There is no question that it will help boost your company in search engine results, but most importantly it will bolster the perception of your brand.

For too long advertising played the role of distracting and annoying the consumers it was trying to win over. While it is tempting to make a few bucks by blanketing sites with ads and obstructing users’ ability to consume content without first watching a commercial, there is now a much greater need to change course. Consumers aren’t likely to buy from you if they have to watch your ad before the new episode of “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” However, if you provide some real value to them by creating educational content, they will think of your company in good light.


Megan Sullivan-JenksMegan Sullivan-Jenks

@choozle

From nonprofits and emergency services to consumer goods and apparel, Megan has helped businesses create online and offline marketing campaigns that are engaging and memorable. As the Marketing Director at Choozle, the leading self-service programmatic digital marketing platform, Megan executes all marketing strategies for the company with a keen on integration and ROI.

“In 2016, there is one trend that will have a major impact on marketing…”

The convergence of ad-tech (advertising technology) and mar-tech (marketing technology) is no longer a thing of the future, and it is becoming a reality. As more marketers look to find ways to drive revenue and drive the actions of consumers with their digital marketing campaigns, there is the desire to combine resources. At the end of the day, marketing and advertising technologies are, essentially, doing the same thing – using data to make decisions. This data can be essential to drive results in paid, owned, and earned media. This year we should see a drive to converge advertising and marketing technologies.


Scott PoniewazScott Poniewaz

@scottpony

Born in Middleton, Wisconsin and educated in the mountains of Montana, Scott Poniewaz lived, worked, and played across India and Southeast Asia. He Co-Founded CampusDibs & Dibsie in New York and led growth at FoundersCard. In 2013 he became an Austin, Texas transplant. Currently Scott is helping expand Hawke Media, a month-to-month digital marketing agency, from Santa Monica to Austin, TX.

“One trend that is shaping digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Micro-Moments. If you’re like me, the first thing you probably do when you wake up is the same thing as the last thing you do before you fall asleep: You check your phone.

According to Checky , an app that tracks how many times a person checks their phone each day, the average person checks their phone an average of 60 times per day (noting it varies widely). Another Google report finds that we check our phones 150 times per day, which adds up to approximately 177 minutes per day of phone use. One step further brings you to their magic number of 1 minute, 10 seconds per use.

Welcome to the world of Micro-Moments. These are those times when you quickly need to check your calendar, order an Uber, make an Amazon purchase, look up a place near your hotel for dinner, or research a bathroom remodel on Houzz during a break in meetings. All of these moments sit at the crossroads of intent, context, and immediacy.

Marketing is no longer just getting in front of the right people; instead, it is getting in front of the right people at the right time.


John KoetsierJohn Koetsier

@JohnKoetsier

As Mobile Economist at TUNE, John Koetsier forecasts and analyzes trends affecting the mobile ecosystem.

“One of the most important trends in digital marketing this year is…”

Mobile video. We’re spending more time on mobile than watching TV or working on our laptops, and a lot of that is video. Snapchat users watch 8 billion videos a day. Facebook users watch 100 million hours each day. And YouTube still has more than both of them. As consumers binge on mobile video, marketers are seizing the opportunity to place video ads in and before those clips. And according to the data I’ve seen, it’s very, very successful.


Nick LefflerNick Leffler

@nick_leffler

Nick Leffler helps businesses get online and build their online presence to get more customers. Nick balances the art of web design, social media presence, content marketing, and more to bring new customers and give them a great first impression.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

The importance of content marketing will continue to grow this year. The impact it has had has already been tremendous, but it will continue to be even more important as Facebook rolls out Instant Articles and Google further promotes Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Content marketing is great because it brings targeted visitors who are interested in products related to your business.

Content marketing will focus even more on social this year also, because easily and quickly accessible content will be promoted even further by Google and Facebook. It’s important to make sure your website and content are bringing targeted visitors and giving them what they want. These two services promise to be another boon for content marketing this year.


Andre CampbellAndre Campbell

@thunderrank

Andre is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 8 years of experience in the online world. His specialty is in helping various sized businesses grow their organic reach online through SEO. Today, he currently manages Thunder Rank, which is a small Digital Marketing agency based in Toronto.

