Digital marketing found new highs in 2016. However, no longer are the search engines and email campaigns the only focus for driving traffic and increasing demand. Though they still have an important role, predictions for 2017 will see marketers branching out digitally in ever more exciting ways to engage their audience.
In festive celebration, we’ve compiled a (cut down) list of the trends we think you should be considering for inclusion in your marketing plans next year.
- Social media analytics – Email and websites still have their place, but social media platforms are undoubtedly now the mainstay of going viral. Visual content catches the eye. Textual content catches the search engines. So you have to work them both. Analyse your audience through grasping what the big data is telling you, and you’ll leap ahead of your competition.
- Video – Research has shown there is a proven ROI on including video within your marketing strategy, but that’s not all video’s about. Video is now becoming an important method of raising brand awareness and improving customer loyalty too. Bottom line, it facilitates engagement. Use it or lose it.
- Live video streaming – One step further. The of-the-minute nature of live streaming has a strong magnetic pull for users. With both devices and connectivity ready to embrace live streaming fully, 2017 is likely to see it take to the fore.
- Mobile – Mobile has, without doubt, overtaken desktops. There’s no point in burying your head in the sand. You have to cater for it with gusto. What does this mean? It means you need to regularly check how your content and calls-to-action are displaying on as many mobile browsers as possible. You need to make sure links work and that all downloads can actually be downloaded. It’s a grind that has be ground if you want to at least keep up with, if not overtake, your competitors.
- Cross device marketing – Following on from the above point, according to reports the average consumer now accesses five different devices on a regular basis. This is, of course, a double edged sword for it makes both targeting and duplication an issue. Those who crack this nut, however, will benefit.
- B2B content marketing – Content is king. But it has to be good content, and you need to promote it. Gone are the days when rehashed blogs are going to cut it with either your audience or the search engines. Well-constructed calls-to-action will drive demand for your products and services as long as you pitch the frequency of publishing new content right. Do your research and plan well and you’ll reap rewards.
- Personalised content marketing – Content, whether it’s on a website, an email, or in a social media post, needs to speak directly to the reader. It has to address their needs. Targeted and personalised messaging that’s been informed through big data analysis and social media analytics will make or break your campaigns.
- User generated content – In this time of post-truth, marketers need to accept that people often trust content produced by their friends more than they trust a brand. And ‘trust’ is the foundation stone to all of this, isn’t it? So what’s to be done? Create content that users want to share, review, and comment on. Appeal to your audience’s desire to shine brightest amongst their own kind. Give them content that enables them to do that… and your word will spread without you lifting a finger.
- Artificial intelligence – Admittedly, this may seem like something only the likes of Google and Facebook can access. However, that’s not necessarily so. AI is about saving time. It’s about having systems working in the background to free you from time-gobbling activities. AI that can ‘learn’ and update its algorithm will only ever improve itself, so the theory goes. And those big boys we refer to above know it’s in their favour to make that technology available to us smaller fry. We just have to be prepared to embrace it.
- Augmented reality (AR) – Pokemon Go took everyone by surprise. Was it a one off? Many don’t think so, and this is because it showed marketers that not only are users ready for AR, but that it can draw in high earnings in a short period of time too. What will be the next AR storm? That’s anyone’s guess. But if you want to tread the cutting edge we’d say that AR is a strong candidate for helping you achieve this.
If you’d like to find out more about what’s coming your way in 2017 give us a ring. We’d be delighted to take you through the multitude of opportunities that are opening up.