Yes it’s clichéd. Yes every marketing agency worth their salt has written up a similar article. But on this occasion we thought we’d jump right in with some predictions of our own for what’s going to happen in the wonderful world of digital marketing in 2016.

So, in no particular order:

Increased Targeting with Paid Advertising

Let’s face it Google and Facebook want more of your money. Yet, in order to justify you spending thousands with them you’re going to want to see a return on investment. The last few years have seen everyone jump onto the same generic bandwagon with Facebook and AdWords. It means more competition, higher CPC’s and a consensus that it’s not worth the investment.

To solve this – increased targeting.

If I’m an insurance company I can now actually target people whose insurance is coming up for renewal on Facebook. How amazing is that? I’m serious. Combine this with the other targeting options Facebook offers and you’re immediately in front of the perfect audience. And as it’s new on the scene, there are going to be fewer competitors.

I’m expecting to see this being rolled out deeper and more widely in the year ahead both on Facebook and other paid channels.

Online and offline will integrate further

You should have a look at John Lewis. Seriously. Their website is beautiful. And you know what? So are their stores. And their emails. And their products. And their café’s. I could go on. Yes, the John Lewis Partnership is a multi-million pound organisation, but they have absolutely nailed it when it comes to offering the same experience online as you would expect offline.

Further down the chain I’m expecting more businesses to be taking notice of this.

Your online and offline experiences are not two different things. They should allow customers to seamlessly jump from one to the other. And the sooner businesses learn this the better. So, I’m hoping to see many businesses who are great in the real world offering the same experience online because…

Customers will become even more demanding

The trickledown effect of the major players mean customers have higher demands of smaller business. Quick response times. Excellent customer service. Easy navigation. Not having these hurts your bottom line, as well as your rankings in Google.

The perfect example in 2015 was Facebook publicly displaying how quickly pages respond to private messages; a clear signal for customers if they don’t want to wait for a response.

2016 is another year where the goalposts will get that bit narrower, so there’s no time for complacency. Ensure your website, your customer service teams and all of your communications are all working to the best of their abilities to engage and delight your prospects.

Visits are getting darker

2015 saw proliferation of the wearables market, the IOT and more time increasingly being spent on apps. All this boils down to mean tracking users is becoming that bit harder. They’re going dark.

This means more generic information appearing in the likes of Google Analytics. It’s by no means a critical problem at this stage, but marketers are going to have to look increasingly hard to uncover the true actions of your customers.

You’re going to be hearing more about links

By the time this goes live, Google will have hopefully launched their live Penguin update. (Not sure what Penguin is? Then have a read here)

Instead of waiting months on end to see if a site has finally recovered from a penalty the process should be ‘live’; seeing an almost immediate impact if you disavow a link. Combining the importance of links with this quicker turn-around time means I’m expecting a much greater fluctuation in previously static collections of SERP’s. So, as rankings rise or fall there’s going to be an keener interest in businesses in how links can help or hinder their progress online.

And there we have it,

With so many topics to choose from the above list is only a selection of the few things that we, the Unwritten team have been chatting about. Let us know what your predictions are though. We genuinely want to hear what you have to say. Tweet us at @unwrittenteam with your suggestions.

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