“One of the biggest trends I see in digital marketing this year is…”

The emphasis on mobile user experience. In 2015, Google started increasing emphasis on mobile-friendliness with the update that began to favor mobile-friendly websites in the search results. Now, in 2016, they’ve released another update favoring websites with Accelerated Mobile Pages. I believe we can expect to even see more emphasis on the mobile audience over the coming years as mobile usage continues to grow and dominate desktop usage. I also got into more details about the SEO and Mobile Trends we can expect in 2016 on SEMRush.


Rosemary BriscoRosemary Brisco

@totheweb

Rosemary Brisco founded ToTheWeb in 1995 and since that time has been delivering high-impact results to her clients. She and her team of online marketing experts work with B2B companies in the San Francisco Bay Area to drive more sales leads to client websites.

“In 2016, one trend is making a big impact on digital marketing…”

Our agency is always looking for the secret sauce to lead generation for our clients. After analyzing 2015 client site data, we have identified a trend that is driving prospects and lead activity.

After reviewing the data across multiple client accounts, we see a uptick in lead activity coming from on-site interactive tools. Not only do the tools get shared socially, but they are increasing site rankings for a broader range of keyword phrases than other content on the site. This is resulting in more organic traffic

Online tools offer a terrific way to drive a continuing stream of high-quality visitors at no additional cost, year after year. Building a tool that can move a website visitor into action mode will shorten your sales cycle. In one year we have seen triple-digit growth in organic free traffic to our tools pages and our clients have experienced a similar uptick.

After seeing this trend we dove into our own site data and wrote a blog post about it.


Christian De PapeChristian De Pape

@ChristianDePape

Christian De Pape is Head of Marketing and Content at Recruiting Social, a social recruiting company based in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

“The digital marketing trend I expect to have the single biggest impact this year is…”

SnapChat. Yes, even for your company. Sure, the messaging app is easy to dismiss right now as a channel only young (like, young young) people use. And it’s also easy to dismiss as a channel that doesn’t allow for clear, measurable acquisition or conversion. But a year or two ago, you could have said the very same things about Instagram. And I can tell you that for our company, a B2B service business in the very conservative recruitment industry, Instagram has taken a place of surprising prominence in our social strategy over the last year. It is consistently mentioned by our leads – almost more than any other channel we publish to. So SnapChat is coming for you. Because if just-for-kids-not-for-business Instagram can become a must-use social platform for even the most old-school of industries, then SnapChat will too.


Kyle S. ReyesKyle S. Reyes

@SilentPartnerUS

Kyle S. Reyes is the President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing, a nationwide marketing agency headquartered in Connecticut. Reyes is an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media.

Kyle, a former Producer of News and Special Projects, worked in broadcast journalism for nearly a decade. His team offers a marketing one-stop-shop, filling the role of a Chief Marketing Officer and support staff at a fraction of the cost of having to worry about the payroll, taxes, benefits, equipment and training.

“One of the biggest areas of opportunity in digital marketing for businesses moving forward is…”

Snapchat, hands down. This social media app has the eyeballs and attention and when used properly can not only give behind-the-scenes views into your business but can help forge tremendous and lasting relationships and drive customers into your location RIGHT NOW. Send personalized Snaps to your most loyal customers. Publish to my story throughout the day with value propositions, information, education, testimonials, goofy VIP-only pieces of content, and more. Video reply to consumers. Ask for the sale infrequently. Instead, focus on providing a tremendous and disproportionate amount of value. And mine your other social media channels to drive eyeballs to your Snapchat handle.

The internet isn’t just the internet anymore. It’s like an invasive, non-native weed that becomes part of the entire ecosystem by taking over your apps, your watch, your car, and every aspect of your life. The internet plays a role in every part of our lives, but it’s up to business owners to identify how to target their specific demographic.


Angela HeskeAngela Heske

@MassMomofTwo

Angela Heske is full time Mom and Online Marketer. Her goal is to empower motivated parents (and other folks) who think too big to be in a 9-5 office job to create their own entrepreneurial structure that pays well and fits into their lifestyle. Angela can also be found on Facebook.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Experiential interactive learning. Already this year I have pre-registered for several (at least 3) altMBA-style classes on line.

The term Alt-MBA is from genius marketer Seth Godin. These are small group, highly interactive, project-based eLearning structures – basically online courses where you implement and earn as you learn. Some are based on a gaming style where each completed step or project unlocks the next module.

