Recruitment | Executive Search

Digital Marketing Trends in 2016 – What’s hot what’s not

Leading global markets spend close to half of their marketing budget on online marketing. In fact digital marketing is so powerful, research suggests that spending on digital marketing will overtake that of TV, Cinema and radio. Keeping in touch with major online blogs, let’s have a look which areas of digital marketing should be getting your attention this year.

Video marketing

A recent study by Marketing Land reports, video content makes up for 62% of all Google searches. Seeing not all companies have woken up to this trend, there is good opportunity for you to get your video featured in Google search results. As internet gets faster in South Africa, 58% of South African brands are now utilising Youtube as a marketing channel. This is according to World Wide Worx 2014.

User generated content campaigns

User generated content is “naughty and unpredictable by nature. And it wants your brand to come out and play. Jessica Ann

In an era where online reviews count as much as traditional word of mouth, its important to let consumers be the marketer of your brand. Stimulating reviews through free product trials, involvement of opinion leaders, and hand-picked influencers, cleverly crafted competitions involving product usage and social media are all interesting approaches.

A word of warning: Since word of mouth is built on trust, sincerity is crucial for successful User Generated Content.

Digital Assistants

The figures for voice search via Cortana, Google Now and Siri are consistently going up, especially amongst teens, especially while in the bathroom. 57% of teens and 24% of adults use voice search in the bathroom.

What does that mean for our SEO? We will have to optimise with voice search in mind. Search engine rankings will most likely spit out a business which has check-ins on social media. It will also pick up content more likely which aligns with client reviews. Content for voice search needs to be specific, straight to the point and easily digestible, as the nature of the search is on the go: In the car, while cooking, in the bathroom, while exercising.


The old challenge remains. Creating engaging content for search engines, while keeping humans entertained. Video content will play an increasingly important role in SEO. Videos are quickly digested and easy to share.

For businesses and brands, social media profiles are amongst the top results in search listings. Optimising social media profiles while engaging with followers is therefore crucially important. There is a strong likelihood that people will find your social media profile before they find your website. A note on the side, the renewed partnership between Google and Twitter will make sure that Tweets remain important social signals.

Since the Pigeon Algorythm update, local search has become a big topic and it remains this way. Featuring in local search is particularly important in the era of mobile phone and voice searches where information needs to be fast and to the point. As an example: Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within a day. (Source: Local search goes hand in hand with reviews. Local google listings with the most reviews will rank highest in search results.

Mobile Marketing

70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. Source:

“Now that Google has essentially made mobile-friendliness an SEO requirement, we’re witnessing a major push towards mobile optimisation that goes beyond responsive design.”

Optimising user experiences beyond merely creating responsive websites is crucial. Make sure that everything on your site, from colors, to typeface, content, logo design, is mobile friendly.

App indexing

If you are anything like the rest of the population, you check your smart phone several times per hour. These numbers are a dream for marketing teams!

Businesses are waking up to the potential of apps. Offering a much more intuitive, convenient and assessable way apps will overtake mobile optimised sites.

Google is making significant moves to close the gap between app and web content to make mobile interaction more seamless. In fact, google has started indexing apps, much like websites, using criteria such as time spend on app, website signals, installations status.

This is just a brief summary of some of the most important digital marketing trends. As we all know in digital marketing change happens overnight. It’s an exciting industry to be in, but evolving and learning new skills is definitely a big part of it.