With the first quarter of 2016 now almost over, it’s evident that the digital landscape is constantly changing and evolving to suit or new needs, interests and habits. These changes have been and will continue to be gradual, and while much as of what we’re accustomed will continue to be relevant, it’s also important for us to pay attention to these shifts and trends that pop up. For both individual brands as well as client-based agencies, staying in the loop in regards to these changes is imperative to growth.
Video Ads Will Continue To Be Important
While video ads are far from new, 2016 will be different for a number of reason. Many more platforms are beginning to embrace different forms of online advertising. In addition, Google will soon begin displaying video ads in search engine results pages, something that has been exclusive to text advertising up until this point. Across a plethora of platforms as well as in these search results, consumers will be more exposed to them than ever before. It will be important for brands to seriously consider making video a part of their online marketing strategy.
Apps Will Be Even More Important
As a population on the go, consumers are spending more and more of their mobile internet time specifically using apps for social networking, sharing, messaging & purchasing. As important as a mobile-optimized website is, we will begin to see more brands invest in creating dedicated apps in conjunction with their website. They will allow brands to be more connected to their customers, saving preferences and habits in ways that make their service much more convenient for users. This isn’t to say websites will become obsolete – but as mobile devices continue to evolve, so to do brands wanting to tap into a market of users.
All Mobile Everything
It goes without saying that online use on our mobile devices is huge, and Google themselves have said that traffic from mobile devices was more than desktop traffic in 10 countries last year. 2015 was the year Google also updates its algorithms to favour sites optimized for mobile – bumping outdated sites out of top spots to make room for responsive websites. More brands will be focusing more of their attention on having websites that are adaptable to mobile use – even without a specific desktop counterpart as much of the design aesthetic will be similar, just on smaller or larger screens.
Virtual Reality World
From Google cardboard to the Oculus Rift, virtual reality is beginning to firmly plant itself into the world of entertainment, but what about marketing? It’s a brand new medium that is ripe with online advertising opportunities as it will begin to merge with content on social platforms and video channels. Recently, Toronto music festival Wayhome released a 360 video dropping clues about their lineup, also littered with branded messaging to promote the festival and it’s sponsors. Though the video can be viewed regularly, getting their full experience requires VR technology of some kind. Having this kind of “up close and personal” face time with viewers and consumers is something every brand strives for
Smart watches will continue to get even smarter, and continue to become a mainstay in the market. Often linked with a user’s mobile device, wearable technology will keep us connected even without our handheld devices near by. Since a lot of the same functions will be available on these smaller, wearable items; it would make sense for brands to approach marketing on them the same way they would approach it for mobile devices, and to take advantage of how closely connected it will keep you to viewers and consumers.