Key digital trends to watch for in 2016


Key digital trends to watch for in 2016 ...

Our teams have recently pulled together their predictions for 2016. There are some common themes appearing across paid search, SEO, digital media, social and web development. It therefore makes sense that these become the trends to watch out for to achieve success with your 2016 digital marketing strategy.


Native advertising

Mentioned by both the PPC and Digital media teams, next year we can expect to see some significant activity in this area. Yahoo has improved its search alliance and this year launched Gemini as its PPC version. As advertising rolled out across Instagram, with the huge growth in users here, this is one social platform that will become increasingly attractive to advertisers. For these two reasons alone, it won’t be a surprise to see advertisers going native next year.

Ad blocking

We’re already starting to experience what our Digital media team referred to as an “Adblockalypse,” and this is expected to continue. It doesn’t just affect the Digital media team though as our web development team also predicted ad-blocking detection alerts to becoming as common as the cookie bar on websites.

With quality helping the fight to improve ad viewability for display advertising, we can expect a similar challenge for web development as techniques emerge to defeat the blocking. What will be essential is to work together at reducing the impact of ad-blocking, from media inventory through to user experience.

Cross device marketing

I think what we really mean here is the ongoing theme of mobile. This does fall pretty much across all sectors. As video appears increasingly mobile, there will be an ongoing trend that unfolds in search, social and display. Across all digital media, cross-device conversion reporting will become increasingly valuable as marketers gather insights for direct comparisons with desktop use.

When we add web development and user experience into the mix, it becomes clear that every media plan needs to have a mobile element that has to go beyond just making a website responsive. Mobile is fast becoming the most important part of the customer journey with numerous available touchpoints. It should no longer just be added to a digital strategy, it should be at the heart of it.

Audio and video

With the growth of mobile, it’s a logical progression that alternative content forms will see a surge in the coming year. The Digital media team highlighted the growth of the digital audio marketplace, and that this will be set to continue in 2016 as additional advertising opportunities in these areas could become available. Equally social, SEO and paid search will also have roles to play as people turn to video for quicker access to valued content. With Google’s search quality guidelines, value and quality will be just as vital for these formats as written words.

Quality continues to count

Again a theme that runs through all areas, quality has to count more than ever before. Whether tackling an ad blocking problem or seeking to rank higher in search engines or paid search results, the issue of quality makes a significant difference. Ensure this is a fundamental aspect across your entire marketing mix, and your digital marketing strategy will have a theme that reflects success in 2016.

If you missed any of our team predictions, catch up with them here:

Although the fast pace of change in the digital industry can be a challenge at times, it’s one of the most fascinating areas to work in. There’s rarely a week that goes by without something new launching or being developed. It will be interesting to watch the trends unfold next year and see where, and how, our clients and other businesses invest their digital marketing budget.

If you’d like to talk to us about getting the most out of your digital marketing strategy, our teams would love to hear from you. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and we wish you every success for 2016.


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