Capitalising on the knowledge gained and progress made in the online marketing industry in 2015, 2016 is set to be a huge and (for those in the know) opportunistic year. Here we review some of the developments of 2015 and how they affect online marketing trends in Ireland for 2016.
What we will see this year: Prepare to see much more video content
With the likes of online media giants such as Facebook rolling out the video auto-play function on newsfeeds last year, video content has been making steady gains in terms of consumption. Some reports place video as up to one-third of the online content consumed online today as we have become more accepting of video advertisement and viral campaigns in recent times.
To engage your potential customers, video content catches the eye and as you control the content, you can relay a specific message to your target audience while keeping them captivated. Expect to see much more video content this coming year. It is definitely something that you should plan to implement across your website and social media channels. Whether it is short and snappy viral teasers/campaigns, or longer product or service tutorial and descriptions; there will be ample appetite for video content.
What we saw coming: Mobile devices have taken the lead
We have talked before as to why your website needs to be mobile responsive, but in 2016 this is simply a must. While it became official last year that the internet is accessed much more frequently on mobile devices as opposed to desktop, 2016 sees itself as the first full year for this facet to flourish.
With a web presence that does not translate well to smaller mobile device screens, you are plainly losing out to competitors with mobile optimized websites. With the option to browse online with a few simple taps; the X icon on desktop browsers has become an ever more cut-throat action of a single tap of the back button for a person to leave your website on a mobile device.
A website that works well on mobile just won’t cut it anymore, you need a fully mobile responsive website and fully interactive desktop website to survive in 2016.
What is sticking around: E-Mail marketing and organic search results are as important as ever
While to some the thoughts of e-mail marketing can seem dated (especially going into 2016), the results of e-mail marketing speak for themselves. Reports in 2015 indicated that at least 5% of total sales for businesses came as a direct result of e-mail marketing. As one of the longest and original methods of online marketing, e-mail marketing is almost trusted by consumers as they have become so accustomed to it.
2016 shows no signs of this slowing down as once you have someone’s trust, you work to maintain it. In a similar vein, organic search results will also rank highly as an online marketing trend in Ireland for 2016. With Google becoming a branch of Alphabet last year, the search engine has become better at bringing people to the web pages that best match their search queries as this Google branch has a dedicated focus and team in place to do just that. Therefore search engine optimized pages that populate organic search engine results will take on even more importance over the coming year in Ireland and the world over.
What is becoming apparent: Personalization bridges the gap between marketing and making sales
Analysing the landslide of data recorded in 2015 (Google Analytics and AdWords, MailChimp link tracking for example) has let businesses know exactly who is responding to their online marketing when they are responding to it, where they are located and even details such as age and sex.
With this bank of details, online marketing trends in Ireland for 2016 will see this utilised to bridge the gap between online marketing and making sales. Businesses can use such specific data to create such specific advertisement and marketing that it will speak directly to target audiences. 2016 will be the year that data becomes a dividend.
What should happen in 2016: The dawn of widespread partnering
In the year to come, it is important to have dedicated partners in place to help you drive sales. On an internal level, you ideally need to engage your loyal clients with the activities of your business. These loyal clients of yours provide for you that priceless word of mouth advertising.
While this cannot be fully measured, it cannot be denied that it is effective. Keep your loyal clients happy (and gain new ones as often as you can) so that when talk and chit-chat between friends mention your industry/business type, your loyal client will think of your business and recommend it straight away.
From the unquantifiable comes the quantifiable than in 2016 when it comes to executing your online marketing strategy. With more and more trends occurring yearly, your business needs to be on the pulse of the action to implement the best strategy possible.
Yet for small and medium businesses, they may not have an expert(s) on their team to do this even if they allocate a budget to do so. That is why 2016 will be the year that sees external companies and experts be hired to manage the online marketing strategies of companies who wish to play to the trends but do not have the staffing means to.