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2015 saw an increase in online video uptake, with many brands turning to YouTube to promote their advertising shorts. If you didn’t have a promotional video as part of your marketing campaign, then you were missing out.

But what trends are catching up with the success of online video? It looks likely that other online marketing tools will prove themselves just as successful as the 10 second ads populating social channels. But which ones  should we be keeping an eye on in 2016?

Online advertising has been rapidly on the rise this year, and in 2017 digital ad spend is predicted to surpass TV. According to Interpublic Group’s Magna Global, in 2015 digital ad spend grew 17.2% (to £110 billion), and is predicted to grow another 13.5% this year to surpass TV as the biggest advertising platform in 2017 (momentology.com).

With a big chunk of this digital spend being allocated to social advertising, this is a trend marketers cannot ignore. For instance, eMarketer predicts social network ad spending will reach £24 billion in 2017, which will make up 16% of all global digital ad spend.

So how should marketers aim to leverage social paid advertising?

Choose the best platforms for your business. These will be where your target audiences are consuming news, information and sharing posts. If you are an online retailer for jewellery, then choosing channels that are visually based, like Instagram, will give you a great opportunity to showcase your products.

On the other hand, Facebook’s sophisticated targeting options provide an invaluable tool to hone in on your target audience when you choose to run Facebook ads. If Facebook isn’t where your target is at, then take your paid ads over to Twitter, where you can create objective based campaigns depending on what your specific goals are.

Running split testing on your ads is always recommended to find out what content outperforms the rest, and then run with that to guarantee maximum ROI.

Always include a strong call to action in your ad content. You want to ensure that the ad converts the audience, and that there are clear instructions following on from the ad that tell the audience how to follow up on their action.

Online advertising can be found on the majority of websites across the internet, but with ad-blockers now supported by Apple’s IOS systems, it’s harder to target markets with overt online ads.

Native advertising puts in place preventative measures that will get your piece around ad-blocking and viewed by your target audience. Because native ads look, read and feel non-promotional, ad-blocking tech won’t prevent them from displaying.

Contemporary formats for native advertising now include promoted videos, images, articles, commentary, music, and other various forms of media. Good examples of these can be found on Twitter promoted ads and Facebook’s promoted stories.

Native ads are often likened to Content Marketing, but arguably these are two different strategies with different ideologies behind them. Content Marketing focuses more on the in-house creation of content such as white papers, blog posts, infographics and how-to-guides, with the aim of generating sales leads and interest in the business.

Native ads are often likened to Content Marketing, but arguably these are two different strategies with different ideologies behind them. Content Marketing focuses more on the in-house creation of content such as white papers, blog posts, infographics and how-to-guides, with the aim of generating sales leads and interest in the business.

Make sure you know the difference when applying them to your broader campaign!

Videos help businesses entertain and engage their audiences through visuals, sounds and most importantly, emotion. Videos act to humanise a faceless business, in turn building brand loyalty and trust. According to a study by the Web Video Marketing Council, 96% of B2B marketers are using video in their content strategy (momentology.com).

Since 2014, a chunk of marketing spend for both B2B and B2C companies has been directed towards creating promotional videos as part of their wider marketing efforts – whether that be internal communications, short ads, or processes.

Short video adverts are now even more important with the dawn of video search results becoming the next big thing for Google, Yahoo and Bing. In addition to seeing text search listings, you’ll now also be able to see and play videos that match your search terms.

Video promises to make even more of an impact in 2016, with cut down, flash ads being a top trend for online marketers. If you haven’t considered a video as part of your business promotion, then the time is now!

For the last several years, paid search has been all about targeting the right set of keywords to find people who may or may not be in-market for your products or solutions, but this strategy has a lot of flaws. From generating irrelevant clicks and site visits, PPC can become quite expensive if your keyword strategy isn’t flawless. Even if you’re targeting the most relevant set of keywords, your volume might be so low that you’re not reaching nearly enough searchers to generate new business and get a good ROI.

Although Google holds a wealth of information about each and every searcher, it is still difficult for advertisers to find the right audience. For one, Google prides itself on protecting searcher information, but it also knows what advertisers want, which is why Google introduced Customer Match in September 2015. Customer Match allows you to upload a list of contacts you already have and target them through search. This feature is also available on Facebook and Twitter, and is essentially making search and social become more like email marketing by serving ads to people who are within a certain stage of your purchase funnel. i.e: people you already have contact with.

When you collect emails from an industry event, you can then target these people on Google, Twitter, or Facebook with relevant ads. In 2016, PPC will likely become more and more personal, which is why marketers must start utilizing these new features, like Customer Match, to connect with their prospects and customers at the right time with messages catered to them.

To learn more about which marketing channels you should invest in this year, drop us an email. We’re always keen to chat over the latest digital trends.

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