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Web Design, Social Media & Other Marketing Trends For 2016

2016 is upon us! Well done for making it this far, now we start the long journey of getting to 2017 without a hitch. For marketers and designers alike, this year is one of the most prominent in the last 10 years. Marketing is now a well adopted way of increasing brand awareness and raising website traffic, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends. This article looks at the various trends/predictions I have seen floating around the internet in the last couple of weeks, but do you agree with them?

Social Media Trends

Below are 5 social media trends for 2016 that Joel Comm (a New York Times best-selling author of 12 books and professional speaker) believes are going to become popular this New Year.

Live Streaming Will Become More Mainstream

Many of you may already know of or about streaming services, Twitter has it’s own called Periscope which already has a staggering 15 million plus users. Live broadcasts aren’t just for fun, like #DrummondPuddleWatch, they can be used for more meaningful purposes such as conferences, interviews, demonstrations and more. It’s this kind of closeness that makes live streaming a really good idea for businesses. It gives them the ability to give added value to their customers.

On-Platform Content Will Rise

On platform content is certainly on the rise, but what is it? On platform content is the content shared on websites such as Facebook. Instead of driving your customers to your website, you drive them to your social media page. Not only does the content load around 10 times faster, it has a larger target audience and can earn revenue through advertising. It may sound risky, but larger companies such as BuzzFeed and Huffington Post have already signed up to this new way of sharing content.

Smarter Use Of Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the more obscure social media platforms for businesses to use, the second someone see’s your advert it’s pretty much gone in an instant. However, the quality of the content shared on the platform has improved over the last year or so and it looks as if it may soon provide businesses another way of being able to advertise to their younger viewers in a more professional manner. The content may be “disposable” by nature, but if your advert grabs someone they are more likely to screen shot it and save it for later.

Video Will Continue To Surpass Static Content

As fantastic as static content is, nothing can really beat video marketing. We love things that are visually pleasing, and nothing is more pleasing than a video. Facebook users are now posting 75% more videos, which is mostly down to their 3 second previews. The previews enable the video to automatically play within the news feed while people scroll past it. The moving content catches people’s eye, forcing them to want to see more. It’s a train that has only just left the station, but has no signs of stopping.

We Will See The Start Of Virtual Reality Content

VR or Virtual Reality is going to be huge in 2016, with the rise of VR video gaming will also come the rise of VR marketing. Oculus Rift is one of the biggest names in Virtual Reality and Facebook bought it for $2 billion in 2014. We have also seen the creation of Google Cardboard, a cheaper VR alternative. Surprising The New York Times has already started creating VR content, so it won’t be long before others follow in their footsteps. From VR shops to VR concerts, there’s no telling where this will go, but it will start in 2016.

Content Marketing Trends

Below are 5 content marketing trends for 2016 that Reeta Gupta (an expert in SME Entrepreneurship) believes will change the way we market content.

Social Media Will Offer New Publishing Options

Many social media platforms are already doing this, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, but there will be new social platforms that offer different ways of viewing and displaying content. The more ways you can showcase your content, the bettter, right?

Original Research Will Be “In Fashion”

By original research Reeta means real world consumer insights which are then turned into marketing campaigns. She explains that many businesses will have to give themselves more time to research their brand and launch full scale experiments, offline. Customer feedback is vital, you need to make sure that you’re still using original styles of researching so really get to know your audience.

The Next JK Rowling Will Be A Computer

It might sound mad, but computers can and do create articles of their own accord with the help of algorithms. The writing isn’t complex now, but will be developed over 2016 to become more emotive and understandable. It’s a great solution for companies who needs thousands of pieces of content in short spaces of time.

Brands Will Measure AVOP

AVOP or Aggregate Value of Online Presence will help brands to measure offline and online community development. It will help brands to create campaigns targeted only at those who are already loyal to them, rather than to anyone. This will mostly be used within social media, where your online presence is naturally thriving.

Long-Form Connected Content Writing Will Be Back

Google has become what Reeta describes as a “knowledge engine”. It now finds related content to what you are looking for, which is great for all businesses. It means that if your content has lots of related keywords and reads well it will be more likely to show up as a result due to it’s relation to other content around it.

