The digital industry is continuously growing, with new innovations, trends and technologies evolving year-on-year – so let’s take a look at five of the key digital trends to keep an eye on in 2016…
1. Content Co-Creation
Since the dawn of Content Marketing, creating or curating content has become one of the most important factors for inbound marketing. Quality content builds trust, allows you to be seen as an expert and extends the reach of your brand. Social Media and the ever-growing importance of personalisation means that the more traditional forms of one-way communication are long gone and consumer opinion is now in real time. So what better way to connect with your consumers, humanise your brand and crowdsource a wealth of content, than to create more personalised marketing campaigns which directly involve the people you want to buy your products?
As Lee Odden, CEO from TopRank Online Marketing states:
Video is arguably one of the most engaging forms of Content Marketing, particularity with video traffic predicted to account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2019! The state of play for video is still rapidly evolving with key players such as Periscope, Vine and Snapchat changing the way brands create and utilise video.
As consumers, we are becoming more susceptible to Video Advertising – and we can expect to see more forms of this popping up all over the place. Google are rumoured to be adding video adverts to their search engine results pages (SERPs), alongside the usual list of results… and as they own YouTube, the possibilities are endless – so watch this space!
Ok, so the cinemagraph is not something new… it’s been around for a few years, and is perhaps best described as a luxury GIF. Essentially, it encompasses still photography and an element of video to create something subtly mesmerising… if done well… and as webpage loading times continue to dramatically improve, we can definitely expect to see more of these during 2016.
Image source: All That is Interesting
4. The ‘Long Scroll’
With the majority of people using their mobile to search the web from Google, it’s no surprise that mobile-influenced design principles are growing in popularity across all devices. Originally found on Social Media platforms such as Pinterest, one such approach is the Long Scroll, where a large quantity of content is displayed vertically on a single page, allowing the user to glide through imagery, text and video with ease.
Taking a ‘mobile-first’ approach in this way is wise when designing web pages, particularly since the move towards responsive web design following Google’s release of its mobile-friendly update… and there are clear advantages to the brand, beyond the initial benefit of being highly compatible with touchscreen devices:
- Better brand storytelling and creative design
- Increased levels of interaction/gamification
- Users are encourages to stay longer
- Simple streamlined navigation across devices
There are varying types of long scroll websites which utilise parallax layering functionality or infographic-style visual information, but it’s important to remember the purpose of your website before taking the leap into having a long scroll design, as it may not be suitable for all!
5. Wearable Technology
Wearable tech has taken a little while to catch on. A year or two ago, I feel we were a little put-off by the thought of bulky ‘Internet-watches’, glasses that induced a motion-sickness version of reality, or jewellery that performed a light show every time a text message came in… but as this area of tech is advancing at such a pace, we can already see vast improvements in the look, feel and functionality of wearable tech (one of my favourites contenders is currently from Pebble) – and 2016 looks to be a game-changer…
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