The Mid Atlantic digital marketing landscape is always on the move. Just when you’ve mastered this year’s hot new tips, another year is coming right around the corner with even fresher marketing techniques and best practices. These are the trends that we at SPM Strategies think are going to be most important in the coming year.

Digital Marketing  Trend: Collaboration

Collaboration is a traffic multiplier. Think about it: if I have an audience of X and you have an audience of Y, when we work together and publish across all of our platforms, we’ll both be able to reach X + Y. And once your collaborator’s audience knows about you and what you have to offer, some of them will be back to visit you again. That’s why influencer marketing is going to be on the rise in 2016.

Digital Marketing Trend: Getting personal

Twenty years ago, your customers could reach you by phone, fax, and mail. Ten years ago, you could add email to that list. Now, we have all of those communication methods, plus Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and SnapChat and more. Our customers expect us to meet them where they are. As that gets more complicated, you may need to use a tool like Autopilot to manage your customer interactions.

Digital Marketing Trend: Interactive content

Until recently, content marketing consisted primarily of articles and perhaps email newsletters. Blog posts and emails are going to continue to be key in the years to come. But in 2016, you should invest some of your marketing resources into interactive content. Not only can interactive content provide you with invaluable information about your customers and prospects, your audience is much more likely to engage with and share interactive content.

What kinds of interactive content should you create? Quizzes, calculators, and interactive infographics all have high engagement rates. A tool like Kuia can help you build quizzes and calculators. While you can make your own static infographics with tools like Visme and Info.gram, you may need a designer or developer to help you create an infographic that your audience can interact with.

Digital Marketing Trend: Knowing what you can’t control (and how to get around it)

Facebook and Google have both made big changes in the last year that have had a big impact on digital marketing. Facebook’s Instant Articles allows users to view some content right on Facebook, which means they never visit the originating site. Some sites are now missing out on a lot of the traffic that they used to get from Facebook. Although relying on Facebook referrals has always been a problematic strategy—if you haven’t paid for an ad, only about 16% of the people who like your page are seeing anything you post.

Meanwhile, Google had decided to give more of its search results pages over to paid ads. Thirty-one percent of the time, searchers click on the first Google result. Two-thirds of all clicks are of one of the first five results. Anything that Google does to push your content down the search results page is bad news.

The good news is that there is a way around both the Facebook and Google problems. The bad news is that it’s to pay for their ads. Google and Facebook both make almost all of their money by getting us to pay them for good screen real estate. That trend is set to continue in 2016.

What’s next for Mid Atlantic digital marketing?

Not sure how the upcoming trends in digital marketing are going to affect you in 2016? Work with us. SPM Strategies works with small and mid-sized businesses, trade associations, universities, and political organizations. You’d be surprised what we can do for you.