7 important digital marketing trends for 2016

Digital marketing trends fade easily, and skeptical marketers often gloss over the ‘latest thing’ to avoid reworking a strategy. One industry pro suggests the opposite with these insights.

Many marketers are ignoring key trends that could revolutionize digital marketing.

Lean thinking, for example, has become an important approach, but many marketing trend spotters are scoffing at it.

Here are seven digital marketing trends that dedicated marketers shouldn’t disregard:

1. Dataless digital marketing just won’t cut it anymore.

Most of your competitors are using data to secure their brand’s position and wield influence within the digital marketing world.

Using data in your digital marketing helps you capitalize on trends. Data also help digital marketers to personalize their approach to certain groups, increasing the probability of attracting repeat visitors who might later become loyal customers.

Data will help marketers identify which content, channel or platform is working best for their audience to enhance an effective strategy or to turn around lagging efforts.

2. Facebook may prove more powerful than Google.

Facebook is No. 1 in the world of social networking sites, and lately it has increased its search engine data, tapping into Google‘s bread and butter.

The platform now has a large data index available to mobile users through “Graph Search.”

Digital marketers should try to anticipate developments in Graph Search. Spend more time and money on improving your social media ads.

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3. E-commerce is gaining traction on social media.

Mobile product sharing has increased with the rise of Facebook’s Shopify and Twitter’s product and place pages.

These online shopping developments are keeping consumers on their social networking sites as they do their shopping. Digital marketers should consider bringing their organization’s online purchasing options to their social media feeds.

4. Transition to mobile or tap out.

Google leveled the playing field for digital marketers in early 2015 when it updated its search algorithm to favor mobile devices.

This change forces digital marketers to make their brand’s digital assets mobile friendly. Failure to have a mobile version of your website drops your mobile Google search ranking, reducing brand exposure and sales conversions.

Although this won’t necessarily affect desktop Google search rankings, most people’s preference for mobile as a content viewing platform makes this move essential.

5. You’re helpless without a marketing automation tool.

In digital marketing, human efforts alone are no longer cutting it.

Spending time each day to monitor data, platforms, channels and niches in order to execute high-quality content might instead be diminishing your content’s quality.

Marketing automation enables you to schedule content delivery, provides an overall view of your digital marketing progress and gives you more time to focus on content that sells.

6. Embrace disappearing content.

Snapchat enables brands to deliver “disappearing content,” which piques audience interest.

Promotions, contests, behind-the-scenes peeks and “moment marketing” that tease and thrill audiences are opportunities unique to this app. That can be a distinct advantage, especially if the marketing efforts are aimed at bringing audience members to a physical store.

7. Lose the boring text and go visual.

Most online users digest content by scrolling and swiping on their mobile screens.

That has led to an increase in visual-centric sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest, signaling that you should augment your brand’s text content with visuals that bring it to life.

Ragan.com readers, which of these seven ideas are you going to implement, and why?

Roger Gallager is a communications specialist with expertise in marketing . A version of this story originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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