Take a look at our predictions for top trends that are likely to appear in 2016, including how data-driven marketing will occupy an even more crucial role.
As ideas and plans that have been stewing for months crystallize, the New Year becomes the perfect time for businesses and brands to introduce them.
In the realm of data-driven marketing, 2016 promises to offer new opportunities for marketers. They will unveil bold strategies, or finally enact their responses to the trends that have been bearing down.
At the same time, events that have been foreshadowed for years may finally come true. The rise of content marketing, the emergence of video content’s hegemony and the advancing role of analytics in marketing decisions are all likely to move to the forefront next year.
Content Marketing Becomes the Focus of Digital Marketing
The shockwaves that ad blockers have sent through the digital marketing community are creating an entirely new landscape for online advertising. One of the most reliable tactics in this organic-reach focused environment is to develop a content strategy. Not only will this approach lead to a rise in the amount of content, it will also spur more strategic, data-focused thinking before the first words are written.
“My prediction is that there will be a big drive towards the upskilling of Content Marketers in the area of sales funnel building and optimization,” says Razor Social’s Ian Cleary. “This is because of the increasing demands of higher ROI from content marketing.”
Throughout 2016, marketers will be looking for positioning and segmenting techniques that help them maximize the value content offers both to audiences and creators, with the ultimate goal being a higher ROI.
Video Takes Off
Digital video budgets have already been rising, but in 2016 expect a spending arms race as brands try to seize their market’s share of voice and make deeper impacts through emotional video storytelling. With Google’s announcement that YouTube and other video ads could soon be embedded within their search engine results pages, search engine marketing will be practically forced to adopt video within its repertoire.
Altogether, video content is expected to comprise 74% of total online traffic by the time 2016 is over.
Data-Driven Marketing Gets Smarter
With brands chasing more demonstrable ROI, analytics and data analysis in general will occupy an even more pivotal role within digital marketing strategies. The deepening presence of data-driven marketing is already setting the tone of most strategic outlooks, and expenditures on marketing-focused analytics are predicted to rise by 73% in the year ahead.
In particular, social listening and performance analysis for digital marketing materials will make up the bulk of these spending pushes. As more brands invest in data-driven marketing strategies, anticipate both organic and paid reach campaigns to get smarter and more spend-conscious as ROI becomes easier to calculate and prove.
These technologies have already shown what they can do in 2015, but as 2016 rolls around, expect them to become the default approach for companies and brands that want to stay viable.