The irony is that the few I pre-registered for have not even been built yet. But knowing the superstars who are building them and the quality information they put out, I’m all in. I have read enough about this trend in education to know that the courses will be worth all they are charging. The last one I pre-registered for was by millionaire online marketer Eban Pagan (of men’s dating advice fame) who is coming out with a course module on building an online business this October (2016).

About a year and a half ago, I read a story online that said if you want to start a highly successful online business in 2016, build an academy with a certification structure. (I can’t remember who wrote it the article or where I read it.) At the time I thought it was humorous. Who would pay out the nose for an online certification from a nobody when you can go to an accredited college and take online classes? I live in MA where we have arguably some of the best colleges and universities in the nation and world.

What I didn’t realize was that the US education system is still teaching theory and history. And what’s needed in today’s education system goes beyond this to experiential interactive learning. You can’t take a class in high school or college today that will teach you how to make money online or become an online entrepreneur – the biggest growing trend of new millionaires over the last few years.

So watch closely in 2016 and beyond at the trend toward experiential interactive online entrepreneurial learning (often in a gaming format). It’s growing and will be making some folks a lot of money this year.

The second digital marketing trend I would watch in 2016 is the homegrown SaaS (Software as a Service) model. You will see more popping up as there are lower barriers to entry with accessibility to developers who can be easily outsourced by individuals or very small companies. A market for slimmed down versions that can be sold or given away as phone apps. And a public hunger for software/programs that you can easily buy with a simple monthly fee.


Shana HaynieShana Haynie

@ArtworksByShana

@SplashOPM

Shana Haynie is the Cofounder and Creative Director at SplashOPM, helping entrepreneurs build contagious brands and create passionate fans.

“The biggest, most impactful trend in digital marketing this year is…”

A noticeable shift away from product-centric thinking and towards audience-centered ideals. Relationship marketing is one part of it, but that term in itself only barely scratches the surface. We are seeing companies humanize at an alarming rate to match up and capture a culture that is continuously bombarded with marketing messages, advertisements, and choice paralysis.

The only way for a business to break through the noise is to understand their customers every pain and be able to anticipate and meet every need, every step of the way. And the best way to do this is by fostering a community around a single mantra, problem, solution, or idea that relates to your business and listening to what your customers have to say. Being an integral part of this conversation allows businesses to really know their customers, understand how to talk to them, and recognize who the most passionate fans are and how to find more people who possess those qualities.

When you have this community, you can ask your participants what they would like to see from you, and make it for them! There’s no more guessing about which products to offer. And for startups, this idea will be huge. Remember all of those companies who locked themselves in a room and coded for years until they came up with a product, only to find out that no one needed (or wanted) it? That will not be a thing anymore because finding the right audience-message fit is now becoming more important as a first step, even before finding product-market fit.

It is now more important than ever to understand your customer, which is why these business run and sponsored groups are popping up everywhere. It is especially easy to create a free (or even paid) community, especially now with Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Or, you can even go the route of putting up a website specially dedicated to housing your community a la Social Media Examiner and the Social Media Marketing Society. Digital Marketer has a paid Facebook group called DM Lab, a model used by other companies as well. You can even use a software like 22Social to erect a Facebook group that is gated by email or utilize a live networking platform like Meetup to start building your tribe.

This is a powerful trend that works throughout the whole funnel. From awareness to retention, a community of customers, potential customers, and passionate fans is what all businesses should be striving to build before the end of 2016.


Henry McIntoshHenry McIntosh

@HenryMcIntosh2

Henry McIntosh is a Director at Twenty One Twelve Marketing. Twenty One Twelve specializes in digital marketing for luxury brands, offering content marketing and online advertising as their specialist areas of expertise.

“There are two key trends I believe will shape digital marketing in 2016…”

1. Video & Live Streaming

Video content is big, but it’s only going to get bigger. Research indicates that by 2017 video will account for 69% of consumer traffic. Larger brands have long known this to be the case and will look to carve a bigger share in 2016. While they already produce reams of video content, they will explore alternative avenues more. So expect to see brands turning to live streaming sites such as Periscope and Meerkat in a bid to connect with their audiences.

