2015 Digital Marketing Stories

That'll Make Headlines in 2016


As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at a year that provided a few great advancements, and changes, in digital marketing.

But reliving the past should never be something we do too often; instead, it’s time to start looking forward to the future.

2016 has the potential to bring incredible changes, not just to digital marketing, but the world. With new technologies gaining popularity, older forms of media being forgotten, and the way we search changing, the next year is sure to affect how we market online.

Here are a few of the biggest digital marketing stories from 2015, which will continue to make headlines in 2016.


The Rise of Digital Assistants

Digital assistants, like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and the new Amazon Echo, will change the way we search. Voice commands will trigger information, websites and services to launch automatically. These technologies adapt to the way you speak, and learns about you; to provide the best result for your command or query.

The implications of this on SEO have yet to be discovered. The long-tail keyword has long been promoted as the optimal way to optimize a page or piece of content; and this will likely remain. But additionally, more informal, conversational keywords may gain importance. The purpose of SEO has always been to describe web content in a way that matches search queries. As search queries become more specific, and more conversational, SEO that focuses on the niche, may gain priority placement. It will also become even more important to write for people, not search engines.


Google & Twitter Partner

2015 was the year that saw Twitter partner with Google, to provide Tweets within search engine result pages.

In the end, both sides win, as Google receives access to the most revolutionary real-time communication platform that’s ever been created (seriously, think about it – how else can you receive breaking news, contact the President and order a pizza, all at the same time?). There are over 7,000 Tweets sent out every second (as of this writing), and this amount of up-to-date information is vital to Google remaining at the top of the search world.

Twitter, in return, gets massive exposure, which is exactly what it needs. According to Pew, only 19% of adults in the U.S. use Twitter. Facebook has 58%.

Partnerships like these can only continue. Facebook is already trying to become a search engine competitor to Google and Bing, offering Search FYI as an alternative. The race to provide relevant search results to users will intensify, as real-time updates, information and content continue to be shared at light-speed. We live in a culture of immediacy, and the search engine that provides the most updated content will reign.


The Cord-Cutters are Growing

According to Forrester Research, 24% of U.S. adults don’t pay for television. Instead, they’re opting to stream content from their computer, mobile device, Roku, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast and video game console. TV is no longer the only way to consume video entertainment, or watch your favorite show. The consumer has options more options than ever. Cable companies, like Comcast, are already implementing data caps for subscribers; hoping people will keep paying, every month, for channels they never watch (though they a very different corporate response).

As more people ditch cable, streaming services will rise. But currently, there are very few ways to brands marketing on these services. Netflix doesn’t have commercials (thankfully), and Hulu goes traditional, showing the same commercials as shown on television. But as more people make the switch, more streaming services will be born. Savvy marketers already see the future, and opt to spend some of their time, and budgets, on lesser-known, but growing, streaming services, such as Twitch, Yahoo Screen and Newsy.


Online & Streaming Video Capture Eyes

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live Video, Video on Instagram and Vine are dominating our attention, and eyeballs. More people are watching video on these platforms than primetime television. According to Cisco, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will come from video, by 2017.

Marketing is about appearing in front of consumers, wherever they are. It used to be television, but now it’s more often coming from online videos, and streaming sites. Video content is more engaging and keeps user’s attention longer. Creating and sharing videos about your business, and your industry, are great ways to build brand awareness.

As demand for video content grows, so will the need for brands to invest in talented, and creative, content marketers. These digital marketing underdogs are the lifeblood of marketing in the future. As the cliché goes, “content is king.” But the truth is, it’s so much more than that. Content represents marketing in the 21st century.


Don’t Forget, Mobile is (still very) Important

It may feel like ages ago, but “Mobilegeddon” occurred in 2015. Has your website survived? Is it thriving? Or are you still working with your development team to optimize your site?

A new year may be upon us, but t’s the same story as last year (and the year before that, and the year…). Mobile is important. Very important. For the first time in Black Friday history, over half of all online shopping came from mobile devices. Google confirmed that more searches come from mobile devices, than desktops.

If you don’t have a mobile marketing strategy, and a mobile-friendly website, what are you waiting for?


Overall, 2015 was a mild year for digital marketing changes. There were a few new platforms, devices and developments, but for the most part, it was much of the same.

2016, however, has the potential to see massive changes.

Along with many of the topics listed above, advances in technology are expected to change the way we connect, the way we interact, and the way we live. We’re getting close to finally having virtual reality and self-driving cars. Wearable devices are getting more popular, and cheaper. Traditional media will continue to decline, as new online sources continue to gain viewers.

What are you most looking forward to in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comment field below, and let me know what, in digital marketing, you’re most excited to experience next year.