2017 will certainly bring in a slew of new changes to marketing strategies across the country. One of the most important factors that affect your decision process for selecting a digital marketing company is that they pay close attention to what’s trending and creating impact. Since digital marketing trends vary from year to year, it’s crucial for marketers to stay vigilant.
Consumers are engaging with new technology at an alarming rate, admittedly faster than most marketers can keep up with. As digital makers, we reviewed the past year and performed some basic research into current global trends to see how they’ll affect our predictions for 2017. While 2016 heralded a seismic change in the mobile landscape, what does 2017 have on tap for digital marketers?
Social Media Increasing Prominence In Marketing Budgets
This may be hard to believe: social media is still in its infancy. Even though your crazy uncle may have been spouting racist epithets for years now, the marketing opportunities provided by social media platforms have still not been fully examined and implemented across the board. A majority of companies are still not attempting to collect data from social media channels.
Inevitably, this gap will close this year as marketers begin to more frequently use Facebook Advertising. According to DMA research, "Social media will grow to 24% of marketing budgets within five years, up from 10% today” (Source). So, if your business hasn't taken the plunge, it may be time to set up and optimize your social media accounts.
This is not to say that you need to go crazy and sign up for every platform, but a well optimized and engaging social media page can take you a long way.
Mobile Will Crush Desktop
Well, not completely, but it’s hard to deny that 2016 was a watershed year for mobile. In fact, information from Smart Insights Mobile Marketing Trends indicates, “over 50 percent of searches are made on mobile devices, not laptops or even tablets.
In addition, 91 percent of Facebook use and Facebook advertising revenue comes from mobile-exclusive marketing” (Source). We have witnessed Google’s soft eradication of all websites not optimized for mobile. With a majority of people thumbing away on hand-held devices, desktop traffic is fading, indicating that smart money rests on mobile-focused digital marketing. Therefore, mobile search and optimization should be a top priority for marketing budgets in 2017.
You may wonder how to tell if your website is mobile friendly. So far, Google is offering two tools which allow you or your employees to test your website to get an idea of how well it performs on mobile devices. You can find the first tool, a Mobile Usability Report, in your Google Webmaster Tools.
The second tool is a Mobile Friendly Test that you can use to see if a specific page URL is mobile optimized. To gain a more in depth understanding of how mobile-friendly your site is, use these tools to assess where your challenges are.
Video Will Kill The Content Star
Written content has remained the industry standard for many companies; however, there has been an increase in video content traffic over the past two years, and now there are numerous services that offer video hosting services. In addition, the use of video content in blogs and social media posts have increased dramatically.
This transition makes sense too, especially considering the transition to mobile searching: video content boasts advantages against written content in that it engages audiences on a deeper level by engaging their sense of sight (a sense that the written word is not adept at provoking).
While video has been immensely popular since 2014, now marketers are starting to turn to different types of video content. Many businesses are implementing live streams in order to get more views and engagement from their target market. With the advent of Periscope and Meercat in 2015, followed by Facebook Live in 2016, it's clear that 2017 is gearing towards a continuation of the live streaming movement.
Your business can use live video streams for marketing in a wide array of ways. For instance, you can provide a behind-the-scenes look at a process or location your audience is interested in. It's also possible to live stream an event, like the grand opening or unveiling of a new product. Live streams are free, making them a cost-effective marketing tactic to try out.
If you realize that video is an important aspect for your 2017 strategy, but you're unsure of how to start, check out our "Tips For Developing Your Websites' Video Content Strategy."
Tying It All Together With Strong Data
As marketing data continues exponential growth, there’s a slew of new technology available to deliver sophisticated data-driven marketing by converging smarter data management and technology execution solutions. In fact, if you plan to incorporate any of the strategies that we discussed earlier on in the post, it’s crucial that you decide how you’re going to track your efforts.
There are numerous tools that can help;HubSpot, for example offers all-in-one marketing and sales software that helps businesses stay organized and well-positioned to deliver their best work possible.