Digital marketing has always been fast shifting terrain. 2016 will be more of the same as digital marketers try to cater to the ever-growing number of smartphone browsers and shoppers.
We already know the following: online shopping on smartphones is growing, app usage is on the rise and social media is moving beyond Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to apps like Periscope and Snapchat. And social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, which were seen as free, have cut organic reach and are now mostly paid channels. Budgets for online marketing are now significant even for small businesses.
So what are some of the changes businesses will have to make in 2016?
Customising content for the smartphones:
Businesses will have to go beyond just having websites with responsive design. In 2015, Google officially released the ‘Mobilegeddon’ algorithm update to phase out sites not optimized for mobile, coinciding with the fact that online mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic.
Find out what information smartphone users are seeking from you and make the following changes:
- Keep it minimal and simple for smartphones. Prioritize the content you want to show them.
- Create content that is easy to find, short and readable.
- Remember people are tapping with their fingers. Make sure the design incorporates this.
- Provide contextual navigation for providing additional information and upselling if you have mobile e-commerce.
- The mobile user is ‘always on’, so make sure the content is fresh and quickly updated.
- Optimize your mobile site so it can be easily found by digital assistants like Siri.
But don’t abandon the desktop users just yet. Usage patterns indicate dual use of smartphones and desktops – the latter is still being used a lot during the day. Invest in high-quality content – content marketing remains a great way to create a brand. There’re different ways of creating content. For instance, your customers talking about your products could be a very powerful way of building a brand. Can you get more engagement from them?
Is having an app right for your business?
Digital marketing pundits are betting on the app market growing faster than the internet browsing market. More and more businesses have developed apps giving loyal shoppers a better user experience. But is it the right strategy for your business? Take a look at what you are selling. Do you have a large repeat clientele? People will only download apps they tend to use frequently. Apps for grocery stores? Yes. Cafes? Maybe, if your customers are office-goers. Lampshades? Maybe not.
ROI on digital marketing
It’s not enough to just be on social media, use Google AdWords or have SEO experts promoting your site. Businesses now have very sizable online ad spends and are demanding results. Converting the brand’s visibility to sales in the shops remains the key challenge. It all distils down to targeting your market well.
Customers in some product categories like white goods, electronics, and even clothing have decided what they are going to buy and why before they have entered the store. The in-store experience, therefore, has to match expectations created online.
2015 is drawing to a close. It’s a good time to look at the year that was, but also to plan for next year.
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