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Top Digital Marketing Trends of 2016

November 30, 2016

The digital marketing world is constantly evolving and improving to keep up with ever-changing social media platforms and our constantly connected consumers. As we head into the final month of this year, it’s time to look back on what trends took the digital marketing world by storm in 2016.

Rise In In-App Features

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have all launched new features onto their apps throughout 2016, making social media platforms more interactive for both consumers and brands.

In 2015, Instagram brought us Boomerang, where you take a burst of photos, which are then stitched up together to create a short video clip that plays forwards and backward in a loop. Even though this launched in 2015, it really kicked off throughout 2016, with many brands and users creating their own Boomerangs.

More recently, Instagram announced that they are to launch an in-app shopping experience, making it far easier for users to find out where they can buy the items they see on the app. We have a whole blog post purely about how this new feature will work, click here to find out more.

Twitter has really been upping their game with improving their platform, in the last few months of 2015, they released Twitter Moments. They picked up on the fact that news is what floats around Twitter the most, and so the Moments feature focuses on posting key news articles that don’t just disappear down your newsfeed. If you want to find out the latest news, you can simply click on to the Moments option at the bottom of the app.

However, Twitter’s more recent launch of their Chatbot service has been the perfect tool for brands to be using. For a while, brands have already been able to create automated direct messages, that are triggered when someone likes their account. However, this feature will allow more in-depth actions and has been created to encourage more brands to use Twitter as their customer service platform. Want to find out how exactly it works? Click here!

Facebook more recently released Marketplace to their mobile app, as they found that 450million people were part of buying and selling groups on Facebook. So in response to this, they have now created an official and more secure platform for people to buy and sell. If you want to find out a bit more about this new feature, head over to this blog post.

Virtual Reality Experiences

Creating campaigns featuring virtual reality experiences have taken 2016 by storm. It’s still a fairly new phenomenon in the digital marketing world, and quite an expensive campaign style to create. However, I believe that there’s so much more to come with this platform. You don’t need to own a £300+ VR headset to be able to get involved, Google has their Google Cardboard headset, and many other companies are producing cheaper alternatives, where you can simply pop your phone into the headset, and experience VR without breaking the bank.

I’ve written a whole blog post on the use of virtual reality in marketing and some examples of successful VR campaigns from this year, click here to give it a read.

Mobile Overshadows Desktop

Staring down into their mobiles has become the preferred method for consumers to search the internet, go shopping and use social networks. Using your mobile for these activities is far more convenient as more consumers are owning smartphones.

According to Digiday, they have found that “on average, people around the world will spend 86 minutes a day using the internet on their phones, compared to 36 minutes on a desktop, this year.”. For marketers, this has meant that they should have been making their adverts more mobile-friendly and looking into creating consumer experiences via mobile this year.

Video & Interactive Adverts Dominated

This year, if you wanted your consumer to interact and engage with your brand, you will have been creating video and interactive adverts. They have been seen to be far more successful over simple image adverts.

Facebook released Canvas adverts at the start of the year, which is a highly interactive style of advertising. In the short gif below, you should be able to see that within these types of adverts, you can swipe across, up, and down within the advert to discover more information and to watch short video clips.

However, with consumers attention spans shortening, you need to capture them as quickly as possible by avoiding any long videos and making sure they have strong visuals. For adverts, 30 seconds should be enough!


#Hashtags Have Continued Trending

Hashtags have continued to be a strong part of marketing campaigns throughout 2016. People have been skeptical that hashtags would lose their power when it comes to marketing. However, they are still going strong and I believe they will continue to be an integral part of campaigns in 2017.

In March this year, WWF created a social media campaign with the hashtag #EarthHourUK. Its aim was to encourage people to switch off non-essential lights for one hour to take a moment to think about the future of Earth and how much energy can be saved within this time frame. Anyone who got involved were to take a photo and post onto their social media profiles with the campaign’s hashtag to help spread awareness and to get more people involved. Even some major world sites including Big Ben, the Sydney Opera House, and others got involved.

Some hashtags have also been trending that have nothing to do with marketing campaigns, the most recent online craze is the #MannequinChallenge. It is believed that this trend was created by a group of students in Florida and has then become a worldwide craze. The challenge is simply a video of people standing frozen in positions, usually partaking in an activity, whilst someone goes around filming them. The videos have the song Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background and due to this, the song has rocketed to the top spots of the music charts! Here at Fifteen we even had a go at making our own and have managed to hit over 8,000 views!

Here at Fifteen, we even had a go at making our own and have managed to hit over 8,000 views!

There have been many more marketing trends within 2016, but these 5 trends have stood out as some of the strongest and have been used across all sorts of platforms and industries.

Which digital marketing trends do you think will continue, and what new ones do you think will appear in 2017?





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