2. User-Generated Content

Again it’s nothing new, but brands will concentrate on UGC more and more. It’s an economical and highly effective way to generate exposure. Moreover, users like to follow trends. Research from Twitter shows that 50% of the platform’s users are interested in what others are buying, while 31% tweet about their purchases. On top of this, Nielsen’s consumer insights suggests 92% of people trust recommendations made by friends or family above all other forms of media, with online reviews in second place at 70%. The way to capitalize on this? User Generated Content.


Sam WilliamsonSam Williamson

@AIMSMediaUK

Sam Williamson is the SEO Executive at AIMS Media. AIMS Media helps companies build an online presence from the ground up – starting with a responsive, eye-catching website that represents your company well and then driving traffic to that site through a range of channels. They have helped hundreds of companies find their feet online.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Ask most digital marketers what aspect of their job they find the hardest and they’ll probably tell you that SEO has them pulling their hair out more than anything else. So recent talk of Google using algorithms that incorporate AI technology might not exactly fill them with joy. But despite the advancements in the algorithms that search engines are using to rank our websites, 2016 marks the year that SEO will become easier than ever.

Link building is probably the most tiresome aspect of SEO, so the idea that you could rank a website without ever building a link is quite appealing. Fortunately, this is quickly becoming a reality. Google wants to reward quality content that people are reading and enjoying, so it makes sense that websites which receive lots of traffic are rewarded with higher rankings. This means that interacting on social media, forums, and Q&A sites is bigger than ever, and should be a consistent part of any digital marketer’s daily routine.


Anthony AntonicelloAnthony Antonicello

@A_Antonicello

With nearly 10 years in sales, marketing and leadership, Anthony Antonicello continues to be driven by his passion and core values to find innovative solutions to help clients find success in their industries. Anthony has a diverse sales and marketing background with extensive skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, corporate communication, team building, and public speaking. He attributes his core values of determination, integrity, and perseverance to achieve his success. Anthony also promotes his personal mission to help others achieve high levels of success. He shares his knowledge and expertise with the business community as a motivational speaker, author, and business consultant.

“The digital marketing trend that will have the biggest impact in 2016 is…”

Mobile responsiveness.

If you are not currently optimizing all of your digital marketing content to be mobile responsive, you might want to reconsider. This is because mobile is growing faster than ever and isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

Although many marketers are already targeting their mobile clients, according to Target Marketing Magazine, mobile is still very confusing and not a well-understood marketing channel.

With more smartphones on the planet than people and more customers making purchases via smartphones, it is time to bite the bullet and get a grasp on mobile marketing to start reaping the overwhelming benefits.

According to Delivra, mobile marketing accounted for 54% of brand revenue in 2015, up from 40% in 2014. Although it is important to note that a brand cannot achieve this level of success without the proper mobile channels.

According to Yesmail’s Q4 2015 benchmark report, whether or not consumers engage with brads on a mobile device is heavily dependent upon whether the brand has a mobile presence. If it doesn’t, it has shown to receive 24% less traffic than if that same medium had been mobile friendly.

Yesmail also found that brands with a mobile responsive design in all of their digital marketing reported a 55% increase in click-through-rate and a 23% desktop click-through-rate – higher than brands that were not mobile friendly.

In 2016 alone more than half of all brand interactions will happen on a mobile device, regardless of whether or not that brand has adopted a mobile-responsive design. If the emails aren’t responsive, then consumers won’t click through them. If the digital design is responsive, then marketers can expect a whopping increase of clicks.

Digital marketing is nothing new, and marketers and influencers have seen the increasing benefits of mobile marketing for several years now. But the real differences come into play when brands begin to look at digital clicks to drive ROI.

As mobile presence increases, consumers expect to receive a better mobile experience. So don’t be the brand that was left in the dust. Adopt mobile responsiveness ASAP, because your business’ growth depends on it!


Kristi BrownKristi Brown

@KristiReneBrown

Kristi’s expertise is in business growth and creative marketing strategies. She teaches companies how to perfectly package and take their value and brilliance to their perfect customer, resulting in an increase in visibility, customers, and revenue. Her experience includes: Working as a Digital Marketing Director for Disney and being on the launch team for Living Social, launching 67 cities and working with 400 small businesses! Find her at Significantly Social.

“The digital marketing trend that will have the single biggest impact in 2016 will be…”

The demise and decrease of active users on Facebook.

