Lauren Bates

Welcome to the New Year! Yeah, we’re almost through the first month and that holiday hangover finally feels like a thing of the past. And now it is time to crush 2016! Here are three trends that we think deserve some attention this year. Stay tuned for more predictions in our version of “The Holidays Unwrapped” coming soon.

First, let’s talk about mobile. Mobile is more than just a channel. It is a part of our everyday lives. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans owned smartphones in 2015 (this is nearly double what was found from their first survey on the topic back in 2011). And almost half of Americans own a tablet. Making mobile the fastest-growing media channel in history!

Here are more stats to further that point: Forrester predicts that in 2016, mobile (including tablet) commerce will reach $142 billion in the US, representing 38% of online transactions. They go on to say that mobile will assist in 30% of sales, meaning at some point shoppers will use mobile throughout the purchase cycle. Whether that is for research, in-store price comparison shopping, find the closest retailer, or something else, nearly a third of Americans will use their mobile device to help with their purchasing decisions. Simply put, mobile is a crucial piece of any successful marketing campaign.

Next trend, video. Video is quickly becoming a vital channel for many retailers because the content is easy to consume and efficient. A big part of this shift is due to consumer viewing habits. More and more, people are moving toward streaming video and away from TV. Cisco Systems recently conducted a study that showed video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

Furthermore, the top social players (aka Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat) are finding ways to incorporate video into their ad structures. But not just any ads, short ads! According to Yahoo, 61% of consumers prefer ads that are 30 seconds or less. If a picture is worth a thousand words, think of what a video could be worth.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk social. First (and arguably foremost), marketers need to adapt social strategies around people. If you don’t start by focusing on what your audience is wanting, everything else is pretty much a moot point. Ok, glad that is out of the way… moving on!

According to Socially Aware data, Facebook is the most popular for marketers while Instagram is a favorite of fashion and beauty brands because of its visual format. The challenge though is linking social media campaigns to sales.

Big social companies have carefully curated, engaged audiences. Nowadays, many are focusing on monetizing those audiences to help marketers reach their target audiences. For instance, the data and targeting tools that Facebook has in place, allows marketers to personalize their social campaigns at scale.

Data from eMarketer predicts that social media ad spend could reach $41 billion by 2017. In addition, social platforms are building their ad offerings with a specific focus on mobile and video. See a pattern here?

These trends are nothing new. In fact, they have only been gaining steam. But this year, they are going to be huge! And we don’t want you to be left out. So grab 2016 by the horns and get ahead of the competition by folding these trends into your strategy. Like, today.