As technology progresses, it is naturally adopted by digital marketers and their clients. Each day will bring more excitement to professionals all over the world as new apps and devices flood the market and raise the standards of what one considers to be good marketing. We predict that there will be five major trends that require special attention from all those interested in digital marketing: live streaming, big data and visualization tools, content and immersive marketing, mobile marketing and paid marketing.
1. Get live and Get Visual
live streaming became a very popular tool used by many public personalities in reaching their followers this last year, which included the first presidential debate to be live streamed. In 2017, this could easily become the norm for brands as well. Although we are still far from ‘The Truman Show’, we are slowly moving in a direction where public figures and brands aren’t afraid to show their customers who they are. The need to be perceived as a transparent brand is on the rise and all live streaming options, from videos to webinars, are welcome in 2017.
2. Content Challenges
Content is still king in 2017, but major adjustments will need to be made given that the attention span of the average internet user continues to shorten. This is why the trend of condensed content will impact all forms of content marketing – every word should count, with most of the information condensed in the very first line or sentence. More than that, to keep the user and the potential customers interested, a new form of content is emerging – immersive marketing. This means content that brings more value to the customer experience and it is highly engaging.
Although 360 videos have been quite popular in 2016, in 2017 they will be used more extensively and new features could also be added, such as augmented reality apps and VR experiences. It could become common practice for consumers to try new products by using your VR technology before making a buying decision.
Finally, user generated content shouldn’t be overlooked, with more potential customers relying on a direct experience that allows them to personally engage with the product and the brand itself before even thinking of buying. It is the time to understand that the customers need to feel involved with the brand and the message, as an active agent instead of a passive target of the persuasive message.
3. Mobile marketing
Most users prefer a smartphone or a tablet to browse the internet, As the data from comScore shows, 80% of social media activity happens on mobile phones and in 2017 over 1/3 of the world population will own a mobile. In these conditions, it becomes a must for businesses to migrate towards mobile friendly content and strategies. This includes mobile videos, mobile friendly emails and, somewhat surprisingly, location-based marketing which seems to have made a huge comeback after a relatively high popularity in 2007 when social media introduced the concept of location-based apps. People want to know what is available to them and how close that is, therefore marketers, especially the ones in the food industry, must pay attention to this need.
4. Paid marketing
Influencer marketing is flourishing and online PR is still an ascendant trend in 2017. Narrowing the markets and addressing customers through highly individualized, almost personalized messages will still prove to be successful strategies. Native advertising will be big as well, with content that is of high quality and emulates the style of the chosen publication. Sponsored content on social media will take new shapes, including non-branded sponsored content. It becomes a new challenge for brands to convince customers to create content that is good enough to become a brand message.
5. Big Data and Visualization Tools
Understanding customer behaviour is vital to creating a good marketing strategy, but understanding trends of behaviour as displayed by huge numbers of customers is the real challenge of 2017. With technology-assisted data analysis, digital marketers can get to a new level of grasping customers’ behaviour and the way they respond to marketing strategies. Big data is growing rapidly and will continue to do so for the next 3 years. It is said to have contributed to the results of the recent US election and marketers will undoubtedly make good use of big data in the years to come.
Finally, we can easily say that 2017 is a milestone in the way digital marketers will do their jobs and this is a great opportunity to feel both excited and anxious. Those who are led by excitement and are ready to embark on the new challenges that come with new technologies and smarter customers will surely be the big winners of the digital industry in 2017.