2016 Marketing Technology Predictions
The new year is upon us yet again as it seems to do at about this time every year. Looking out for the Small and Medium Sized Businesses is what we do at PTC Computer Solutions. There are a number of marketing predictions on trends I think will be important in the new year, 2016. Last year, there were a number of predictions we were on board with including but not limited to: the rise in social advertising, the expanded role of content as an SEO tool and the fact that mobile responsive design would no longer be optional. Read on to see the top trends to watch in 2016.
Web Content, Social Media and SEO Marketing Predictions
Continuing the Social Media Trends and SEO Tools Trends is not a surprise for 2016, but here are some items you may not be aware of.
- Live social broadcasts: Not only is video easy to use, but the statistics on engagement and sharing are dramatically higher than simple photographs. With apps like Periscope, Meerkat and the new Facebook Live it is easier than ever to share “what’s happening now”. There is no need for expensive video equipment or cumbersome live streaming applications. All you need is a smart phone and an internet or cell connection and you can broadcast anything, at any time. The ability to live broadcast from an event, an interview with a happy client or a quick product demonstration is in your pocket. If you want to be noticed in 2016 you will need video to make that happen.
- Buy NOW, NOW, NOW!: Small Business Owners surveyed previously agreed that the push to advertise on social platforms was increased as organic visibility dropped. To make advertising more appealing, the addition of new “buy now” features in Facebook and Pinterest will transform social advertising from awareness building to sales generating. As this catches on I expect more social platforms will follow.
- Getting your content read: In recent times, the use of random link building and keyword stuffing strategies have faded. This was good because it caused a shift to content as the core of an effective SEO strategy. Unfortunately, the explosion of content on web pages and social media sites has made it harder than ever to get noticed. In 2016, successful companies will focus more attention on their distribution strategies, getting their content in front of the right people through targeted email communication and dedicated social groups. It’s no longer enough to just put content out there. Focus on getting the content in front of the target eyes is going to be critical and has become harder than ever. Utilizing strategies to do this are going to be the focus of 2016 marketing strategies.
Web Design Marketing Predictions
The changes in web design are obvious when you look at a website designed a few years ago. Take a look at some websites and see if you can figure out if it was designed recently or not. Here are some new things to look for in 2016:
- Goodbye sidebars: Once a standard feature of every website, they are fading fast because they just don’t work well in mobile environments. The critical information in the sidebar falls to the bottom of the page on mobile devices making them useless as a home for any type of call to action. A top-down strategy is going to be the norm for all websites moving forward.
- Modular design: Designs for 2016 and beyond are going to be modular. This means that sites will be focusing on creating boxes of information. Think of a modular sofa. You can arrange the pieces to form a couch or a love seat and separate chair. With a wide range of design tools, web developers can build pages which are actually a series of separate modules arranged to meet a specific objective. This modular approach frees web designers from the restrictions of a particular theme. Every page can be completely different. Expect to see more innovative use of these modules in 2016.
- Return to deep design: For the last few years, minimalism has ruled. Simple designs, without shadows or other elements which gave images depth and dimension dominated because they loaded quickly on any type of device. However the technology is improving and both Apple and Androids now support a modified, semi flat design. As this style creeps into mobile it will work it’s way back into web design as well. I don’t expect we will see a return to the drop shadows or wet look popular ten years ago, but we can look forward to slightly richer looking designs in 2016.
- Devices talking to each other: I’ve blogged about the Internet of Things (IoT) already in 2015 but will continue to harp on IoT until you get it. IoT are applications which allow communication between devices and/or between devices and humans. For example, smart electronics built into your car tell you when your tire pressure is low or it is time to change your oil. The Fitbit automatically syncs with your smart phone which then lets you know when you are close to your daily goals. If smart devices can send alerts to other devices it is only logical they will start sending messages to merchants and service providers. Your furnace might alert your HVAC technician when it needs to be serviced, or your refrigerator might reorder milk when the shelf is empty. In 2016 there will be more applications which allow your customers to sign up for reminders and alerts for all sorts of products and services.
- RFID: Radio Frequency Identification Devices will be part of the IoT revolution. RFID is already becoming prominent in many devices and will begin to report information to websites and other devices on the Internet to inform them of what is coming and going. These devices are not complex but are rather simplistic. The RFID reports a number or an ID to whatever is reading it. The reader is where the intelligence is. It is connected to a database either locally or through the Internet to discover any number of tidbits of information on what this RFID reports. RFID will be everywhere this year. Be apprised.
PTC Computer Solutions is an advocate for your business. We are always interested in trends, particularly among Small Business Owners and Medium Sized Business Owners. Contact PTC Computer Solutions for all of your business technology needs from research & marketing to networking and PC support. We are always available for discussion at no cost to you. Contact us today.