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The 5 Biggest Digital Trends of 2016

The 5 Biggest ...

Were you aware that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey? Yup!

Curious, mischievous, and clever, this practical joker could easily get the better of you and your digital efforts next year - and we don’t want that!

So take a look at our predictions for the five biggest digital trends for 2016 and start your monkey-proofing right away.


1. Slow = Broken

Improving site performance continues to be the hottest digital topic. Fast load time across all screens is vital to keeping users.

From our Academic Director of Gymnasium, Jeremy Osborn:

“One of the hottest topics on the web continues to be discussions on how to improve the performance of a site. In particular page load, and even more specifically page load on mobile. For example, Facebook recently announced their ‘2G Tuesdays’ where their developers use the site for an hour on a simulated 2G connection. In theory this will help them understand what the experience is like on slow connections and prompt them to improve the performance.”


2. The End of Flash

Firefox, Chrome, Amazon, and Facebook pull the plug on Flash as brands embrace HTML5 for delivering their interactive advertising experiences.

This AdAge article sums it up best, “Flash Will Soon Be Obsolete: It's Time for Agencies to Adapt”.

Currently, the Flash plugin needs to be enabled in order for people to view virtually all of the dynamic, rich-media ads running on desktop devices, but we are very quickly headed toward a future where consumers will need to jump through hoops to view any Flash ads at all. All it takes is cursory reading of the tea leaves to realize that within six months, every major desktop browser will have stopped natively supporting Flash -- regardless of whether the advertising world is ready for them to do so. Though it might be painful to admit for an industry that has relied on Flash for over a decade, the right choice is to start creating desktop ads in the HTML5 language used to create ads for mobile.”

Other excellent articles on the topic: "Flash. Must. Die." Wired, “The Death of Flash May Not Be Entirely Good for the Web," Wired, and "Mozilla Blocks Flash by Default on Firefox Browser,” BBC.


3. Mobile Overtakes Desktop

The majority of spend, organic traffic, and paid clicks comes from smartphones and tablets.

Social Media, Content, and Digital Marketing guru, Jeff Bullas has this to say on the topic:

“Mobile searches will surpass desktop in 2016. According to eMarketer, 2015 will see mobile search reach the tipping point—the stage at which the majority of spend, organic traffic and paid clicks comes from smartphones and tablets rather than the traditional medium of desktop and laptop search.

“The aim is to give mobile users the same optimum experience when they visit proper desktop websites. In other words, businesses must give thought to all of the following: mobile marketing strategy; mobile design, mobile search marketing and advertising, mobile e-commerce and mobile payment, mobile CRM (customer relationship management), mobile coupons, and integrating mobile, local and social.”


4. Workflow Goes Responsive

UX designers, content strategists, and web developers collaborate earlier—and more often—to create better end products faster.  

Also from our Academic Director of Gymnasium:

“The entire model of building websites continues to evolve since the advent of responsive design. Roles such as UX designers, content strategists, designers, and developers are learning to work together in different ways. Specifically they are learning how to collaborate earlier in the process and more frequently than ever.”


5. Content Becomes Mission Critical

From ad blocking to social integration to mobile, content strategy becomes essential at every point of customer interaction.

This article in Forbes written by John Hall outlines 10 content marketing trends to help companies budget for 2016. Here’s the three we think are most important:

Ad Blocking Will Continue to Shift Companies From “Me” Marketing to “You” Marketing

“Customers don’t want content they’re not interested in shoved in their faces. Start rethinking your content strategy to build a following organically by sharing your expert knowledge with your audience and positioning yourself as an industry leader.”

Publishers and Social Media Will Intersect

“We started to see a shift back in April as Twitter released a new feature allowing users to comment on their retweets, enabling them to offer lengthier commentary. This would dramatically affect content marketing by opening the floodgates to marketers using Twitter as a publishing platform, which we’ve already seen from LinkedIn and Medium.”

Mobile Will Continue to Grow

“This ever-growing trend is probably the most predictable on the list. With 3.65 billion unique mobile users in the world, you can bet companies need to incorporate more mobile in their marketing strategies. Responsive design, embedded videos, and other mobile elements will become standard and expected by consumers, so ensure your development team has set up your business for mobile success.”


So, are you ready for the year of the monkey?

As always, if you need help, we’re here for you!

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