How Did 2016 Change Digital Marketing?

on under Digital Strategy, Experts, Gurus, & Other Mythical Creatures.

What digital marketing trends stood out in 2016?

We asked some key digital marketing experts on what they've been seeing.

"We incorporated a lot more video in multiple ways in 2016. We've added several types of videos, including webinars, shareable series, and support videos, to several of our marketing channels. We definitely weren't the only ones amping up video, so we wanted to make sure it was really well-done and engaging, and featured influencers our audience respects."

Brittany Berger, mention.com

"In 2016, we incorporated more influencer marketing tactics into our digital marketing campaigns in order to increase both reach and revenue.

We had influencers use branded hashtags to help build brand awareness, and we partnered with influencers to promote contests and discount codes to boost engagement and increase conversions. Teaming up with influencers who align with your brand's image and values is also a great way to establish trust and loyalty with your audience.

For startups and small businesses, top influencers and celebrities may be out of reach. For them, working with micro-influencers is a great alternative. They are generally cost much less, and are often able to drive higher engagement rates than top influencers. Although their influence may be limited to a more specific niche than top influencers, micro-influencers are often able to have a more significant impact upon the buying decisions of their audiences."

Shane Barker, shanebarker.com

"Artificial intelligence and account-based marketing are finding new levels of making brands richer and their customers more creeped out.

I honestly don't think AI is changing much at all for search marketing. Solving a question with an artificial brain ultimately comes to the same conclusions as a human brain.

I do expect that the buyer experience, email marketing, and display advertising will find new ways to sell on a per-person level. Instead of the "per 1,000 impressions" mindset that was taken from television, radio, and print. We digital marketers have had the technology to be better than those mediums for a long time, and I don't think most people appreciate how much it's going to change as the tools to do it become more mainstream."

Corey Northcutt, northcutt.com

"In a word: Slack. In two: Slack groups. In a few more words than that: Slack groups revolutionized my approach to digital marketing last year. "

The ROI of Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels continues to diminish, especially when it comes to promoting content. And link building strategies through email rarely work.

I was invited to my first closed Slack group in early 2016. Suddenly, I was directly connected on a daily basis with some of the very best writers and marketers online. These groups have lead to not only dominating promotion but with link building in particular. Sharing what you're working on -- when you're working on it -- means you can get out in front of posts, solicit contributions, and shortcut the usual pain that comes from trying to "get a link added" blindly via email."

Aaron Orendorff, iconiContent.com

"2016 saw a massive change to how brands and marketers approach social media marketing. For example with live streaming steadily increasing in popularity, to Instagram changing updating their algorithm to a more traditional pay-to-play model. Perhaps the biggest change to come from all of this is the decreasing return of organic traffic.

While content marketing is still a game-changer, just having a great piece of content isn't enough anymore. For 2017 and onwards, marketers will have to find out more ways to target their audience and get them to pay attention. It's kind of like that old proverb of "If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" You can have the best content in the world, but if no one is even bothering to pay attention in the first place then what's the point?"

Jonathan Chan, foundrmag.com

Digital marketing moves fast and it's only a matter of time until the next trend shows up (and subsequently fizzles out). What types of marketing trends do you think will blow up in 2017?

Let us know in the comments.

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