The Top 6 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016
Here at Noble Studios, we take a three-pronged approach to everything we do. First we Think, then we Make, and finally we Measure. And, while marketing trends come and go, our Think/Make/Measure methodology remains strong because it’s a proven, consistent way to get the results our clients need. Still, there are some positive changes blowing in the wind and they’re always worth noting.
Here’s a look at some trends for 2016 and how they will impact the work we do for you:
The Rise of the Micro Moment
Our Strategic Planning team is very focused on the customer’s journey this year. Traditional brand awareness efforts and direct response calls to action have been supplanted by micro-moments, Google’s name for the multiple touch-points a buyer now makes on the way to a purchase. As mobile devices become more pervasive, the customer’s journey is evolving from a linear funnel to a multi-staged funnel, and this means we need to be there in the moment and meet customers where they are. See our best practices for micro moments here and here.
Our Creative Services team sees the continued rise of personalized content and hyper-local search results, which Rand Fishkin expertly explained in a recent Whiteboard Friday session. Also, as content-based trends such as personalized search gain traction, visual trends such as minimalism and flat design, which makes for a much more efficient layout in this mobile-first world, continue their prominence after several years in the spotlight.
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
Noble’s team will focus even more on iterative development in 2016. Gone are the days of brochure-style websites with lifespans of three-plus years. In 2016 and beyond, we’ll be paying more attention to infrastructure that allows us the flexibility needed to iterate on the front-end design and feature set. This will allow for quicker initial delivery to market, and then continued review of the product through analytics and A/B testing with tools such as Optimizely for ongoing refinement.
On the development side, this year will be one for specialization. Developers, designers, systems administrators and everywhere in between have started and will continue to specialize in a given craft. In particular, Client Side Development (AKA: Front End Development) will be a key focus for this year. We feel that new markets will begin to emerge around specialists and that this will be great for consumers, developers and users.
In the ever-expanding world of search, the efforts centered on mobile optimization will likely exceed those of desktop in 2016. Last year, mobile surpassed desktop searches and Google surprised the industry with Mobilegeddon. We believe this mobile trend will continue to grow through shifting the action further and further away from desktop.
By that same token, Google will continue to look not only at content value, but user experience on a mobile device as a ranking factor. We also see deep linking within apps as a huge growth area as more users shift from desktop to mobile.
All About Data
More than ever before, data will be used to build long-term, loyal customers. Right now, marketers are swamped with data on their consumers, but in 2016 marketers will continue to get savvier with their tools to use this data to build strong relationships. Consumers, for the most part, are overwhelmed with information, and it is only those brands that make the effort to build strong relationships with consumers that will stick out among the noise. Put simply, the customer experience will come first and marketers will no longer settle for short-term conversions at the expense of long-term customer relationships.
As 2016 unfolds, rest assured Noble Studios will stay on top of what’s happening in the world of digital marketing as we continue to keep our clients’ interest at the forefront of everything we do. Here’s to a prosperous 2016.