Actually, a prediction of the most important digital marketing trends 2016 is very simple. This is because one thing can be said with certainty: “the Holy Grail of online marketing”, longed by many, will definitely not fall from the sky, not even next year. However, what will happen is that thorough and constant work based on good and consistent concept will pay off – as it happened so far. In the following statement, Harald Grabner explains on which developments the online marketer of 2016 should keep an eye on.

Prediction number 1: old acquaintances shine in a new splendour
In 2016, old digital acquaintances will shine in a new splendour. Newsletter and e-mail marketing will experience their re-birth. Newsletter systems offer new functionalities in the areas of business intelligence and predictive marketing. The same applies to search engine optimisation: whoever did not understand yet how important the technical SEO is, will finally lose connections.

Prediction number 2: automation, automation, automation
More and more digital marketing processes are increasingly under the pressure of costs. How can this dilemma be solved? With automation! Whoever sets automation among the priorities, will have all jokers in his hands. Those companies who will be able to use this strategic advantage in the next year, will be a long step ahead of their competitors.

Prediction number 3: technology first
IT departments will move to the foreground in the marketing field. Data security and technical processes become more and more important and, with them, also their importance within the company structure. Many companies employ outdated and fragmented technological solutions and they will change this. In the future, technology will be the foundation for a successful and omnipresent data availability and correct data analysis.

Prediction number 4: search experience optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) will reinvent itself in 2016. The term “search experience optimisation” will be more appropriate rather than the expression “search engine optimisation”. SEO indicators will increasingly change. Domain popularity, ranking and visibility were for long time the ruling SEO-KPI. Click-through-rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, time on site, are the indicators in 2016.

Prediction number 5: link building and the search for solutions
In 2016, it will be realised that without inlinks it does not work. However, it will no longer be called “link building”, but perhaps rather “link earning” or also “content marketing”. Anyone who will keep running link building by renting or buying from networks, will certainly witness a downranking.

Prediction number 6: the new search
The internet search over mobile devices, thus also the “wh-questions” about voice search, continues to grow strongly. Suitable strategies must be found and implemented quickly. Part of this development is that also the use of apps will increase strongly. Google appears to have a similar view and tries through apps indexing to become a mediator between provider and user. But Google is not the only one. Other ranking systems such as Amazon and Tripadvisor work differently, but they offer in part a higher potential. In 2016, also SEO will have to engage with these systems.

Prediction 7: social media
Social media will become more complex and more professional. One social media channel is no longer enough to reach all target groups and objectives. Integrated concepts must monitor and, if necessary, integrate a large number of existing and new platforms popping up on a weekly basis. Without professional support, companies will be lost.

Prediction number 8: engagement is the new gold
Engagement will be the new gold for online marketing. How and how intensively the target groups engage with my contents will determine success or failure. Guiding the right target group towards the right content at the right moment and on the right channel will be the ruling objective. Who achieves this, has better chances.

Prediction number 9: e-commerce becomes mobile
In 2016, e-commerce will increasingly become mobile. Mobile apps are no longer the small version of a retailer’s website. On the contrary, they are rather an own entity, adapted to the mobile behaviour of users. Who fulfils this purpose, will achieve a significant turnover growth through mobile commerce.