Marketing / Online marketing

7 digital marketing trends that will give you an edge in 2016

Make 2016 your most profitable year ever by making use of these seven digital marketing trends to get noticed and edge ahead of your competitors.

18 January 2016 by

The New Year is a time when most of us are busy planning and setting goals for the year ahead. I know for myself it’s a time of reflection and self-evaluation as well as the chance to focus sharply on whatever I want to achieve in the next 12 months. If you have big goals to grow your business this year, you’ll need to think about how you are going to market yourself in an ever-changing digital environment.

Staying ahead of the competition can give you a very helpful edge against other businesses in your industry who might still be using marketing strategies that are so 2015. This is especially important for small business owners given innovation and the ability to evolve are the things that set you apart from the bigger organisations.

To help you stay on the cutting edge, here are the seven most influential marketing trends for 2016 that are likely to affect you:.

1. Apps

Apps have had steady growth over the last few years but 2016 looks like being the year they really take off. This is made more likely by Google’s recent implementation of apps in their search engine rankings. It looks like apps will start to replace mobile optimised sites in the future. If you’ve been thinking about getting an app created for your business, 2016 might be the year to think seriously about it.

"If you have big goals to grow your business this year, you’ll need to think about how you are going to market yourself in an ever-changing digital environment."

2. Video advertising

Video advertising has gradually been increasing over the last few years and with Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube it’s likely this will continue with video ads starting to appear in searches along with more traditional text based advertising. The good news is that video ads are relatively cost effective to produce and can get great results. So don’t be camera shy!

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3. Mobile-friendly website

As a savvy soloist no doubt you got mobile responsive with your website in 2015. If for any reason you haven’t, now is definitely the time as Google starts to phase non-mobile responsive sites out of their search results. Not having a mobile responsive site could have a serious effect on your online visibility in 2016.

4. Marketing automation

Automation tools are becoming even more sophisticated than ever before and combining them with data can give your marketing a serious boost. These days even a one-person operation can market on a large scale by making use of automation tools. Some ways you can do this include email automation with sequences that are set to run without any intervention (they get triggered by specific actions on the part of your audience).

Social media is another area that you can automate effectively up to a point along with paid digital advertising. It’s getting to the point where businesses that aren’t using data and automation for marketing are going to be at a serious disadvantage.

5. Relationship marketing

Traditional marketing attitudes of making a sale at all costs are being replaced by a more long-term philosophy embodied by relationship marketing. Exchange your high pressure sales tactics for a focus on building ongoing relationships with your audience. This will increase their loyalty and not only encourage them to become repeat customers, but to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. With so many businesses starting to recognise the value of this style of marketing, and the expectations of customers changing, it’s a good idea for your business to be ahead of the game.

6. Internet of things

Wearable tech hasn’t entirely caught on yet but the predictions are that it will start to gain momentum next year. As a marketer this means that you’ll have a number of different ways to reach your audience and thinking outside the box will start to become even more important for everyone.

7. Virtual reality

While it may sound a bit science fiction, predictions are that 2016 will be the year that VR becomes mainstream. While it’s hard to see how solo businesses are likely to be affected by VR at this stage, it’s likely to massively increase engagement by the businesses that do adopt it. VR will take marketing to the next level by immersing audiences in to the marketer’s world and message.

Digital marketing isn’t going anywhere but it’s definitely evolving at an eye-watering pace. As a soloist it is your job to keep up with the changes so you can stay ahead of your competition and ensure that 2016 is your best and most profitable year yet!

What do you think will be the biggest digital marketing trends in 2016?

Jo Macdermott

from Next Marketing works with Marketing Managers who need a safe pair of executional hands, Entrepreneurs in funded startups and small and medium businesses with $50K plus annual marketing budgets. You can also connect with Jo on LinkedIn.


  • Hi Jo, great post thanks for sharing. I’m trying out Video advertising right now. Interested to see the results at the end of the campaign.

  • I really think relationship marketing and communicating our business story better is getting more and more crucial as it results in a ‘word-of-mouth-on-steroids’ type situation which is becoming more and more necessary to get the word out about ourselves in this day and age!

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