The online marketing industry reached new heights last year with the development of new hardware, new software, new user preferences, and more and more companies joining the excitement. Though the industry started small, it is growing and morphing at breakneck speed. Here are a few of the top trends that we saw grow throughout 2016:
- Video ad domination – Video ads are not new. Social channels have played host to videos and advertising platforms for years. However, video ads reached a new level of popularity with the introduction of Google’s SERP video advertising (search engine results page). Google was a latecomer to the field, as Yahoo and Bing were there before, but the fact that Google owns YouTube gave it a distinct advantage.
- App indexing – This year opened the eyes of business owners to the online visibility advantage of a dedicated app. Apps are able to do most everything that websites do, though they may be somewhat limited in intuitiveness and convenience. However, with Google’s app indexing, we are looking at the possibility of apps replacing websites as the most convenient medium.
- Domination by mobile – Google released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm last year after it announced that mobile traffic had overtaken desktop traffic in 10 countries. It will not be long before the domination becomes worldwide. While many pundits maintain that desktop traffic will not fade away soon, mobile traffic is now given greater credence.
- Digital assistants – Digital assistants are now very popular with the entry of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now, and Amazon’s Alexa. Their rise fueled a new kind of optimization. While most of them utilize traditional search engines, such as with Siri and Cortana, they are often only used to access information. The key to optimization in this format is to ensure that your business is accessible to digital assistants.
- Emergence of virtual reality – Dozens of virtual reality devices were released this year, either for dedicated applications or for general use. Virtual reality devices introduced an entirely new online advertising medium through the integration of social media platforms and video channels.
- Wearable technology – Wearable devices crossed the boundaries between online marketing and real marketing as they gained traction with the introduction of Apple Watch, followed by wearable devices from other manufacturers.
One exciting thing about tech is that it is never stagnant. While we may have a temporary pulse on current trends in online marketing avenues, a new development could turn things on their ear. Watch for more trail blazing developments in 2017.