This is going to change the marketing strategy of many companies, as they scramble to get in front of those same customers or potential customers in different and ever changing ways. It will require being innovative and willing to test out new platforms to capture the same audience. (Which can be fun and result in expanded growth, or a nightmare for those unwilling to embrace it.)


Evan AsanoEvan Asano

@Mediakix

Evan Asano is the founder and CEO of Mediakix, a top influencer marketing company working with brands, media, and PR agencies. A Stanford University alum, Evan has been published in Forbes, Inc., and Fortune for thought content leadership on entrepreneurship life, startups, and business. Evan is an avid surfer and travel photographer.

“One of the biggest 2016 digital marketing trends is…”

Influencer marketing — effectively incorporating social media influencers (e.g., YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, bloggers, et. al.) into a cohesive marketing strategy that leverages multiple consumer touch points across all social channels for brands, advertisers, and publishers. As TV viewership continues to dwindle for critical demographics, time spent on social media is skyrocketing with multiple hours spent each day. Additionally, as ad blocking rates continue to rise and preclude billions of dollars spent on banner and display ads, marketers seeking to reach consumers online are forced to develop new advertising channels.

In the midst of these aforementioned industry conditions, the widespread growth and adoption of social media networks and apps have given rise to top social media influencers who each command the attention and engagement of millions. Properly identifying, marketing, and leveraging the reach, engagement, and relevance of these social and digital content creators for sponsored content, brand sponsorships, and long-term collaborations will continue to evolve and be one of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2016.


Ivan KostadinovIvan Kostadinov

@KostadinovLaw

@GetLocalFame

Ivan Kostadinov is a jack of all trades with a background in SEO, PPC, and web design. Kostadinov is the Paid Search Campaigns Manager and SEO at Local Fame, an online marketing agency specializing in local and organic SEO services, PPC, ORM, SMM, web design, and development.

“One of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2016 is…”

The shift towards mobile. Mobile users are incredibly helpful for the average advertiser for a number of reasons. First, there are so many if them. Facebook and Google, the tech giants that we can count on for disclosing this information, have reported that people are using their platforms far more on a mobile device compared to a desktop version.

Second, the mobile users produce a far better picture of their interests and thus can be easily targeted with an appropriate purchasing option. For example, while the Facebook App or the Messenger are on, Facebook obtains all details they need to provide the best Facebook ad that you are highly likely to click on or to engage with. Every website that the user visits that has a Facebook tracking pixel also helps the algorithm with selecting the best ad. It knows your location and it can estimate based on your interests and browsing history that you will just love the next corner pizzeria or a new gaming laptop. Google works in a similar way, but the search engine is designed to answer a query while Facebook strives to know the mobile user’s intent before they express it with a query (e.g., restaurant in LA).

Facebook launched Canvas – a full-screen, mobile-optimized, post-click experience that can feature a combination of images, videos, text, and links. Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages – a new generation of webpages designed to open quickly on a mobile device. Those two are just amazingly and strikingly beautiful and are very, very fast. If you haven’t tried them yet for your marketing campaign, you have to take a step back and include them in your toolbox. Every website that is created nowadays is designed for a mobile device. The desktop version is just based on the mobile design, its role is rather secondary. It is still important but as doctrines like CRO ad UX invaded the digital world, experts recognized the need for an easily navigated user and click path.

This is the hard truth and trend – your clients are using mobile devices, and they want their needs satisfied quickly. Your website should load instantly; it has to be beautiful. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention. Track their movement and mirror their behavior.


Lauren MaffeoLauren Maffeo

@aha_io

Lauren oversees content strategy at Aha! roadmap software – one of America’s fastest-growing SaaS companies based in Silicon Valley. She previously worked as a contributing writer for some of the Web’s most well-read news sites, including The Guardian, The Next Web, Mic, and more.

“The one trend that will have a major impact in digital marketing in 2016 is…”

Marketers have no shortage of tactical tools to help us execute A/B testing, content creation, campaign analytics, and more. But most of these tools assume that marketers have already done the strategic work of discerning which efforts will drive the most value for their businesses.

There has been a historic lack of tools to help marketers plan their strategies and link them back to business objectives. Luckily, that has changed in recent years.

