It seems like everything you could possibly need or think of is available at your fingertips, and it’s only getting more impressive. As if 2015 wasn’t innovative and techy enough, 2016 is about to emerge with even more captivating inventions.

Technology never stands still, so hop on your hoverboard and see what tech trends are going to be big this year.

1. Branded Video Content

Content doesn’t revolve around text anymore. While websites and blogs provide a great source of information, companies have started turning to video for a different, creative way to engage their audience. Sources (ahem, Google) tell us that branded video content is increasing website traffic in ways other marketing strategies cannot.

Brands like Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and Apple have figured out ways to incorporate ideas with GoPros, quirky stunts, celebrities, and more in order to differentiate their messages in a form that will top their competitors. Let’s take a look at a few statistics related to branded video content and how big its effect really is.

  • 75 Million people in the U.S. watch videos every day.
  • Embedded videos on websites can increase traffic by 55%.
  • 100 leading national advertisers run daily video campaigns on YouTube.
  • 76% of marketing professionals plan to use video to increase their brand awareness campaigns.

Videos have been popular for years, but quality and advertising are what’s setting them apart from the early 2000s to now. Branded video content is emerging now more than ever and 2016 is going to be the era of this viral phenomenon.

2. Wear Your Tech

The evolution of wearable technology has happened quickly and is continuing as we roll into  2016. Products such as the GoPro, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, headsets, and smartwatches are just a handful of new tech that have sparked some big interest.

All of these devices are part of a completely new industry that’s making their mark among competitors. With the increasing popularity, I have a feeling in the next 10 years we’ll have the ability to transform into the real-life Inspector Gadget … sounds good to me!

  • Sports and activity trackers is a $700 million dollar industry.
  • 48% of people aged 18-34 own wearable technology.
  • Worldwide spending for wearable technology will reach $1.4 billion by end of 2016.
  • 79% of business professionals agree that wearable technology will be strategic to their company’s future success.

While the Apple Watch launch was one of the biggest hits, word ‘round the Internet is that it’s going to kick-start more genuine innovation in the wearable tech industry. What are you wearing?

3. Mobile vs. Desktop

Want to shop at Target from your phone? There’s an app for that. It’s official, more traffic searches are now on mobile devices compared to desktops. Product innovation is evolving faster than ever and people want what is convenient, quick, effective, and new.

Of course, desktop computers and laptops aren’t leaving us anytime soon, but the amount of people who want on-the-go, instant gratification are turning to their smartphones rather than firing up their desktops. As 2016 unfolds, we’ll notice more mobile users with the increase of apps, designs, and updates.

  • Nearly 40% of all video content is being watched on mobile devices.
  • Social sharing for mobile ranks 7.7%, while desktop is only 4.1%.
  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
  • 89% of time spent on media is through mobile apps.

While you worry about parting ways with your desktop, I’ll be floating around on my raft browsing through the Pinterest app looking for new recipes.

4. Content Marketing

Companies are building more of a creative edge in the way they’re communicating their content. Nowadays, you need to have the ability to grab the attention of your audience like Katy Perry at last year’s Super Bowl ... Okay, maybe not to that extent.

However, putting a twist on things like your pictures, podcasts, campaigns, and commercials can attract awareness on a whole new level. The goal is to educate and entertain your audience, bring about brand recognition, and engage customers as best you can. Everyone remembers the huge success of Coke’s “Share A Coke” campaign. It was personal, creative, and genius. Engaging content attracts your audience and drives them to feel a connection to what you create and share.

  • 73% of marketers plan on creating more engaging content in 2016.
  • 88% of B2B marketers are using content marketing.
  • 64% say they are effective with engaging content.

So, next time you’re trying to attract your audience, be spontaneous with your ideas and see where it takes you.

5. Virtual Reality

We’re about to get a glimpse into a futuristic, fantasy world that no one ever thought would actually pan out. Looking back 5 years, this product seemed so out of reach, but now it’s almost in the palm of our hand.

We’ve already seen virtual reality played out in the automotive, medical, and military industry. However, one product in particular, Oculus Rift, is dated to release sometime in 2016, and our minds will be blown - hopefully not literally. One of the more talked about VR topics is how video games are about to bust out on a whole other dimension. With their latest high-quality graphics and seemingly real life characters, it’s hard to imagine something could even top it.

The Virtual Reality industry continues to grow rapidly, but it’s only a matter of years before another invention tops it. Teleporting, perhaps?

  • VR is said to become $30 billion industry by 2020.
  • Experts are predicting 500 million headsets sold annually by 2025.
  • There will be 28 million paying customers by 2018.

Are you going to take part in a virtual world after discovering this growing technology? Once it hits shelves, the sky’s the limit.

There they are. The latest and greatest 2016 digital trends that are more tech-based than ever. New ideas, inventions, and products are coming to life every day and there’s no end in sight. 

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