Top 6 Marketing Trends that Defined 2016 [By Hazel Then]

Now that everyone has almost settled in to the New Year, it is time to look back at the lessons learned from 2016 and develop new marketing strategies to propel your brand forward in the coming year. With the rise of artificial intelligence to the birth of Facebook live, the marketing realm has constantly seen a great deal of change with no sign of slowing down.

We have put together a list of the top 6 marketing trends to help you define marketing in 2016


SEO strategies took a 180 degree turn in the last year when Google decided to make massive editions to their search algorithm. This ensured that only the brands who paid attention and proper effort to choose the right key words could truly benefit and rise to the top. A simple rule of thumb was to stick to choosing long-tail key words to ensure that your brand has a better chance of getting found.

Long tail key words allow you to rise up the ranks as they are more specific and thus have a lower search volume. They aim directly at your target segment who might have a higher chance in converting to purchasing a product on your website. However, it is important to note how people are actually searching for your brand. Google trends uses real-time search data, based on search queries, to let you see what people want to know about you, all across the world over time. SEO improves over time, so the earlier companies use a proper set of keywords the better.


Even if you created the perfect formula for your potential customers to visit your website, increasing traffic is often just half the battle won. The real challenge begins when visitors drop off your site, sometimes bouncing off almost immediately or even leaving at the final product page. Stickiness was a common issue many brands faced in 2016.


The 2016 trend of ensuring you increase your viewers time on your page was all about using proprietary customer data to help you understand your customers better. More specifically, the key question revolved around how to double or even triple your landing page conversion rate. One of the best marketing tools to find traction last year is Hotjar which is an interactive tool that allowed you to understand what users want and care about in real-time. They analyse a massive amount of data that surrounds your visitors’ clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour in order to predict visitor motivation and desire.


In the world where people have more than a million websites to click on, you need to ensure that your website’s design is optimized for usability (so it is easy to use) and user experience (so actual users enjoy using it). These are the top things you must have on your website.

  • Simplicity – riding on the minimalistic trend, users come to your site to complete an action. So make certain that the website is not clouded with too many colours, typefaces and graphics.
  • Clear value proposition – people need to understand exactly what you do for them to want to continue to the other pages
  • Social media handles – at a conventional place where people can find them, follow and engage with your company
  • Contact information – Allow users to find your contact easily on your homepage (most commonly found at the foot of your page)
  • Clear call to action – it should be clear what action you want them to take next on every page of your website.


Probably the fastest moving industry in 2016, you need to get on the video game to make sure you are one step ahead of the competition. The trend skyrocketed with the launch of Facebook Live videos across all platforms. This video capability now allows users to connect immediately with the video’s emotion and message far more effectively than a static photo.


Snap Inc, parent company of Snapchat, has officially filed for an Initial Public Offering. The tech disappearing tech-messaging company is reportedly seeking a $25 billion valuation. With the rise of Snapchat, marketers are just realising that ephemeral marketing platforms are gaining popularity in the market for its unique ability to allow users to digest social media in real time. This ‘less is more’ millennial concept builds another unique layer of engagement with users albeit over a short shelf life.

In 2016, more brands used Snapchat as a marketing medium by creating integrated marketing campaigns that offer exclusive content to the younger generation. This reinforces the point that real-time marketing, just like live-streaming videos on Facebook, is becoming increasingly popular and companies need to be a part of it.


One of the best research papers produced in 2016, identified the secret formula to headlines. Used in almost every marketing touchpoint, from a blogpost, social media post to even your emails, the research surrounded the key question of ‘what is it that makes one headline more sharable than another?’ After a survey of 1 million people, one of the most interesting revelation was that lists posts are ubiquitous and hugely popular. (I.e.: top 6 marketing trends that defined 2016 is a list post). The second takeaway was that headlines with ‘You’ and ‘Your’ performed relatively well than other posts and shared more. This indicates that content written from the first person’s point of view (I or Me) will not score as well as readers like to see themselves in what they are reading. Finally, always help your readers visualize living a better life with the use of words like ‘how to’, ‘free’ and ‘giveaway’.

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