Digital Marketing Trends that Steal the Show in 2017
By Dan Radak
Under the influence of the roaring digital revolution, the realm of marketing changes at a rapid pace. Trends come and go, but there are also those that shift the marketing landscape forever. There is no surefire way to tell the future, yet we can spot emerging trends and take a look behind the curtain. So, here are some trends to keep an eye on in 2017.
Video marketing is already huge, but live platforms will take its effectiveness to new heights. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter (via Periscope) have launched their live video features and begun promoting their own video content. We will also probably see product placements and sponsorships as integral parts of influencer videos.
You may say that this type of marketing is old news and you would be right. However, what is new is its increased traction that has emerged as a reaction to diminishing penetration of the ads and proliferation of obstacles like ad blockers. Hence, native advertising is on the roll in 2017 as many companies now seek to find a suitable home for their branded content.
Big data has brought forth a set of incredible opportunities and strategies for marketers. Most notably, they are now in a position to tailor-make and personalize the customer experience. Paragons like Amazon, Netflix and Shopify are ahead of the pack and show how effective customer lifecycle marketing is done. Many other brands are expected to step up and come up with innovative campaigns.
The rise of the mobile platforms has changed the game. Mobile searches have surpassed desktop ones and Google has announced mobile-first web indexing. The responsive web design has taken off in practice and enabled many SEO benefits. Cross-channel optimization has become a necessity and an impeccable brand experience - the only way to get more traffic, leads and revenue.
The cutting-edge smart technology has introduced an audio component to the mix. Google Home and Amazon Echo clash on an exciting frontier of the future, where the appeal of type-and-read commands and searches wanes. In fact, they might be forced to take a backseat and make way for hands-free search. Marketers will have to react quickly, employ early analytics and tackle voice-fueled search results.
Content is king in the world of digital marketing. It is also becoming increasingly interactive and users seem to adore it. Namely, this type of content spurs more engagement, which is crucial for building brand affinity. Interactivity facilitates a transition towards web 2.0 and 3.0 content, meaning that trends like social gamification and interactive infographics will grow in importance.
As AI technology makes strides, the marketing world adapts. New chatbots go beyond limited functionality and robotic rigidness of the past: They are able to read and interpret messages as well as offer appropriate responses. This is a great, affordable way to ensure customer service around the clock. Still, robots will not yet replace human representations because they lack empathy.
One of the most interesting trends on the digital horizon is the expiring social content. Snapchat has broken new ground with this tactic back in 2012, but only now, such content is the limelight. This turns the idea of content being ever-present on its head. Namely, the short-lived nature of expiring content generates a one-of-a-kind experience, something consumers utterly crave for.
On top of the game
Digital marketing trends give rise both to challenges and opportunities. It is up to marketers to navigate the restless online waters and make the currents work to their advantage. We are moving away from the stale online landscape where static images and aggressive ads rule. Conversion comes through interaction and conversation. It has never been more important to soak in data and stay on top of prominent trends.