How Online Digital Marketing Has Changed in 2016

In the last year, we have witnessed an evolution in online marketing. Thanks to technology enabling small businesses to thrive and large companies to keep up with the ever-changing demands of their consumers, we have seen the creation of new platforms, the rise of influencers, and an increase in the diversity of content. This has all benefited small businesses, and as a result, customers have gained more choice and content has become more accessible. This article will highlight five ways that online marketing has evolved in the past year.

1. New Platforms

In the past, consumers would visit websites, look at the homepage, and hopefully make a purchase if they found what they were looking for. Thanks to the evolution of mobile-first content, consumers are now able to access content on the go and through their browsers. This has enabled small businesses to create mobile-friendly websites and mobile apps, grow their email lists, and attract potential customers to their digital properties.

Thanks to the rise of mobile social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, businesses have an opportunity to engage with their audiences through photo-worthy content, product announcements, and special offers. A 2014 survey revealed that 89% of consumers use their mobile phones to access social media sites, and 74% have used these sites to research products or services. As a business owner or marketer, you can get in touch with your audience wherever they are and whenever they want through your mobile properties.

2. Influencers

While social media platforms have changed the game for marketers, influencers have changed the game for entrepreneurs. Thanks to the likes of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, entrepreneurs can have their cake and eat it too, by attracting an audience and engaging with them through their videos. Influencers can boost your visibility through tasteful, engaging content that will attract and retain customers. Create content that will encourage your ideal customer to buy from you instead of your competitors.

To find an influencer who can help your business grow, you can search for relevant hashtags on social media sites like Twitter to find content that is relevant to your niche. You can also visit community-driven marketplaces like Quora and ask questions to engage with potential influencers.

3. Video Content

In video, we are seeing an evolution from short-form videos used simply as clickbait to longer-form content that provides better value to the consumer. Video content is becoming more valuable as platforms like TikTok rely on their users to engage with advertisers and keep them motivated to produce more content. Thanks to this, entrepreneurs can quickly become influential on video platforms like TikTok simply by creating and sharing content that is valuable to their audience.

Whether you’re a member of a YouTube community or you’ve got a great product to promote, you can use video content to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Use short-form videos to capture your audience’s attention, give them content that is valuable and useful to them, and continue to engage with them through different platforms.

4. Voice Search

The way we interact with our smartphones has changed, and it’s not just about touch-typing anymore. Thanks to voice search, which makes searching easy through your device’s microphone, consumers can now easily find what they’re looking for without having to wade through endless results on a digital screen.

Voice search is also changing the way we look for information on the internet. While 88% of US adults prefer to use voice search, instead of clicking through a list of results, they want to hear the answer immediately and have the option to move on to the next query. As a business owner or marketer, you can use this preference to your advantage by creating content with voice search in mind, ensuring that your target audience finds what they’re looking for easily and quickly.

5. Personal Branding

One of the biggest shifts in the past year has been the rise of personal branding in marketing. Thanks to the increased use of social media platforms by consumers, people are able to build their personal brand on these platforms. Once established, users can draw upon their personal brand to promote and market products or services related to their niche. Using platforms like Twitter and Instagram, consumers are now able to curate their own content schedule, follow only the accounts they find valuable, and share only the content that is closely related to their niche.

As a brand or business, you can get in touch with your audience through curated content and establish yourself as an industry expert. By creating content that is valuable and useful to your target audience, you can grow your email list, establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and drive more customers to your brand or website.

While the past year has seen a number of significant changes in online marketing, it’s important to note that these changes are all in favor of the consumer. With more businesses focused on providing valuable content, customers can simply search for the content they need and get directed to the website or app they want to use.