2016 was an amazing year for online marketing, but the industry never slows down. To help you plan for 2017, we have put together a list of digital marketing trend predictions that we feel will be commonplace in digital marketing throughout 2017.
Without a shadow of doubt, 2016 has seen a greater shift towards mobile more so than previous years and continues to see sustained increases in traction. As a result, there was a big push in 2016 for businesses to ensure that their web pages were optimised for mobile browsing. This mobile friendly attitude was the first step towards being mobile-friendly for users, but that journey isn’t over, it would be foolish to predict that mobile search and mobile optimisation won’t continue to dominate the digital marketing arena throughout 2017.
Mobile Apps: If you do anything mobile related in 2017, then get a mobile app. Small businesses have been slow to build apps for their brands because of the high price point of mobile development. However, there are now a lot of inexpensive, yet effective, options that can allow your company to propel itself into the mobile world of 2017.
Mobile Payment Services: Consumers are increasingly adopting mobile pay services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. They want to be able to pay with a simple tap on their mobile device, whether they are in your store or shopping online. From a marketing standpoint, you not only want to offer this service, but also advertise that it is a viable payment option.
Mobile Only Apps: Many of the top downloaded apps are what are known as mobile only apps, meaning they aren’t available on desktop computers like Facebook and Twitter. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat and others are rapidly growing in popularity. They present exciting and new channels for small and large businesses alike to market themselves on. 2017 will undoubtedly offer more of these mobile-only apps, so keep an eye out.
Email marketing is by no means a new trend, but it makes the list because of the severely misguided viewpoint that it is an “old school” tactic and no longer relevant. The people that make the false claim that email marketing isn’t effective are the ones that aren’t using it correctly. This tactic is all about providing audiences with relevant, valuable and helpful information. It is not designed for jamming sales pitches down consumers’ throats.
Video as a marketing vehicle has really found its feet since the rise of social media, and access to live video feeds is now giving brands the ability to create gritty, documentary-style footage. It is easy to understand why consumers prefer to receive content-based marketing messages over ad-based ones. Advertisements are often interruptive while marketing through content is informational, entertaining and engaging. When you consider that approximately 60% of consumers prefer to watch content, instead of reading it, then the power of video marketing becomes immediately apparent. Video content will continue to build momentum and audiences will be looking for it more in 2017.
It’ll be interesting to see which brands use these in the coming months, and in the meantime, brands big and small should review their ‘image libraries’ and then use them more in their communications
Live Video Streaming
Social media users are beginning to demand more in-the-moment content, giving them a vicarious view into a world (or event) they’d previously been unable to access. Thanks to faster Internet and the ubiquity of mobile devices, live video has become something of a trend on its own, with more and more apps and platforms giving some kind of “live streaming” functionality.
Your business may already have blog content that is regularly published, but how good is that content? Blog content for marketing became a popular means to get noticed on search engines thanks to SEO practices. In this quest to be seen, a lot of organisations became more concerned with their SEO than the actual quality of their content. Now, audiences are starting to take notice that there is a difference between valuable blog content and not so important writing. If your content isn’t informative and exciting to read, people aren’t going to stick around. 2017 is poised to be the year that brands invest in bringing their digital writing to the next level.
Better Social Media Practices
This trend is in the same realm as blogging in that it is something that almost everyone is doing, but very few are doing well. Specifically, they aren’t getting the most out of their social media data. Even if you are creating high-quality content and regularly responding to comments, questions and complaints, you may be missing out on a lot of valuable information.
Some think that social media has ‘been and gone’ while others believe that it is very much still in its infancy from a B2B point of view. Businesses, especially small ones, are now using social media to build communities to communicate with, but there is still so much potential to harness the power of social media platforms.
Social media platforms are a significant contributor to big data because there are a lot of engagements on these services. Customers are practically handing you a road map to running your business more efficiently and providing a better customer experience. Thus, you should be actively listening and collecting social media based data.
Marketing is a field dominated by those with the foresight to plan ahead, anticipate changes, and jump on trends before your competitors do, so take note of these trends to come and prepare for them. You don’t have to use all of them, but you should be aware of their existence if you want to continue being competitive in your industry.
Tools, techniques and trends are changing constantly and business owners might find it hard to keep up. Marketing agencies, like ourselves, exist to help businesses keep on top of these changes and ensure that their marketing budgets are working as well as they can be.