At Aha! we predict that the use of roadmaps for strategic planning will have the single biggest impact on digital marketing this year. This is because roadmaps are the strongest tool to keep marketers in sync with their cross-functional teams, business strategies, and customers.

Using them to track your marketing work results in stronger clarity, more strategic projects, and measurable impact on businesses. And since 52% of marketers say that their peers can beat them at execution, using roadmaps is not just optional – it’s essential.


Anant MendirattaAnant Mendiratta

@WiseCalvin

Anant Mendiratta is an enthusiastic entrepreneur and growth marketing consultant and also the founder of the full stack digital marketing company, WiseCalvin, a full stack digital development and marketing firm. Anant has helped organizations of all types to use digital marketing effectively, working with a wide range of businesses, from startups through to global clients. When Anant is not busy designing and developing digital assets, he likes playing a tune on his guitar.

“The one trend making the biggest impact in digital marketing this year is…”

Real-time marketing is the buzz word in 2016. A good example of this would be Snapchat ads. Marketers pitch their content on Snapchat for a limited time and these ads come with an expiry date. So far, marketers have created integrated marketing campaigns that offer exclusive content to the younger generation, which has always been one of the most difficult things to do. Creating ads and teasers on Snapchat with photos or videos that only exist for a few seconds creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity in the viewers’ minds. So, in 2016 companies need to emphasize more on creating platforms which allow users to be a part of the experience, rather than just getting to experience it.


Anna LebedevaAnna Lebedeva

@semrush

Anna Lebedeva is a senior PR manager at SEMrush, the world’s leading competitive intelligence suite and all-in-one platform for digital marketing professionals.

“In 2016, I believe the trend that will have the biggest impact is…”

Marketing professionals embracing PR as the new link building. I recently published an article at SEMrush about why PR is the new link building: Connecting and building relationship with bloggers, journalists, editors, and publishers is the best way to get natural links from authority websites. That’s how you can earn links with the help of PR.

  • Study your niche and define the topics that resonate with your audience.
  • Create content covering the trending topics.
  • Develop media relations and connect with industry influencers.
  • Boost your content reach by using social media.
  • Encourage your audience to share your content.
  • Create press releases and pitch them to journalists writing on related topics.


Yulia KhansvyarovaYulia Khansvyarova

@semrush

Yulia Khansvyarova is a Director of Digital Marketing at SEMrush. She has over three years of experience in Internet marketing, on both the client and agency sides. She is passionate about data-driven marketing, statistics, and predictive analytics and strongly believes in boundless human capabilities.

“There are three trends I believe will have the biggest impact in digital marketing this year…”

(1) Mobile is definitely one of the most important marketing trends. Last year was a significant year for mobile marketing, taking into account Google’s mobile-friendly update back in April of 2015. Almost everyone eager to rank well was urged to optimize their websites for mobile devices. More than half of Google’s searches happen on mobile, and this trend will continue to grow.

(2) Also, recently there was a lot of talk about ad blocking, which will significantly influence the digital marketing strategies of many companies. The rising alternative is native ads, which are becoming more popular, despite the fact that many professionals consider them a fuzzy concept.

(3) Regarding Internet marketing as a whole, the main trend of 2016 is personalization of interaction with users through various marketing channels. Online marketing has always been data driven, but right now, we are learning to use more advances mathematical models to predict customer behavior. Big data, math and stats are no longer something out of reach, distant and overly expensive. With more affordable instruments entering the market, data processing is becoming increasingly cheaper and now we are at a stage when we can cater our ads to each individual user.


Jason SwenkJason Swenk

@jswenk

Jason Swenk is a Digitalpreneur at JasonSwenk.com where he coaches and advises digital agency owners who want to grow and scale their business. He draws on his 12+ years experience founding and operating his own 7-figure agency, which sold profitably in 2012. Since then he has been helping other agency owners realize their own goals by blend his marketing, technology, operations, finance and people skills.

“The most impactful digital marketing trend this year will be…”

Those which bring a human touch to the digital world. A lot people think this will be the year that live streaming video takes over – and that’s true to some extent. Last year we saw a lot of engagement with live streaming video apps like Meerkat and Periscope. In 2016, we are seeing Facebook and YouTube get onboard with live streaming video. I am using live streaming video to engage prospects in my coaching business. That said, I am a bigger fan right now of Anchor, which is a live radio app. Radio is far better for marketing than live video because it encourages conversations.

