2016 digital marketing predictions

Last year we wrote a few blog posts where we predicted the trends to pay attention to in digital marketing for 2016 budget creation and for 2016 SEO. We’ve also already created our predictions for digital marketing in 2017 and for social media in 2017 here.

 

So How Did Our 2016 Digital Marketing Predictions do?

2016 Prediction: For digital marketing trends we predicted that mobile sites that really paid attention to the mobile experience would benefit greatly.

We were right: Based on our client analytics, mobile audiences grew anywhere between 20-65% over last year, and they were more engaged and brought in more leads on B to B sites and almost as many conversions on eCommerce sites.

greater ROI from mobile in 2016

2016 Prediction: We also predicted that email would remain one of the best returns on investment for digital marketing.

We were right about this too. Our retail clients that used email saw between 15 and 25% increase in revenue from email marketing, and email marketing remained one of the top revenue producing channels. Clients that used personalization both in email and during the visitor’s experience on their sites saw huge return on investment.

2016 success of email personalization
2016 Prediction: We suggested that our clients increase their investment in Search ads.

We were right about search – Google adwords in particular continues to be a strong revenue and lead driver for almost all our clients and we predict this trend will continue in 2017.

2016 Prediction: We suggested content become more collaborative and we used surveys to help create unique and very specific content for many of our clients. In some cases were even able to get clients to become brand advocates.

It was difficult to measure the increase in revenue from this client created content, but in some cases we saw a huge increase in traffic and about a 25% increase in revenue generated from content created from user input.

2016 increase in user created content

2016 Prediction: Finally we suggested that our users take advantage of boosting posts on Facebook and using other social paid advertising to increase leads and revenue.

While successful, we found social promotions worked for very specific things, but that social is still best for communication rather than selling.

Increase in soial revenue in 2016
For SEO we recommended companies increase technical SEO, improve usability particularly on mobile devices, and improve the trustworthiness of their sites by improving their inbound links and keeping up with their online reputations. For our clients who followed these recommendations, we averaged about a 25% increase in visitors and about a 20% increase in revenue for eCommerce websites:

results of technical SEO in 2016

or even higher for some:

ecommerce SEO in 2016

For our B to B clients or those who do not sell online, the success was also apparent with over 5% more visitors and 20 to 30% increase in goals:

BtoB SEO results 2016

or even higher success:

BtoB SEO results in 2016
We predicted that for 2017 continued investment in SEO will have an even greater return, but that the cost of SEO will increase because technical SEO has become harder, links are much harder to earn, and content has to be both original and very useful.

Our predictions for 2017 also include increasing spend in video and social media, as well improving the way content is created and shared. One thing is certain, digital marketing is becoming more and more important for every type of company. Platforms will continue to evolve and new ones will crop up quickly. Marketers need to be nimble and keep their marketing budgets flexible as changes become trends and new digital avenues emerge.

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