The average person now spends twice as much time online as they did just five years ago – and there’s every indication that number will only continue to grow in 2016.
Your customers Internet habits are changing: not only are they spending growing amounts of time on the Internet but the way they spend that time is changing as well. As you create a digital marketing plan for 2016 it’s important to stay up-to-date and ahead of the trends so you aren’t creating content that they won’t see or won’t move them to action.
One of the greatest shifts in online behavior is the increasing move from desktop to mobile. In fact, this year mobile overtook desktop in 10 countries. And search engines are taking note in order to better meet searchers needs. In fact, Inquistr reported that “the search engine algorithm for Google was changed to give companies who offered mobile optimized versions of their sites higher rankings than sites that weren’t optimized for mobile.” Read our past article, "Alert! Major mobile change from Google" for additional information on this change.
A good amount of the time people spend online they spend on social networks and watching video content. The average adult now spends 5.5 hours with video content each day – an hour more than they do watching television. Social networks like YouTube and Facebook make ad space available for online video content. Businesses can and should use this to target potential customers.
An ever-increasing percentage of video viewing is being done on mobile, which is good news for advertisers. Because YouTube on mobile is reached through an app and not a website like on a desktop, it is less susceptible to ad-blocking.
In general, even outside of apps, mobile Internet access is less affected by ad-blocking. Or at least it was. That could be set to change as iOS 9 now allows the purchase of mobile ad-blockers in the App Store. On the other hand, iOS 9 also incorporates a much larger presence for Siri, as people become increasingly reliant on digital personal assistants. Making your content easily accessible to Siri and Cortana will help those assistants direct searchers to your site.
With people spending more and more time on social networks, those networks have moved to monetize their content and allow companies to buy space. For example, Pinterest now allows companies to purchase promoted pins that appear in people’s feeds. Delivra reports that the Facebook Audience Network now “allows for carousel ads, click-to-play videos, and dynamic product ads, which display ads to Facebook users based on the products they’ve viewed.” And, both Pinterest and Facebook have the option to add buy buttons to purchased content and ads so people can go to a purchase page in one click. Instagram looks set to follow suit.
When it comes to apps, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are only the tip of the iceberg. Forbes predicts that, “as the ranking possibilities for apps become more complex, 2016 will be the year more business owners realize the online visibility advantages of a dedicated app.” Mobile sites are certainly going to play an important role for years to come, but they have their limitations.
A custom-designed app allows companies to create a better customer experience that may eventually become the norm. When it’s time to brainstorm for your 2016 digital marketing plan, it would be wise to devote some time to a discussion of creating your own app, or finding ways to advertise on other apps.
In short – your customers are spending growing amounts of time online, on their phone. They spend that time on social networks, watching videos, and in apps. If you want to reach them, that’s where your advertising needs to be in 2016.
If you would like additional information or assistance on this topic, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.
David S. Buddingh is founder and partner in Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact him at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.