And just like that, 2015 has come and gone. Is it just us or do the years go by faster and faster? It sure seems that way.

With each passing year, marketing trends consistently react to changes in technology. We as business owners have to adapt and make adjustments. In 2016, the digital marketing industry will likely experience a shift. There will be a shift from web design to focusing on the end user and their positive customer service experience.

Web Trends

When it comes to websites, the trend is going toward minimalistic web design. Gone are the days of complex and detailed design. You will notice how simplicity will gain more popularity in the coming year.

No longer is having an attractive web design enough. Navigation menus will be streamlined and condensed. Only necessary are featured in the top navigation. Design will limit menu options, therefore driving customers to the sales funnel.

In the back-end of websites, web developers are using less and less code. This increases website functionality. This goes hand-in-hand with the functionality of a website on a mobile device. User-friendliness is key. In fact, this year, more websites will be designed for mobile viewing first.

Also, created unified messages across all digital marketing channels is vital. From a company’s website to its social media, every part of a users’ brand experience online must be seamless and cohesive.

Visual Marketing

Visual marketing includes a wide range of media and strategies. For the coming year, there are a few visual marketing trends you will need to utilize.

The truth is, video content is on the rise and will only continue to grow. This has a lot to do with the popularity and success of YouTube. Branded video content is an evolving marketing tactic. Basically, these are videos published under a brand or company’s name that are used to engage users and present a call to action. These videos include behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Similarly, videos on websites will be incorporated more frequently. Video content makes pages less static and more immersive. It’s a way to tell a brand’s story. These videos will be used in the background of homepages and product pages as well. For example, check out our own homepage:

Although some may argue that email marketing is losing its effectiveness, there is a way to combat that theory. Marketers will start using less copy and incorporate more videos into their email newsletters. Videos should be of high-quality and less than four minutes long

Your social media strategy will be important as well. Here’s a couple trends emerging this year:

  • Live streams
    • Live streams create real-time storytelling. Apps like Meerkat and Periscope enable users to live-stream to their followers. Many brands are utilizing it for sneak peeks, contests and product presentations.
  • Animated GIFs and Short Videos
    • Some of the best social media content contains a visual element. The simple motion of the GIFs will garner attention in crowded newsfeeds. Vines are likely to be used more frequently.

Social media still remains as an excellent customer service and consumer retention tool. For many customers, it’s simple to reach out to a company through Facebook or Twitter. Always monitor and respond to questions and comments in a timely manner. This shows excellent customer service and creates brand loyalty.

Lastly, we hope that these trends give you a better idea of what to expect in 2016. If you need some help, we would love to talk with you about your digital marketing strategies for the coming year. Contact us today!

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