Digital marketing strategies and practices continue to evolve as new marketing technologies continue to evolve. In 2016, we witnessed a growing variety of technologies and strategies, and the list continues to grow. Here are the trends that we see increasing for 2017:
1. Content Marketing
Content will once again emerge as one of the biggest marketing trends in 2017. Marketers will continue to emphasize the need to create engaging content for targeted audiences, with a focus on personalized content for individual prospects and customers. And among all types of content, it will be visual content that will create greatest impact on the audience. Therefore, we expect that marketers will be busy creating rich visual content, images with textual messages, live video streaming, and infographic among others.
Video and visual content are are exceptional at grabbing attention and engaging audiences — they are more memorable and actionable than text-based messages. Among these visual forms of content, the hottest trends include live video streaming through social networking channels. With the launch of the Facebook Live tool, marketers have gained access to significant new broadcasting capabilities. Combined with Facebook’s targeted advertising capabilities, we think this type of video can be unparalleled for spreading awareness and demonstrating the effectiveness of the video content.
2. Mobile First
In 2016, retailers and marketers experienced a surge of mobile commerce, as nearly 60% of digital retail traffic was reported from mobile devices. Mobile platforms will continue to dominate in 2017, with massive visits expected from mobile shoppers. Moreover, Google started speeding up the pages of mobile websites with its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and focusing on mobile SEO to boost mobile-based retail outlets. To augment sales and conversion from mobile platforms, marketers need to deal with some of its challenges such as interruptions by phone calls, transport tracking, loss of connectivity at some places, notifications from communications apps, and the like. Some of these things may lead to cart abandonment and the loss of sales despite users’ interest in the products they’re investigating. In order to overcome these challenges and increase sales, marketers should include these in their mobile platform:
Pop-up notification of additional perks such as free shipping or additional discounts
Designs that allows users to access their cart from anywhere to complete the purchase
Mobile-optimization navigation menus to give easy, one-tap navigation to main sections that lead to a purchase or shopping cart.
3. Account-based marketing
With Marketo launching its latest account-based marketing lineup tied to its marketing automation platform, and seeing the steady rise in adoption in 2016, the odds of increased spending on ABM in the upcoming year cannot be ruled out. Recent studies have concluded that more B2B businesses are relying on and will be investing in account-based marketing technologies and campaigns. According to research by SiriusDecisions, about 27% of marketers were spending about 11 to 30 percent of their total marketing budgets on account-based marketing approaches and technologies, a notable increase of 19% from ABM spending in 2015. This increasing rate of reliance and budget allocation for ABM is estimated to increase further in 2017.
4. Marketing automation
Marketing automation consists of multiple marketing practices such as email marketing, drip marketing, landing pages, webinars, CRM, and personalization. Improvements in technologies nd best practices in all of these areas will continue to sustain its impact in 2017. Nevertheless, more than a few marketers and businesses are still lagging behind full-fledged adoption of the software. According to a research by Smart Insights, 28 percent have yet to use many features of their marketing automation platforms, while 18 percent report using core features of such software. As users work to use more features and gain a better understanding of marketing automation software, and in the process achieve better results, we believe that in 2017, use of this marketing technology will continue to rise steadily, with further addition of new features and functionalities to these platforms.
5. Internet of Things & Big Data
With more brands debuting, and a growing interest in wearable and connected devices, the use of these devices is expanding from professional to residential purposes, from improving health and wellbeing to socializing and everything in between. With networks are expanding and forming networks of networks, behavioral data can be more accessible and more specific to products. Thus, Internet of things or IoT-based marketing applications will take in significant shares of marketing trends in 2017 and will continue to rank higher in marketing priorities. Connected devices are estimated to grow at a staggering rate, to as much as 75 billion by the year of 2020, tenfold increase. Since these smart devices that can share data with each other, making wide range of customers data (Big Data) available to companies, this increased usage will enable marketers to rely on Big Data to improve personalization and to offer better personalized solutions to targeted customers.
6. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is predicted to grow and to be used as a platform for customer service delivery as well as a social CRM platform to improve reach and engagement with targeted customers. According to a research finding by Smart Insights, three-fourths of Facebook users and half of Instagram users use these apps and sites on a regular basis. Among all major social networking channels, nearly 76% of Facebook users use the site daily. As well, 51% of Instagram users are regulars there, 42% of Twitter users, 25% of Pinterest and 18% of LinkedIn users are reported as daily recurring users of those social media channels. Along with Facebook, Instagram also enables businesses to conduct paid promotional campaigns to monetize their social media campaigns. Additionally, the emergence of new channels such as Snapchat will promise enormous new opportunities for ‘in-the-moment’ content promotion. The advent of rich visual content such as, 360 degree pictures and videos, and live video streaming will allow marketers to generate interest in products and solutions in real-time. Marketers are also projected to tap the potential of using social channels as means of providing customer service, enabling brand advocacy and adding increased opportunities for exchanges between customers and brands. More inspirational and artistic types of visual posts by brands will emerge to offer zero promotional feel as opposed to advertising content in order to establish better connection with the audience.
Those are the six top trends, but that’s not all! There are many other marketing technologies and trends which will swell significantly in 2017 – these could possibly include paid search marketing, employee advocacy, multichannel campaigns, affiliate marketing, banners and other display advertising, and online PR among others. Which marketing technologies are you planning to heavily rely upon and use your marketing budget in? Share your marketing strategies for 2017 below – we love to hear and share your valuable insights with others.