Live streaming videos only allows for comments, whereas Anchor allows for a back and forth dialogue. This lets a marketer establish the ‘know-like-trust’ factors which foster relationships and grow sales.

As a society we are longing for a more human connection. Live streaming video and radio are going to have the biggest impact in digital marketing this year.


Ajay PrasadAjay Prasad

@gmrtranscripts

Ajay Prasad owns GMR Web Team, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping businesses maximize revenue from internet. Ajay also operates a seven-figure web based business, GMR Transcription, which he built from scratch and grew it by using strategies that he uses for his digital marketing clients.

“The biggest trend in digital marketing this year will be…”

The impact of online reputation and how businesses choose to handle it. 80% of customers already state that online reviews have a huge effect on their decision-making. Businesses are going to get a big wake-up call if they don’t start controlling their online reputation, so I believe this year businesses will start to realize how big of an impact these online reviews really have on them. Especially now that Google is conveniently displaying a company’s review score within search results pages, no one will be able to hide from their importance.


Mike SaundersMike Saunders

@marketinghuddle

As an Authority Positioning Strategist, Mike Saunders assesses your corporate vision and installs a unified-strategic online marketing blueprint. The result is that ALL of your marketing will resonate powerfully with your target audience so that they fully understand why you are the obvious choice! Whether it is a powerful authority news release in the press, being interviewed on a respected business online radio show, or getting your 1st book published on Kindle and paperback, WITHOUT writing a word (with his Podcast Publish System) and running a powerful Best-Seller campaign…you will be seen as an expert which opens more doors to closing more business!

“Without a doubt, the trend in digital marketing that will shape the landscape in 2016 is…”

Authority & Reputation Positioning. In my online research I located 2 laws:

  1. Milgrim’s Law: The marketplace will blindly believe the words of an expert.
  2. Zipf’s Law: With limited time and opportunity to experiment, your ideal clients intentionally narrow their choices to those that are on top.

In today’s competitive market, you need to use all the tools at your disposal to maximize sales opportunities and keep your pipeline full of new prospects. Your company needs to augment your existing marketing process to:

.. Increase exposure in the market

.. Improve authority positioning

.. Boost conversion rates

.. Shorten sales cycle

Digital Authority Positioning helps the entrepreneur become recognized as an Expert in their field because they realize that this Credibility OPENS more doors to CLOSING more business – from speaking, generating quality referrals, commanding higher fees, and closing sales easier. How do you think new prospects will perceive you when they land on your website and you have a radio/podcast interview sharing a solution to their problem and that you have been featured in the media?

If you don’t invest in a formal Authority media campaign tailored to meet your unique needs, you risk losing market share to well-organized competitors.


Antonio TomarchioAntonio Tomarchio

@tonytom82

Antonio Tomarchio is founder and CEO of Cuebiq, a next generation business intelligence company that helps businesses understand consumers’ offline behavior and purchase intent.

Cuebiq is a spinoff of Beintoo, a mobile industry pioneer with a proven track record of identifying emerging technologies to serve the needs of marketers, the media community and investors. Antonio founded Beintoo in 2011 and served as CEO until February 2016.

“One hot topic in digital marketing this year will be…”

Footfall attribution, as some of the new solutions available in the marketplace are finally allowing marketers to measure campaign results in real-time and optimize performance on-the-fly. Cross-platform to offline footfall attribution provides marketers the ability to understand if a campaign drove consumers to a store, restaurant, or any other desired point of interest.

Technology finally gives us the ability to assess campaign performance in near real-time by providing daily reporting on how many users exposed to a campaign actually visited the desired POI. Traditionally, offline attribution measurement has been based on transactional data analysis, which can take up to several weeks upon the end of a campaign to provide results, not allowing for on-the-fly optimization.

Footfall attribution, on the other end, is a game-changer for marketers as it allows them to visualize in-store impact almost in real-time, enabling them to adjust and optimize efforts on the fly.


Angela PoldbergAngela Poldberg

@APoldberg

Angela Poldberg is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Blue Compass Interactive, a digital marketing agency based out of Des Moines, Iowa. With a background in customer service experience and digital marketing, Angela aims to find innovative ways to capture an audience’s attention with unique and engaging marketing efforts.

