2016 Digital Marketing Trends

Last week I flew 12 hours to Seattle to attend Mozcon, a renowned digital marketing conference with marketing agencies and large businesses from all over the world.

There were a few recurring themes I took from the conference which will change the way you use your website and promote your business.

2016 Digital Marketing Trends from Creative Web Ideas New Zealand

Four important digital marketing trends for 2016.

Google Uses Machine Learning

Google now uses machine learning technology which has lots of implications for the way people search for your products and when Google decides to show you in a page of search results. Just as you can talk to Google on your phone, you can also type full sentences and questions into a Google search as if you were asking a real person.

As long as your website content is relevant to a search, including the exact keywords on your page is no longer necessary. Google is learning all the time what information is relevant to different search queries. Google also learns what information people click on the most and then looks for similar content to rank other websites under the same search query.

Digital Marketing Trend #1 - Google Machine LearningHere are a few basic examples of what Google has learnt…

  • We spell optimise with an s in New Zealand,
  • Google knows where in NZ I can buy frosted caramels
  • Google knows that WOF means warrant of fitness
  • Google knows why a cold pressed juicer is better for me

TIP: Focus on concepts rather than keywords, plan your content to answer customer questions and write natural, well-researched content on your chosen area of expertise.

Organise Web Content by Concept

Typically websites are organised using the ‘About Us, Services, Blog, Contact Us’ scenario with some key services featured on the homepage. This isn’t the best structure for the end users or for google. Instead focus on the key concepts which define your company and group them together with supporting content such as products, blog posts, enquiry forms, key personnel etc.

The new type of website sitemap would look something like this…

Concept Based Website Architecture diagram courtesy of Joe Hall from Hall Analysis - digital marketing trends 2016

Main Idea – these could be services or customer types or the ways in which your products are used
Supporting Content – blog posts or articles, brochures, testimonials, case studies
Conversion Point – product pages, signup forms, enquiry forms

TIP: Think about the main ideas or concepts in your business and start to sketch what a concept based website might look like for you. Focus on where people are going on your website and lead them through the path to making a sale.

Automate Your Email Marketing

automated email welcome from UberEmail marketing is still the best tool to get you in front of your customers regularly but it needs to be personalised, relevant and delivered at the right time for it to be effective.

Write emails which delight and surprise your customers. Give them scenarios they can relate too and connect all the dots for them so they don’t have to try and figure out what’s going on. Test the best call to action buttons and make everything easy to use on mobile.

Some examples of automated emails…

  • A series of educational emails when customers sign up for your product
  • Things to do in Vancouver after you have purchased a flight to Vancouver or accommodation
  • An quick video on the features of the car you just looked at online and a comparison with other similar cars
  • More great automated email examples…

TIP: Start thinking about automated emails (also called autoresponders) to save you time, streamline your systems and offer value to your customers.

Add Experiences to your Website

Most websites are pretty static and can be improved by giving your customers ways to interact with your product. Start with video, on-site messaging, calculators, quizzes, choose the best _____ for your business type features, then think about augmented reality, mobile apps and games. Building apps and custom functionality is not as hard as it used to be and this can give your business a real point of difference.

Timely's real-time chat boxSome examples of experiences on your website…

  • Real-time message chat box on your product pages so people can ask questions on the page
  • A quizz using frequently asked questions which funnels customers to the product they need
  • A calculator to work out the cost of a custom built product
  • Augmented reality where a customer can add personalisation such as colour and then see the finished product

TIP: Look at your current website content and see how some of it could be re-purposed to engage your customers more. Help people experience your product rather than just reading about it.

If after reading this, you’re thinking about your website and your marketing and wondering where to start, imagine my brain after 3 solid days of inspiring speakers.

We’re happy to help so if you’d like us to review your website and discuss where you can go from here, please drop us a line.

About Jo Lees

I have been designing websites and email newsletters for the past 15 years, specialising in WordPress and Mailchimp. I can also help you with ideas and marketing strategies to grow your business online. More about Jo...