The online marketing field is a constantly changing and complex industry. Relevance and context are crucial aspects to stay in the game, as marketing constantly adjusts and reacts to changes in technology and attitudes.

Companies and brands need to look beyond the usual channels to stay ahead of the pack, rather than just jump on the bandwagon. So here are a few trends that will change the face of marketing and give you a look at what marketers should be leveraging in 2016.

1. Video ads

Video ads are not new, with YouTube, Facebook and Bing already offering advertisers video ad options. But video advertising will explode in 2016 with the likelihood of Google announcing in-SERP video advertising. This is a sign that users are now more accepting of video ads.

Watch the first 360-degree video ads on Facebook here.

2. Apps

App marketing has been on the rise, and 2016 will be the year when businesses realize the marketing and visibility advantages of a dedicated app. Apps can replace the previous trend of mobile-optimized websites, and apps can do much more for businesses and the mobile crowd of today.

3. Location-based marketing technology

Event professionals and marketers will be able to completely reach their audiences in new and real-time ways, thanks to the rise of location-based marketing technology like RFIDs and iBeacons.

iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters that use Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices that can be housed in retail stores, point of sale displays and merchandising areas.

A radio frequency identification (RFID) is a small electronic device that contains a chip and an antenna, providing a unique identifier for that tag. RFID wristbands, cards and apps enable event attendees to interact in new and engaging ways.

4. Virtual reality

Virtual reality technology, like Oculus Rift, will inevitably have a huge impact on the way marketers engage consumers in 2016. With the ability to literally tell 360-degree stories, companies will be able to engage like never before.

There are many different virtual reality devices set to release in the next few years, some of which are dedicated for specific applications like video games, and others are available for general use. These VR devices will involve an entirely new medium of online advertising with social media integration.

5. Mobile will dominate desktop

With Google recently announcing that mobile search has surpassed desktop search, concentrating on mobile has now become a necessity for businesses. At a minimum, this means a mobile-optimized and responsive website, and may also include custom apps and mobile-targeted campaigns.

6. Search beyond search engines

With Facebook already working on its own search engine, it seems inevitable that search capabilities will go far beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo. As search capabilities improve within social media, brands will get an automatic boost. Advanced search will bring a more integrated social experience that expands to the e-commerce realm.

7. The Internet of Things (IoT)

Wearable technology will see an increasing user adoption rate, which means even more data for marketers to mine, leverage and engage with consumers. The rise of IoT and wearables might mean marketers will be able to target people based on their every move, making it a lot more personalized, real-time and contextualized.

These seven trends will shape the future of the online marketing industry. Companies and brands will have to be more data-driven, be able to leverage real-time marketing and make their marketing efforts more personalized in an effective manner.

Is there any other marketing trend you can think of that will dominate or start off in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.