The Biggest Trends in Online Marketing for 2016

It seems like every year, around this time, we’re inundated with optimistic forecasts regarding the future of Internet marketing. Publishers and bloggers confidently predict that this year will be the year of digital marketing. Their claims are usually based on the fact that online marketing has grown exponentially in the past few years.

While there’s no question that online marketing grew rapidly in the past few years, this doesn’t mean it will continue to grow at this pace.

Even if we assume that the growth rates will remain the same, it’s quite obvious that the total dollar value of online marketing in 2016 will be significantly higher than it was in 2015.

1. Personalized Product Search

In the world of online marketing, personalized product search is one of the biggest trends. It refers to the process of searching for products (such as clothing, furniture, etc.) on the Internet and displaying relevant results based on user behavior and profile information.

One of the pioneers of personalized product search is Amazon. Through its sophisticated algorithm, the online retail giant is able to deliver highly relevant product suggestions to customers. If you’re new to this space, you might be thinking that personalized product search is a niche market. Think again. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 62% of consumers are likely to use personalized product search.

The implication is that around half of the population now has access to personalized product search, which demonstrates its ever-growing importance.

2. Content Marketing

If you’re new to this space, you’ll want to check out content marketing. It’s a type of marketing that focuses on creating valuable, engaging content to attract and retain customers.

Traditional brand marketers have known for some time that customers prefer to learn about products through articles and videos rather than through dull commercials or intrusive pop-ups. As a result, brand marketers have begun to optimize content for search engines such as Google, which helps to drive a significant amount of online traffic to brand websites.

Even more impressively, HubSpot Blogs found that 66% of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through content marketing rather than via direct marketing campaigns. Put simply, if you want to retain customers and increase your profit, you should prioritize content marketing.

3. Video Marketing

Last but certainly not least, we have video marketing. Thanks to the popularity of smaller, personal devices like the iPhone and the growing desire among consumers for content creators to have a real-life video diary, video marketing is more popular than ever.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers prefer to learn about products and services via video content (59%), followed by text-based content (38%). In other words, people are gaining an appreciation for short-form content, while long-form articles are on the decline.

If you’re looking to gain some traction on the web, you should consider investing in video content creation and marketing. Not only will you be able to provide more value to customers, but you’ll also have the opportunity to grow your audience and gain some credibility in your niche.

Final Takeaway

With each passing year, the world of online marketing gets more interesting. What will 2016 bring for online marketing? Will personalized product search, content marketing, and video marketing remain at the forefront? Time will tell, but for now, these are the biggest trends in online marketing in 2016.