2015 saw the growth of programmatic TV and radio, and advances in targeting (think Google Match’s Similar Audiences) as well as increasing use of ad blocking technology – a new headache for marketers. While 2015 was certainly a banner year for digital media, the industry is predicted to grow even more rapidly in 2016.
At Katana, we’re already planning for the upcoming year, and we’ve pulled together 10 digital marketing predictions to help you jumpstart 2016.
- Ad blocking won’t go away: Rates in the U.S. already range from 6-16% depending on the age group. Expect those numbers to increase. Yet, marketers won’t turn tail and give up. They’ll begin looking for ways around the blocking either via reaching out to consumers directly or moving advertising dollars to social platforms or mobile apps.
- Increased use of speech-based queries: Personal assistants – think Siri, OK Google and Cortana – are becoming more widely used. More and more people are no longer typing in search queries, but are searching via voice-activated commands. Marketers must ensure that their digital content is adequately optimized for these searches.
- Targeting will be taken to a whole new level: Targeting consumers across devices with highly-personalized ads has never been easier, thanks to the amount of data we are now able to collect on consumers. You can already create ads on Twitter that have people’s names on them. Marketers, however, must walk a fine line with these ads, as too much targeting may make consumers uncomfortable.
- You only thought a lot of new technology was released in 2015: Digital marketing will drastically change next year due to the rapid release of an abundance of new tech – think more devices like Oculus Rift and improvement in wearable tech. Marketers must be prepared to create content and advertising that best fit these different screen sizes and the way users consume content on them.
- Reduction in overly intrusive ads: In part a response to increased ad blocking, this trend is also related to new thinking in website design. User experience has been a big push for websites – especially with recent Google algorithm updates. This thinking will overflow to ad placement as well. Companies will be forced to think about where ads live and how they affect site users.
- Rise of the streaming video app bundles: Consumers have been cutting the cable cord for years. TV networks have noticed and have created their own streaming apps. The problem is that there are now so many. To reduce turning off consumers who would have to pay for individual apps, many cable companies and streaming services are looking for ways to bundle these individual apps.
- Marketing will become common in messaging apps: Ads in messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger will become much more prevalent. With nearly a billion active users, it’s no surprise that platforms like Facebook want to take advantage of their native messaging.
- Facebook isn’t going anywhere any time soon: Predictions have been abundant for years that the lack of young people on the platform would signal the end of Facebook. But, eMarketer has pointed out that while it might not be their favorite platform, young people are using it. It expects Facebook penetration will be “eight in 10 among online 12- to 17-year-olds and nearly nine in 10 among those ages 18 to 24” by 2019. So, don’t count it out for marketing purposes.
- Forget mobile browsing. Mobile buying is happening now: For years, consumers have used their smartphones for research, but not much buying was happening. Recent developments, however, have made it much easier to make purchases from mobile devices. And consumers are embracing the transition. Mobile shopping experiences must be equivalent to laptop and desktop experiences, or businesses may lose sales.
- Expect more data – much more data: Unlike older generations, younger people are fine with providing personal data to third parties, i.e. using their Facebook login for other sites, which can see their personal data. This data can be used for learning more about consumers, which leads to better targeting.
Digital media is always in a constant state of flux. Next year will mark an acceleration of advancements on this front. What trends do you think will take off next year?
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