As an owner of a digital strategy agency and as a digital marketer, I spend quite a bit of time researching and studying latest digital trends along with consumer trends and technology innovations. I'm also continuously exposed to new marketing ideas, social platforms, and evolving digital marketing processes.
So I wanted to create my own list of digital 'predictions' for 2016 - based on my own perceptions in terms of where the digital industry is heading, specifically focusing on digital marketing and social media:
Social Commerce - already huge, but going to be dominating even more so in 2016. Visual, social media driven eCommerce - just take a look at the latest J. Crew Instagram ads that include a 'Shop Now' element, thus making its gift guide digital. This is not limited to Instagram, recently other social media platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest have been experimenting with direct commerce integrations in the form of 'buy buttons'.
Video - 'video will dominate next year' has been on almost every single digital trends prediction list for the past five years but 2016 will truly be the year of video (just look at Snapchat's unparalleled growth). With visual intelligence on the rise, and stats like '79% of internet traffic will be video by 2018', more and more brands will start utilizing video in their digital marketing, from their websites to their advertising.
Snapchat - I was not a fan of Snapchat initially (mostly due to its almost impossible to figure out and super clunky UX) but I'm a little bit obsessed with it now (along with their 100 million daily active users). We have not introduced it yet as a social media service as part of Boguslavsky & Co's offerings but I will be looking at doing this next year where relevant, specifically for consumer brands.
Podcasts - they seem to be popping up everywhere and for good reason as we're becoming quite fond of our favourite podcasts (all thanks to Serial with its 19 million downloads proving how much impact one podcast can make and how far it can reach). In terms of brands, I see this as a digital trend that can be used to market specific industry knowledge (one of our clients is in the financial industry and we might be looking at creating short courses on investing, accounting, and taxes, as part of their offering to their clients and listeners).
These are just some of the growing digital trends for 2016 - I will be writing a separate post on brands needing to hone their content strategies next year, especially on social media.