Daniel Millsback: 10 Online Marketing Trends To Expect In 2016

Daniel Millsback, a longtime digital marketing specialist, has seen most every trend come and go. His long years in the industry have placed him at the forefront of some of the most significant developments in marketing. In some cases, he has even played an instrumental role in the development of some of these highly effective marketing strategies.

Daniel Millsback

If there is one thing that Millsback’s extensive experience has taught him is that marketing isn’t a static discipline. Subject to frequent changes and driven by a spirit of continuous innovation, marketing is practically a living organism that requires a constantly changing approach. New trends are always coming down the line, and these are some of the most significant that could be expected in online marketing in 2016.

Increased role of social advertising

Advertising centered on social media will continue to hold sway this year, with online marketing expenditure expected to finally surpass that of TV. Industry analysts such as Interpublic Group’s Magna Global have in fact predicted a 13.5% increase in online marketing spending in 2016. It is admittedly a step down from the increase in the same arena in 2015 (when online ad expenditure rose increased by as much as 17.2%), but the continuing trend is significant all the same. With so much money being poured into online advertising, digital marketers should definitely take note.

Wider usage of Facebook Messenger for Business

2015 was the year that Facebook’s Messenger for Business was unveiled to the public, but 2016 may be the year that it breaks ground in real-world applications. Based on the social networking site’s widely used messaging service, the new revamp aims to make the same ease of use and communications efficiency available to business users, making it applicable to B2C and B2B conversations. With the Facebook user base having reached a monthly mark of 700 million, the availability of Messenger for Business is too important to ignore.

The continuing rise of the podcast

Podcasts have been around for a while, and may be seen as ‘old hat’ by some. However, casual observation is enough to reveal that podcasts are just as popular as ever, and they clearly aren’t going away any time soon. Think about it: how many people do you know still log on to NPR, This American Life, and other programs on a daily basis? You probably know more than a few, and you might even be one of the countless thousands for whom podcasts are still essential fare. When you realize that your audience just may be comprised of people such as you, the continuing usefulness and relevance of the venerable podcast quickly becomes apparent.

The shift toward native ads

Most Internet users have become savvy to most forms of online marketing nowadays, and it takes something a bit less intrusive to keep them happy. This has resulted in the rise of ad blockers, which are the boon of many modern-day marketers. But that doesn’t mean that online marketing is dead in the water. By shifting toward more native ads, marketers are managing to get their message across without detracting too much–if at all–from the web experience. Because native ads look, read, and even feel similar to actual content, they are pretty much spared from even the most persistent ad blockers.

Daniel Millsback

A more personalized approach to PPC

PPC is another strategy that has been around for a while that yet remains a relevant and potent marketing tool to this day. In a nod to changing market preferences however, PPC has also had to undergo certain changes in order to make the cut. The most significant of these changes is the shift toward more personalized PPC, which hones the strategy to a fine focus, making it both more effective and more palatable to audiences.

A move to automated marketing

Automated marketing is, yet again, nothing new. Already a $5.5 billion industry, automation is expected to grow even more significantly in 2016. Essential for a wide variety of tasks, automation can help streamline business operations, making tasks easier, and enhancing business efficiency. Businesses will continue to ease resources concerns with automation, which in itself will have a number of significant effects in a business environment.

(Even) more video content

Of all the marketing technologies that have been around for a while–and are still going strong–video is both the most venerable and the most potent. Take a quick look around your favorite sites, and video is likely a prominent feature in most, if not all of them. A significant portion of many company’s marketing budgets are still being spent on video, and keeping it in your arsenal will continue to pay off in 2016.


Yep: mobile marketing is still a ‘thing’, and 2016 is shaping up to be another year when mobile holds sway. More and more people are making the shift from laptops to mobile devices, with desktops all but forgotten except by a few technological holdouts and certain specialized-field practitioners. The mobile explosion that began sometime in 2012 (or 2013, 2014, or 2015 depending on who you ask) will continue on unabated in 2016, and it remains a powerful marketing tool.

Something fairly newish that is expected to hit the mainstream this year is wearable tech. Sure, some examples of the form have been around for a while, but 2016 promises to the year when wearable gadgets will become as ubiquitous as the colored TV of old. If you wish to continue to make a dent with your marketing in the new year and beyond, looking into wearable tech should be on your to-do list.

Daniel Millsback

Buy buttons become ubiquitous

Finally, “Buy” buttons will probably become fairly commonplace this year. When you think about it, there are few things that are more compelling to a buyer than a conveniently-placed “Buy” button, which is why you see them on so many sites. It is a trend that will likely continue to grow in 2016, and one that you should seriously consider if you want to continue to stake your claim in the online marketing turf. For further information, visit http://danielmillsback.blogspot.com/, or connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz,  or read his news stories.


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