Digital Trends in 2016

By David Remmerswaal | Thursday, February 11, 2016

What's in store for the year to come...

With 2016 well under way, we’ve taken the opportunity to look at this year’s current and upcoming trends in the realm of Digital Marketing.  Many of the trends we see developing are the evolution of past trends, with overall use of the internet become more nuanced, varied and customisable.

Internet use continues to grow

To anyone with a pair of eyes, it should be of no surprise that internet use is on the rise.  Google searches on mobile devices have out-paced desktop searches and continue to grow… but don’t throw away your desktop computer just yet – while mobile internet use is growing exponentially, desktop is nowhere near declining.  Internet use overall, across devices, continues to develop as our world becomes increasingly digital.  Smart companies are meeting consumers where consumers reside, with 66% of business reporting Social Media as a fundamental element of their marketing strategy in 2015.

Google gets smarter

One of our specialties is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  One aspect of SEO that is exciting to us, is that the game is constantly changing.  Leading search engine, Google, is constantly changing its algorithm based on new and expanding variables.  Last year, having a mobile-friendly website became a new characteristic effecting Google ranking.  This year, Google is expanding its ranking system to include “dwell time” – or how long users stay on a given website.  If your content is engaging and users have found what they are searching for, they will “dwell” longer, thereby giving your site a boost in search engine rankings.

Content is king

One way to keep users on your site longer is good content, which is why the term “content marketing” has become increasingly buzz-worthy.  Content applies to a variety of digital platforms, including your website, social media, aggregator websites (that collect and share content from around the internet) and YouTube.  Brands are becoming increasingly clever in finding ways to create good content that engages users and increases perception of authenticity.  So whether that means writing a blog, recording a video or asking a notable person to endorse your product, creating and distributing quality content is a cutting edge way to gain trust and connection in your industry.

… but design takes the cake

Good content is great, but if you’re not able to deliver it in user-friendly way, not many people are going to stick around and listen.  In a recent study, users were asked whether or not they trusted a website and why; a whopping 94% of the rejections of trust had to do with the site’s design.  So you may have the most amazing information in the world, but if it’s not presented nicely, today’s fickle digital natives will find something else to look at.  This may sound a daunting task, but current trends reflect a preference for modern, clean, grid-based designs that are simple to use, easy on the eye, and let your content do the talking.

The web is an ever-changing entity.  As users, we are growing the internet together by customising our experiences and finding new ways to take advantage of this vast digital resource.  As businesses, our challenge is to find creative ways to help our clients find what they’re looking for (and possibly having some fun while we’re at it!).  What are you doing to meet this challenge in 2016?

Author: David Remmerswaal

David is well-travelled, having spent time in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. In his spare time, David enjoys the Rotorua outdoors, cooking, and attending live music shows, as well as spending time as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters Rotorua.

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