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5 Brain-Imploding Trends That Will Eviscerate Inbound Marketing in 2016

What SEO and inbound marketing trends should you, heathen reader, be ready for in 2016?

To find out, I sat down with all the biggest experts who happened to be at this particular happy hour I could find.

Below are five brain-imploding trends that we agreed will eviscerate inbound marketing as we know it in 2016!

#1 – The Rise of Content Blockers

Consumers are sick of content. If your content isn’t relevant, it’s annoying. Consumers have no patience for anything annoying (have you seen Twitter?)

Now that everybody has bought into the idea that content is king, a company called DisCONtent is planning to make it even harder for brands trying to get noticed with “creative” sponsored content.

Sorry, BP. People seriously don’t care what you think it takes to create the “perfect homemade lemonade”. (Is the secret ingredient British petroleum?)

But you’re not limited to sponsored content. Any type of content can vanish forever! You can even block an entire site.

Stumble upon a crappy blog that scrapes all its posts from a real publication? Gone! Stumble upon a site that offers quizzes in exchange for all your private information? Gone! Stumble upon StumbleUpon? Gone!

Now that content is no longer critical, content blockers will be a game-changer as more consumers seek shelter in their social, cultural, or informational bubbles.

#2 – Social Media Budgets Will Grow, Regardless of Results

Some report by some social media company said that marketers plan to spend more on social media this year. So if everyone else is, why aren’t you?

You don’t understand it. You don’t know if it’s effective. But damn it, you must spend more time on the top social networks in 2016 – a bunch of social media experts say so, and they can’t be wrong.

Last year it underperformed, sure, but that’s just because you spent too much time building your personal brand – you know, taking quizzes and reading and sharing endless articles, videos, and slideshows you found while “listening to your audience”.

This year, 2016, this is the year you’ll get social right! Right?

#3 – Emojis? No. Go Retro With Emoticons!

Here’s a }: ) of an idea. Make sure you make emoticons part of your digital strategy in 2016.

Don’t look at me like ಠ_ಠ. That makes me : (.

I’m totally serious. Emojis may be hugely important for SEO. They may increase email opens and Twitter engagement. But just you watch – don’t be O_o or :$ when millennials adopt the #emotitrend.

I’m already seeing Twitter engagements rates shoot up by .3 percent and open rates opens increase by .5 percent just with the additional of the simple emoticon!

#4 – Mobile Searches Will Near Extinction

Even though mobile devices now outnumber human beings, low mobile search volume is a serious threat to Google’s existence.

Did you know 50 percent of people do zero searchers per day on mobile? And the average number of searches per smartphone per day is less than 1?

Expect Google to lobby in Washington to make mobile searches mandatory for all Internet users in 2017.

Rather than giving people access to their Android devices, Google will force users to conduct a Google search before unlocking it.

Smart brands will want to get in early and find out how they can become Sponsored Passcodes.

The thinking is, using a smartphone makes people happy. If a brand can provide that happiness, by osmosis, that brand will have some serious top-of-mind awareness when consumers think about making a purchase.

Google is internally calling this the “I-want-to-use-my-goddamn-device moment”. Brands, be ready!

#5 – SEO Tools Will Be More Expensive

SEO tool and software providers need to make money. They have staffs to pay; new offices to open; ridiculous numbers of conferences to attend; expenses to expense; lavish office parties to throw; office beer to be bought; game rooms to fill; C-suite on-site massages to fund; and so much influence to buy.

So expect most of the big SEO/marketing/analytics tools to add some new software to justify the hikes – maybe a new way to slightly differently visualize the same old data, an app, specialized reports that are essentially the same as what Google offers, and new languages for markets in which you don’t operate – all for the low, low price of 10 percent more per month!

As for the features you want and have been asking about for months or years? Keep waiting. Maybe someday.


Those are just five trends that will change the SEO and inbound marketing game in 2016. Expect another one soon because these trends pieces really bring in the pageviews!

What trends are you excited about? Share your contact info with us thoughts in the comments!

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