Here are our top five digital marketing predictions that will perform well over the next year and beyond. As technology and user behavior evolves, we expect that digital marketing will adapt and find more efficient ways of reaching targeted audiences.

1) Mobile: With more and more people using smartphones for everything in their lives, expect to see continued growth and performance of search engine and social media activity on mobile devices. Long story short, mobile marketing and mobile websites are going to become increasingly important in the new year. Mobile websites should be optimized and have user flows that allows visitors to easily navigate and quickly find exactly what they are looking for without much effort. User behavior studies on mobile devices indicates that people who cannot find what they are looking quickly will exit the site immediately. Digital advertising campaigns should be optimized to specifically target mobile devices. These campaigns should have ads designed to render appropriately on a wide range of devices, in addition to tablets and desktops which are obviously larger in size and resolution. Mobile searches have less area, leaving less room for the sponsored ads to appear above the fold. The tight space on mobile devices can make for a higher Cost Per Click. Campaigns are based on a supply and demand system, competing for space among the 2-4 positions available for paid search ads. Compare this to desktop and tablet searches where we typically see eight sponsored ad positions.

2) Content: Original content is becoming an increasingly important component of digital marketing, as traditional digital marketing methods are becoming less effective. Content marketing , a newer tactic in digital marketing defined as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, driving profitable customer action. To do this, start by creating original content for your website in the form of copy, images and videos relating to your business and the products and services you sell. Post links to your new content on blogs and social media to build and nurture an audience that is interested in your business offerings. Utilize best practices in paid and organic social media marketing to build a solid audience of prospective clients. Utilize ongoing communications to nurture leads and build the perception of your business as a leader – this is especially in products or services involving lengthy sales cycles. Studies show that quality, original content can increase sales and create a more loyal customer base.

3) Smart home assistants: As more smart home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular, we anticipate that Google will introduce campaigns specifically for voice-assisted devices. These campaigns will be specifically for voice searches on Google and eventually Bing. Depending on screen formats, they could be dramatically different than the ads we see now on Google, possibly with images as well. Over the next few years, expect to see continued increases in the number of searches from voice. In the near future, Google Analytics will be able to track searches to identify if the source was type or voice. With voices searches, comes a new set of keywords so now is a good time to begin discussing plans for new voice-based campaigns.

4) Automated Intelligence Search Suggestions: The technology that drives smart home assistants is going to change how we optimize websites for Search Engine Optimization. We will start seeing more search activity for question and answer related searches. We are already starting to see this on Google with the new position zero. Position Zero is a box that appears at the top of Google with an answer to a question that was posed in the search. Google provides the most relevant answer to the question, typically an excerpt from a website. Instead of simply ranking for search terms, it will become increasingly important to optimize for answers to common questions involving your industry, products or services.

5) Video Marketing and Live Video: YouTube is still the #2 search engine in the world, and we do not except that to change anytime soon. Over 1.3 billion people use YouTube on a daily basis to watch over 5 billion videos on average. As more people continue to use YouTube those users spend more time viewing videos and searching for videos, it will become more important to showcase ads on YouTube for searches related to your business. With live video streaming now an option on Facebook and other social media platforms, early adapters will enjoy better performance of organic and sponsored videos. Live videos are now also an option and we expect to see better performance from live videos.

At AdEdge , we stay on top of emerging trends and technologies in digital marketing. We are constantly testing for new and efficient ways of reaching targeted audiences in with the ultimate goal of improving our clients’ performance. If you have any questions about these tactics or would like to discuss digital marketing channels that work well in your particular industry, please reach out to one of our digital marketing experts for a free consultation.