entrepreneur-593371_640We’re over halfway through 2016 and as many in the digital marketing world know, there’s been a lot of changes so far this year. But with half the year over, some may still wonder what are the 2016 Digital Marketing and Advertising trends? If you haven’t figured out, this list should help you learn content is still king, and it’s getting more and more focused. So here it is, Build/Create’s 2016 Digital Marketing and Advertising Trends.

SEO

Content Marketing – As search engines become more human in their ability to find what you’re looking for, using high quality content as a means to market a website in conjunction with traditional SEO best practices will help your search engine rankings.

Conversational Search – Search is going from short-tail keywords to longer keywords because the questions being asked and the methods of search are diversifying. (see later topic on conversational ad search)

Mobile Friendly Must –  For the past two years Google has been pushing mobile friendly as more than 50% of searches are done using a mobile device. Now, they are labeling mobile friendly sites in search and also using it in their search algorithm.

Load Time – Caching, compressing photos and other media, and doing all that you can to lower the time it takes to load a page will help your search rankings. Google wants pages that load quickly even in low bandwidth situations. It helps their searchers have a more positive experience.

Local SEO (where the majority of your customers are) – Focusing your content on where you and your customers are, as well as ensuring your Google Maps are optimized will allow the search engines and your clients to find you faster. If your clients are not primarily in your local area, using keywords that are local focused for their area will help you rank better in their search area.

Answer questions – “Web design Michigan” is being replaced in search patterns to searches like this “Who are the best local web designers in Michigan for manufacturing websites?” This goes back to conversational searches on mobile and searchers finding that they get better search results from long tail questions.

Structured Data – This is text-based organization of data that is included in a file and served from the web. It’s also described as schema markup because of the language it uses. Its purpose it to make it easier and faster for search engines to parse information from your website and determine what you do – thus making searches faster and delivering your content to the appropriate searcher.

 

Google AdWords

Long-tail keywords –  Like organic search, advertising search is increasing in its length of exact match keyword as well. This is due in large part to mobile search.

Ad messaging strategy –  Google has stiffened its restraints on ad text and special characters. They want ads to look more like organic search both for their own financial reasons but also to not have a lot of spam looking ads on their page. Adding extensions will also help enhance the searcher’s experience and make your ad look more professional.

Video advertising –  YouTube offers the same advertising targeted platform as AdWords, and can be a useful tool in growing your brand awareness in related videos.

Local focused ads – Per Google’s last summit, they will be rolling out advertising in Google maps, allowing searchers to get special offers based on their proximity to businesses.

Conversational ad search (for voice search) – Like in SEO, answering questions and focusing advertising like organic search to tailor to a new search type in voice search and conversational speech will help your ads get found, often for much less cost than short tail keywords.

 

Social Media Advertising

List targeting – In 2015 Facebook released list targeting. This allows you to upload lists of email addresses and show ads to people who already have awareness of your brand. If a user has an email that matches their Facebook login, your ads can be seen only on their wall, lowering your Cost-Per-Acquisition.

Local Search – Social reviews and sharing promotions both help your local search rankings organically, but also turn customers into brand evangelists.

Employee amplification – If you don’t want to spend money boosting posts due to social algorithms encouraging the behavior, using your employees to amplify your messaging can help spread the word of your company organically.

Social messaging (response time) ­– More people are using Facebook Messanger and Twitter to communicate privately and publically with the brands that serve them. Facebook ranks you based on your response time to direct messages to give visitors an indication of what to expect. Ensuring that you are responding quickly will help your social profile and additionally, customer experience.

Video – Video ads, and organic posts get higher engagement, have higher click through rates than traditional written content, and are shared more often if the content is of high quality. While they may take more time to produce, video advertising can have a much higher ROI in the long-term.

 

Inbound Marketing

Content Marketing – This is not only applicable to attracting new visitors in the search engines, but also nurturing, closing, and delighting existing customers to retain them and grow upsell opportunities.

Marketing and email automation-  Email has returned as a viable marketing option for those that have given you permission to market to them. Through page follows and creating targeted lists, it is like Google’s remarketing in someone’s inbox.

IP tracking – Tracking visitors, even ones who’ve not raised their hand to say who they are based on static IP to gauge interest by targeted companies helps you begin to see who’s being attracted to your website and how they got there.

Targeted content – This is often combined with marketing and email automation. By creating content that’s focused on your target persona and the pages they visit will help you speak directly to them and nurture sales to close.

Lead nurturing –  Lead nurturing is also content driven. By using information to follow up with opportunities based on who they are and the interests they have.

End of guest blogging – Guest blogging for backlink purposes still has some nominal value to the search engine, but is only useful if the websites that you’re guest blogging for have high domain authority and the blog is relevant for both parties. The traditional blog farms for backlinks have been devalued by Penguin’s algorithm changes by Google in 2012.

There are countless more things going on in digital marketing and advertising, and it’s a constantly changing landscape. To find out more about what’s happening and how it can impact your business, feel free to drop us a line.

Published 08/08/16 by Eric Lynch