Online advertising and inbound marketing have experienced numerous changes throughout 2016. With Google’s major algorithmic changes and the deletion of side column advertisements, to name just two, B2Bs must refocus their digital marketing campaigns. Here are the six ways digital advertising has changed so far in 2016:
1. Video advertising domination
According to Forbes, video advertisements were expected to dominate in 2016 because of in-SERP video advertising (1). With the introduction of before-video advertisements, brands can give themselves the opportunity to segment viewership and track which consumers will sit through videos. Video advertising spreads beyond YouTube and extends to social media websites, creating new revenue and awareness opportunities for B2Bs.
2. Marketing automation
According to Business.com, marketing automation has experienced great changes in predictive analytics and marketing platforms in 2016 (2). As automated software becomes more accessible, SaaS will prove useful for small brands to invest in. These can include online automated accounting, media planning software for digital advertisers and much more.
3. High-quality content marketing
As trends shift toward brands with high-quality content, more marketers will see businesses investing in in-depth authorship. According to Inc, Facebook users are exposed to up to 1,500 pieces of content per day, yet only see one-fifth of those actual results (3). Whether this content is long-form editorial or video, content must become unique enough to pass Google’s new algorithm changes.
To do this, video and image content must contain relevant images and elements to the meta description. This description is passed through Google’s new algorithm and tested for viewer staying power. If the viewer stays on the image or piece of content long enough, it is reported as “more valuable” in SERPs.
4. Professional social networks
With the introduction of professional publishing platforms to websites such as LinkedIn, workplaces are combining social media and professional duties into one. According to Fast Company, businesses and social media companies are rolling out work-only social media platforms such as Facebook at Work for usage in the office (4). This will be influential for brands looking to use B2B marketing tactics in a new professional platform.
5. Editorial content
As think pieces gain popularity with online audiences, more publishing platforms such as Medium, Linkedin Pulse and Thought Catalog are turning companies into authorities in their field. Brands are also making share buttons essential for content linking to social media, email marketing and newsletter purposes. These brands can then share a piece and redirect traffic back to their website, increasing ROI and turning leads into conversions.
6. Google changes
While Google can release up to 600 updates to algorithms per year, core algorithms have not been updated in quite some time. As of January 2016, Google released an algorithm change that prioritizes brands with video and image content and penalizes those who use black-hat SEO tactics. Although the algorithm change is not related to Google’s two core algorithms, Panda and Penguin, it is expected to become the most influential of the three algorithms and change the way keywording and high-value content is tagged.
What other changes should B2Bs expect in online advertising for 2016? Stay on the lookout for media applications and automation tools as well as comprehensive mobile website redesigns. As mobile marketing grows in the market, so will the need for better mobile technologies. With responsive web design and in-depth content, B2Bs can expect growth and changes in 2016.
(1). The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016
(2). Into the Crystal Ball: 4 Online Marketing Predictions for 2016
(3). Experts Predict 9 Ways Internet Marketing Will Change in 2016
(4). 5 Trends That Will Change How Companies Use Social Media In 2016