“The biggest trend set to make waves in digital marketing this year is…”

Creating Innovative & Hyper-Relevant Content. Content isn’t going anywhere, but it is certainly changing. Instead of making our focus on keyword stuffing and what we want our consumer to know, we need to shift our views to that of the consumer. It’s not as easy as it seems, but it is doable. Take yourself back to the problem that your audience is trying to solve, and help to solve it. By doing so, you give yourself the opportunity to become the trusted and go-to source in your field. Once trust has been established, your audience turns from a one time consumer to a brand advocate.

In addition to problem solving, focus on creating quality content that is engaging with both loyal and potential consumers. Don’t pigeonhole your strategy by thinking engaging means quizzes or interactive infographics. While these are great, engaging content is anything you create that makes your audience slow down and think. So put yourself in your audience’s shoes and find what sparks your interest, strategize, and implement for success.


Dave ChaffeyDave Chaffey

@SmartInsights

Dr. Dave Chaffey is the CEO and co-founder of online marketing advice publisher SmartInsights.com.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Digital Marketing Trends 2016 – 2017 via SmartInsights.com.

“One of the major megatrends in digital marketing in 2016-2017 is…”

The soaring popularity of messaging apps.

From Facebook’s Mobile Messenger through Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and rebuff by Snapchat to the popularity of apps in non-Western markets like WeChat, there is a continued and growing wish for consumers to communicate directly outside of public social network pages. This is really the last frontier for social media monetisation, so we can expect to see some major changes here in 2017 with new options for paid media on messaging apps, although this will be limited since the app owners have committed in the past to keeping messaging ad free.

So, reaching and influencing consumers as they move from public social media to messaging will remain a challenge to businesses, but as this next trend shows, there will be new options for reaching consumers via messaging.


Jonathan LacosteJonathan Lacoste

@lacostejonathan

Jonathan Lacoste is the co-founder and COO at Jebbit, an award-winning digital marketing platform. He’s currently one of The Boston Globe’s 25 Under 25. In his spare time, Lacoste runs marathons and competes in his office Ping-Pong tournament.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 5 Top Trends for Digital Marketing in 2016 via Inc.

“One of the most impactful trends in digital marketing in 2016 is the use of…”

Artificial intelligence.

As of now, the most common use of artificial intelligence in marketing has been in the form of machine learning. Programmatic buying arose as one of the most prevalent uses of machine learning a few years ago, and other uses of AI include predictive customer service, recommendations, and content curation.

According to AdRoll CMO Adam Berke, the key to AI is understanding what it does and doesn’t do – especially in regards to advertising.

“Advertising, even as we move into a digital data-driven paradigm, still involves strategy and creativity,” he said. “While machines can be powerful to make real-time decisions and remove human bias, the element of strategy needs to be inputted into whatever system you’re using.”

The lesson? Even in 2016, AI and machine learning won’t get you results without your own touch of strategy and creativity.


Kelsey MeyerKelsey Meyer

@Kelsey_M_Meyer

Kelsey Meyer is the co-founder of Influence & Co. , helping companies interact with their audience on a human level to accomplish business goals through engaging content.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Eight Important Digital Marketing Trends To Watch This Year via Forbes. 

“One of the biggest trends in digital marketing this year is…”

While we all know quality content is beneficial for our long-term goals, many companies are still underestimating the value of content distribution. When you spend time and resources building out an editorial calendar of content but don’t see positive ROI, your distribution strategy may be to blame. Find niche publications in your industry so you know where your audience is engaging the most.


Anoop GuptaAnoop Gupta

@kumaranoopgupta

Anoop Gupta is at present employed with leading digital marketing company – Zeemo. He has over 5 years of experience in web marketing. He has been associated with many prestigious projects and endeavors to achieve the best in his career.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 7 Digital Marketing Trends To Be Aware of in 2016 via Business2Community. 

“Among the most significant trends in digital marketing this year, one of the fastest growing is…”

Podcasts. Once considered ‘uncool’ and ‘nerdy’, the number of podcast listeners is growing significantly all over the world. A lot of this can be attributed to the success of Serial in 2015. Email marketing service MailChimp was a sponsor; their ads airing during the series proved that podcast marketing can by highly effective. Whilst some marketers think that podcasts are a fad, others see them as being a real trend for 2016.

 

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