The Digital Wars of 2016.

The world of digital marketing is fast paced and ever changing. Best practices are constantly evolving and you need to keep up-to-date with emerging trends if you want to maintain a strong and competitive online presence.

Have a read below to see if you and your company are ready for the Digital Marketing Wars of 2016!

1. Responsive Versus Apps

You may have heard about Googles announcement on April 21st, 2015 for the mobile optimisation of websites (if you haven’t read more about it HERE). If you have already switched to a responsive website, you still have to keep up-to-date with future competitive trends. One of the competitors of responsive sites are Apps. Responsive sites are self-descriptive i.e. they are optimised to be viewable on both desktop and mobile devices. Apps are custom built to be viewed only on mobile devices e.g Google Maps desktop version v’s the downloadable App. Apps have an advantage over mobile sites because they are custom built for the experience and typically have a higher retention rate of customers, along with a higher engagement rate. Apps are excellent for B2C businesses where customers are regularly logging on to check updated schedules or new releases. Currently B2B businesses are for the large part unsuitable for App based sites, but Apps are steadily gaining in popularity and importance and it needs to be something that is carefully monitored for future strategic plans.

2. Images Versus Video

You have heard the call to action for more images on your website and social media content. Now is time to up your game and include more videos on your site. Videos are an excellent tool for explaining your product to potential customers. Videos make excellent sharable links on the big three of social media platforms; LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. YouTube is officially the second most powerful search engine after Google and Google pulls YouTube search results directly into its search results page. For these reasons it makes sense for your company to have a presence on Youtube. There are many ways of including videos on your website such as; Company video, Vlogs, Instructional videos and downloadable Webinars.

3. SEO Versus User Experience

Google (the ruling king of SEO) is clamping down on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practices of creating unnatural SEO on a website. A few years ago keyword stuffing and unnatural backlink development (adding a website to every directory imaginable) were standard practice in achieving high rankings in Googles search engines. Google has since improved its algorithms to not only recognise these practices, but to penalise those who still use them. The best way for you to now improve SEO is by improving the user experience. This means a well-designed website with intuitive menu structure and navigation, strong calls to action and fresh relevant content added regularly. Other SEO best practices still apply such as H1-3 headers and including all meta data, but the essence of good SEO boils down to a positive User Experience.

4. Infographics Versus GIFs

An Infographic is an excellent way of showcasing company information. Infographics are a visual representation of data. It can be useful to display facts and figures in a way that is pleasing and informative to the eye. Other businesses, and your competitors, have mostly gotten the message about the importance of infographics, as seen by the swell of infographics that were being produced and distributed in 2015. Enterprise Ireland is probably one of the country’s most renowned advocates of infographics utilising them to explain rather complex sets of data, see example HERE. An emerging trend for 2016 is to add some simple animation to your infographic. One of the ways of doing this is through a GIF. A GIF is a simple looping video that shows a small amount of animation. E.g is your infographic showing the amount of money you save your customers? Why not have the data switch between dollars and euros. The purpose of adding a small animation to your infographic is all about standing out from the crowd and getting as much attention on your post as possible. Facebook have recently included the ability to post and play GIF’s on their newsfeed, a signal of GIF’s growing importance.

It is important to be aware of future trends in digital marketing so that you can stay proactive in your marketing approach rather than reactive. The topics I covered may not be suitable for every business but in knowing about them it may help you focus your digital strategy in the future.

If you would like to speak  about any of the topics raised in this post please contact IMS Marketing at 091 739450 or email [email protected].

Thank you for reading.