Email Marketing Trends

Below are 9 email marketing trends for 2016 that David Moth (a social media manager and Econsultancy editor) has gathered from various industry experts.


In 2016 Hannah Price of Misguided hopes that personalised content for consumers will become standard. Personal one-to-one experiences are where it’s at, getting to know your audience is crucial to email marketing.


Emails will soon be created not only based on the person but also on their location. It ties very much into personalisation but means that not only will you know that persons likes and dislikes, you’ll also know what language and currency to use.

Subscriber Psychology

Analyzing your subscribers is going to be much more important in 2016, so you can make better considerations for products, offers and creative content. Being able to increase your subscriber base is fantastic, but you have to do the research of your current ones first.

Embedded Content

Anything from animated GIF’s to interactive and static infographics, embedded content is going to be seen a lot more in 2016 email marketing. You can also embed posts and videos from social media platforms, giving your consumers more access to your content in a flash.

Data Protection Reforms

EU data protection reforms are almost upon us, so we need to make sure we are prepared. The “right to be forgotten” is going to become far more prominent this year and other new requirements will force marketers to bit the bullet.

More Context

Emails these days don’t always have great context, but with 2016 we’re going to see more contextual emails and content across the board. Mobile phones are the most common device to read an email, on now, so you need to be making sure that your email is both short and to the point and visually pleasing to the reader.

Dynamic Email Content

Dynamic emails are created based on things like the location of the user, the time of opening the email etc. The content within them is now more important than ever, new data legislation in Europe will mean that marketers will have to physically observe behaviours and focus less on the data shared by the consumers themselves.

More Machines

2016 will see more machine learning technology, machines will be able to make decisions based on algorithms. They will be able to help you in the creation and implementation of an email marketing campaign, helping to gather the data you need and help you optimise every aspect of your email.

Improved Email Quality

Many of us get emails we look over and throw straight in the bin. We’re hoping to see much less of this in 2016 with more improved email quality. With better emails comes better click through rates and less emails ended up in the spam folder or deleted.

Web Design Trends

Below are 5 web design trends for 2016 that Sam Hampton-Smith at Creative Bloq (an online magazine for digital designers) thinks will totally dominate this coming year.

CSS3 Will Finally Impact Layouts

Layouts may not totally alter, but the code that used will become more reliable and simple to use. Browser support for CSS3, over the last few years, has certainly been growing. CSS3 Flexbox, a flexible box layout, can be “handled” by most popular web browsers. Because of this we may also see more creative layout designs as a direct result.

Material Design Will Dominate

There has been a huge surge in the adoption of Google’s material design and this reflects the increase in smartphone use. Material design certainly isn’t new, but it’s “coming of age” and being widely adopted and now includes new extensions and kits.

Cinemagraphs Will Come Of Age

Although the concept isn’t new, they have been put on the back burner for a rather long time. Movement within a photo didn’t seem all too attractive, that is until Apple came along with the arrival of “live photos” to showcase their product range. Although the visual effect is not the same, it is similar enough to have made cinemagraphs a much more popular type of design. Their rise in use has meant that the technology underpinning the effect has dramatically improved.

Less Photos, More Illustration

Photo headers are extremely common now, but we’re now paving the way for more illustrations on websites. Why? Because although some photographs look attractive, it’s more difficult to imagine yourself in that world. An illustration is more forgiving, it’s more imaginative and encourages users to think more about the product than the person holding it. In turn we may see websites reverting to fixed-width layouts.

Colour And Typography Will Get Bolder

Colour is an important marketing tool, it decides whether or not your product is more or less attractive to the user. 2016 is going to see much bolder colours and also bolder typography. Muted colours will be a thing of the past and we’re going to see more eye catching pieces of content.

And that’s it! Thank you very much for reading and we hope that this article has given you some inspiration for this New Year.

If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you would like to read “A Complete Guide To 2016 Content Marketing Trends“?

Feature image credit: Maria Tkach via 123RF

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