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My 3 powerful predictions for digital marketing in 2016!

Guest Blog:
Dan Sodergren of Great Marketing Works.

It’s always nice to be asked to be on radio as a digital marketing expert. I am a sucker for a little bit of fame but aren’t we all? And it’s even nicer to be talking about something I love which is digital marketing and digital marketing training.


So I was very happy, if not a little hungover, to talk last week on New Year's morning about my digital marketing predictions for 2016.


I was tempted to talk on a micro scale about the movement of social into real social. To talk about trends like Twitter hashtags becoming real “social objects” that provide real social motivation and sign posts for real actions– not just the top ten Twitter hashtags for 2015.  


But something deeper than just linking into something funny with hashtags like #winning to something truly social like how people used hashtags during the terror attacks on Paris. With #PorteOuverte etc.


Instead, I went macro and non-political and talked about my 3 key trends for digital marketing in 2016.

  1. Video becoming increasingly important
  2. Mobile’s rise and rise
  3. The change of the landscape with social media platforms.




If Content is now king. Video is the queen. And she is the boss.



We all now know that advertising is changing. Most new generations don’t believe in what you say about your business.


So business has had to change. Businesses became publishers. Creating content that people could belief in rather than (or supplemented by) advertising.


However, businesses that now underestimate the power of video – the new kid on the block of content marketing - do so at their peril. Especially, it would seem, in the world of products as research has found that 80% of people are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.


But isn’t video a bit passe now-a-days with youtube being more than 14 years old? Heck isn’t video just the same as TV?  


Far from it, as over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube (owned by Google) which means that almost an hour for every person on Earth! A staggering amount of video content, which is why it is estimated that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, whilst video on-demand traffic alone will have trebled!


With this massive change going on you have the birth of new (ish) platforms like Vine. These 6 second video clips are free to produce and distribute and have been quickly adopted by a variety of brands. With over 40 million users, ‘Viners’ like Zach King - have quickly redefined what it means to be famous in the 21st century and what viral content really means.


But what about video content watched on a mobile phone? Well, Instagram is now playing videos as well as Twitter where around 80% of all video views are on a mobile device.


The same is now said for the granddaddy of all social media platforms as Facebook now has had more video views than YouTube! Meaning the video really is the next level of marketing for everyone. That and mobile marketing.





Mobile marketing growth will not stop EVER.



Around 5 years ago we were working with Blippar, who make augmented reality happen on mobile phones. We were really heavily pushing how important mobile would become (that and visual search.) Today, we are no longer prophets in the wilderness as mobile has become HUGE.


We are now past the mobile tipping point, as smartphones have overtaken laptops as UK internet users’ number one device. As a nation, we are spending two hours online on our smartphones every day; twice as long as laptops and PCs.


What does this mean? It means we were right. True, but it also means that marketing now has to be more mobile than ever, for both business to business and business to consumer marketing. Be this with apps, or mobile friendly websites. If you are not mobile first you are in trouble.


But it also means that content creation is now centred on speed. As much wiser people than I have commented:

“With a smartphone everyone is now a content creator.”


So if you are not trained in digital marketing and how to do it effectively, you are in trouble. From a modern marketing POV – marketing is now mobile and marketing in the moment. Our job is now to create miniature moments of marketing joy, mainly through our mobiles.


Just look at the rise and rise of live streaming from our mobiles with Periscope and other instant gratification video creators. Look specifically at young mobile users and 40% of them say they are watching native forms of video on their smartphone more frequently than they were a year ago.

Even old school social media has gone mobile.


As Facebook now bigger in population than China takes the lion share of social media traffic which about 60% of all mobile traffic. Facebook famously going mobile first – has paid dividends. With now more than 78% of it’s advertising revenue coming from mobile. God only knows what Mark Zuckerberg has planned for us next on our mobile phones (the answer is a Jarvis like AI butler by the way.)  


Facebook, knew that power of mobile – which is why they bought Instagram whilst they still could, which ties in nicely to the third point.




The change of the social media landscape:


Facebook knew the change was coming several years ago. They saw the growth in mobile. They had the data points to see into the future. So they bought their competition: Instagram for $1 billion (and we all laughed.) But now who is really laughing now? As Instagram grew 50% in the last 9 months and is now bigger than Twitter!


Facebook, in the same time, grew only 2% in real numbers. However, their revenue smashed it. But that’s not the point. The point here is the change in the guard. With more and more young people leaving actively joining and using Facebook.


So who else of the new boys in social media grew rather rapidly last year? Snapchat, the ephemeral photo network, grew 56% in 2014 and remains the fastest growing messaging app. Tumblr, the new version of blogger, is still signing up 120,000 users… a day! For more stats go here, as the list goes on and on.


The key thing here is that social media is changing. Digital marketing is changing. And both are changing across the board for both b2b and b2c. To keep on top of this you have to do some digital marketing training.


The world is changing too quickly for you not to.


These changes are due to the world changing and changing what it likes to consume and engage with. You might think Twitter is an engagement platform but in reality Instagram gets 50x more engagement than Twitter!


So where should you be marketing as a consumer brand? Whilst Pinterest, gets some of the highest conversion rates of them all, for click through to retail, so where should you be spending your time?


The big changes in marketing are already here. But which ones will give you the cutting edge is going to be up to you. We can only train you in the best ways of using digital marketing. Based on digital analytics, testing and studying what works in the world.


Whether you can make it work for them will be up to your customers.