Here it is now – we are ready to wrap up 2016 and look forward to the coming year. It is a time to count our wins and losses, to celebrate all small victories and to plan for new endeavors and new efforts to take our businesses to the next level in 2017.
There are so many things to talk about at the end of a year, but as always it is better to look forward into the future than to look back into the past. Therefore, we want to make this article about what you should start preparing for in order to maintain your businesses successful, and even grow them into bigger and more outreaching companies.
Given the importance of marketing for all companies, large or small, we believe that it is worthwhile taking a peek at what 2017 will mean for your online campaigns. As you know, there is nothing faster changing than the digital world, and marketing follows the general trend. Some strategies work for a season or for a year. Others are just a passing fad and go away just as quickly as they became popular.
So, what will be the biggest and most impactful digital marketing trends in 2017?
1. Live Video Takes over the Social Media
The past years have seen the rise of video over text and static images as the most popular format for sharing content and creating ads. And video will continue to rule, promoted by the wide availability of smartphones with HD video cameras and fast mobile internet. But the new king of content and marketing is set to be live video.
The first live video sessions, reserved initially for celebrities and other public personalities with verified accounts, made a huge impact. As soon as everyone could go live on Periscope and Facebook, it was apparent that you do not have to be a star to attract followers and engage people in a strong and meaningful way. Therefore, live video will be even more effective than pre-recorded videos in promoting your business.
So, if you are camera shy, take steps to correct that because you need to ace it at live video if you want to get the most out of social media marketing in 2017.
2. Augmented Reality Will Start Playing a Key Role in Marketing
Augmented reality has been around for a while, but it seemed a niche technique reserved for hair stylists, home improvement, plastic surgery and makeup artists’ businesses. Then came the rave of Pokémon Go, which brought augmented reality in front of every person with a smartphone. The game may have lost its initial popularity, but marketers and product managers are already brainstorming to see how they can take advantage of this technology for more targeted and visually appealing promotion of their products.
We will soon see the rise of apps and software allowing even small businesses to use augmented reality for an affordable price, so start getting familiarized with this technology.
3. Search Algorithms Will Keep Changing
Is your SEO on point? Good. Here’s the bad news: it may soon become obsolete. With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest growing as alternative search engines and keyword promoters, Google and Bing (yes, Microsoft’s own search engine is still around and wants to be taken seriously for once) will change the way pages are ranked and search results displayed.
You may want to extend your SEO beyond your website to your social media accounts just to be one step ahead of the game.
4. Native Ads Are the New Winners of the Game
Let us face it: the number of browsers with ad blockers installed on them or which have ad blocking technology incorporated into them (just like pop-up blockers became a default feature years ago) is on the rise. Banner, video and link ads are becoming obsolete and their conversion rate is decreasing as we are speaking. The new way of serving ads to internet users is through native content, which incorporates promotion in a persuasive and non-intrusive manner.
Great ads which create a viable sale funnel are those which tell a story, create emotions and offer arguments in a natural, conversational manner. Soft selling skills will become more important than ever when planning your marketing campaigns.
5. Mobile Will Dominate the Internet World
If 2016 was the year when mobile internet traffic exceeded desktop traffic, this trend will continue even stronger that we’ve witnessed so far. In a worldwide market of affordable smartphones and data plans, even people from remote areas will be able to be connected to the rest of the planet through a simple handheld device capable of so many tasks.
Besides the rise of mobile internet usage, a side trend to keep your eyes on is the rise of wearable smart technology. Keeping in mind the small screens of these devices, it is worthwhile starting to polish your writing skills to come up with short and effective calls to action which can be properly displayed on these devices.