Not sure where the year’s gone, but suddenly we’re about a week away from 2017.2016 in general has been a real roller coaster of a year - especially for the world of digital marketing. Where just a few years ago nobody knew much about online marketing, now it’s gaining momentum and bringing change and rapid growth to the marketing scene.
More and more companies are starting to realize the benefits of this marketing method and the success it brings. As such, we’ve seen many organizations making the move from traditional to digital marketing this year, and the prediction is that many more will follow suit in 2017.
Digital marketing has really helped increase profitability, lower advertising costs, and allows companies to reach out to wider audiences. Any businesses that still rely on traditional marketing methods such as print and broadcasting (radio and television) are greatly missing out on new opportunities to reach and engage with customers, especially in this age of social media.
What digital marketing trends dominated most of 2016?
(Image credit: Robert Allen of Smart Insights)
- Content marketing is still king, and will continue to dominate even next year.
- Mobile marketing has grown exponentially, as mobile traffic now far exceeds desktop traffic
- Social media marketing has changed and grown more popular, and platforms like Facebook and Pinterest now offer options like “Buy Now” buttons for marketers
- Digital marketers need to work hard to stay current and adapt, as the consumer buying process has become much more complicated. To cut through the “noise” and get their customers’ attention, it’s become more important to understand and engage with their audience
- Content marketers are coming up with more interactive content (Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope) as a more effective way to connect with their target audiences
Fun Fact: Content marketing is one of the topics we cover in our awesome digital marketing bootcamp.
So what digital marketing trends are expected to become more important in 2017?
Digital marketing changes rapidly as new technology and updates happen in the blink of an eye. Every year, the scene expands as more companies enter the marketing space online, and in 2017 we’re expecting a complete makeover of how users and search engine giants give preference to the huge amount of data that’s available on the Internet.
Well, here are 6 of the most reliable trends that we can expect to see in 2017:
1. Video advertising will rise above other advertising methods
Yes, content marketing will still be king. But of all the different types of content online, video advertising is currently in the lead.
(Image credit: Positionly)
YouTube receives millions of hits from viewers around the world each day, and Facebook has reported that it has an average of 1.71 billion monthly active viewers. With the introduction of Facebook Live (allowing users to stream live videos on their Facebook accounts), the number of Facebook video posts has increased by 94%.
The numbers prove one thing: Online users love watching videos.
Also, multiple studies have proven that video has higher engagement rates compared to other types of content.
So if you’re wondering how to best present information to your target audience, you’ll definitely want to consider using videos. Create video content that’s engaging, entertaining, and which provides your viewers with value.
2. Mobile > Desktop
In 2016, there was a huge increase of mobile traffic as compared to desktop traffic, and by next year it’s predicted that mobile usage will completely dominate desktop usage by a large margin.
Did you know: This year, the amount of smartphone users has increased to an estimated 2 billion people worldwide - and counting.
As the number of mobile users increases, it means that websites now need to be optimized for both mobile and desktop viewing. To make sure that Internet users get the best experience with sites they visit, Google has been slowly phasing out websites that aren’t optimized for mobile.
We’ve also started seeing a marked increase in mobile-focused marketing this year, as companies discovered that most of their audience are hanging out online.
So for 2017, it would be recommended for you to focus on making sure your website is optimized for both mobile and desktop viewing to provide a good user experience regardless of what device they are using. Also, feel free to invest a little more of your advertising budget into mobile marketing/advertising.
3. In-the-moment social content will rise in popularity
By nature, social media is ‘in-the-moment’, and users are eager to share what they’re doing at any particular moment of their lives. However, “in-the-moment” content refers mostly to live streaming content, which has ballooned in popularity over the past year.
Periscope, Snapchat, Twitch, Instagram and Facebook Live are a few of the currently-existing platforms which allow users to stream live videos. YouTube has also jumped on the bandwagon with YouTube Live, and making video results more likely to show up in Google search results when people search for specific keywords.
While there’s still a time and place for scheduled, posted content, more and more users seem to prefer live content. This kind of content encourages interaction between streamers and their viewers, and allows for greater engagement and communication.
So for 2017, if you haven’t already begun incorporating live video into your content marketing strategy for the year, it’s recommended that you begin planning now. Find a way to creatively utilize ‘in-the-moment’ content and really make the most of the opportunities for increased engagement.
4. The emergence of wearable tech and smart devices
There’s the Apple Watch and Fitbit, Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens.
Wearable tech are devices that are intended to connect with your smartphone or mobile device to allow users to track things like health details, or allow interaction with the Internet of Things.
For example, Pokemon Go has the Pokemon Go Plus, a wearable device that allows players to connect with the game on their mobile phone and play without needing to look at their phone screens.
These wearable smart devices are expected to become more popular and gain traction with mobile users in 2017.
Fun Fact: Wearable tech has already proven to increase productivity in the workplace by as much as 8.5%.
As more of these devices are released, they will definitely change the landscape of digital, blurring the difference between “online” and “real” marketing.
You’ll want to be ready to take advantage of this for your business. Target your audience by giving them solutions to their problems through your innovations, and find a way to integrate your products or services into apps and technologies for your consumers.
5. Content marketing will become more concise
As time goes by, the attention spans of online consumers keeps going down. This trend isn’t expected to change anytime soon as we head into 2017.
Where once it was recommended to keep video content to an average length of about 5 minutes, now it’s recommended not to exceed 3 minutes if you don’t want to lose your audience halfway through - unless you have really, really engaging content.
With more business and companies on social media, there’s just too much clutter in our online spaces and users have learned to skim, scan or skip altogether as they go through all the content that is being thrown their way.
As a result, if you really want your content to stand out, you need to keep everything short, sweet and concise.
Learn to convey your marketing message in fewer lines and shorter content.
Don’t fluff about - get straight to the point. Every line and word counts - and if you take too long to say something, chances are your audience will lose interest before they get to the important parts.
6. Influencer marketing will really take off
Influencer marketing has been around for some time, but it’s expected that 2017 will be the year where it will really mature and take off.
In a recent survey, 84% of marketers said that they plan to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months.
We’re already seeing a lot of brands partnering with platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Companies are seeking to sponsor big online personalities, getting them to demo or feature their products or services.
It’s a win-win situation for all: Brands get a free product review from an influential person, and the influencer gets to make free content and provide value for their followers.
So yeah, definitely add this to your marketing mix for next year if you can.
In general, the digital marketing landscape changes very quickly and very often, so if you’re planning to begin incorporating the above strategies into your marketing plan, it’s best to jump on the bandwagon as soon as you can.
This way, you’ll be ready to beat your competition and reap the rewards.Here are the 6 trends that are expected to get big in 2017:
- Video advertising - video is expected to rise above all other advertising methods
- Mobile marketing/advertising - mobile usage will continue to dominate desktop, and the number of smartphone users worldwide continues to grow each year
- Live video streaming - there is increased demand for ‘in-the-moment', interactive content. Most users like live video streams where they can communicate directly with others and the streamer.
- Wearable tech - more wearable devices will be released, and digital marketing will change to incorporate their use
- Content marketing - the need to keep content simple and concise, and convey marketing messages in fewer words in order to keep your audience’s attention
- Influencer marketing - there will be more influencer campaigns and partnerships between online personalities and big brands.
Let us know what strategies and and tips you’ll be implementing for 2017 in the comments below!