As we head into 2017, it’s time to look forward and see what the future holds for digital marketing.
The internet is changing constantly, with new developments created every day that change how people live their lives. For marketers, this means there are always exciting opportunities to grab attention and earn your clients’ trust, whether they’re moving home or purchasing groceries online.
Here are the top ten trends in digital marketing to expect over the next twelve months:
10. Video content will become even more important
As internet speeds increase all over the world, video becomes easier to watch and companies start creating longer forms of video content specifically designed for social media platforms – such as Snapchat stories, Instagram videos and Facebook Live videos. Social networks are also shaping up to be increasingly video-focused, with Facebook in particular placing a lot of emphasis on the format.
9. The popularity of livestreaming
We saw this trend really take off during 2016, and it’s likely to stay strong for some time yet. People are naturally drawn to livestreaming platforms because they offer authenticity – you have an unfiltered view into the lives of your favourite celebrities or brands, without any editing or censorship. Not only that, but companies are increasingly taking advantage by hosting events through livestreams to engage audiences around the world at once.
8 . More personalisation online
Brands will continue to put more focus on providing different kinds of content depending on who is viewing it – whether that be using machine learning technology to deliver personalised emails, or simply by using the data they’ve collected to deliver more relevant ads.
7. The rise of chatbots
We saw Facebook Messenger launch its own chatbot store in 2016, and other messaging applications are expected to follow suit. This is still an emerging field, so expect predictions to change as we move through 2017 – but it’s looking likely that bots could soon become a staple part of marketing strategies.
6 . It’s all about the experience
As customer service comes into play more often via social media channels, companies will increasingly try to produce content that creates positive experiences for their customers rather than purely focusing on selling things. If you’re selling ice cream via Facebook Live videos where you interact with your fans and make them feel part of the company, for example, you’re much more likely to tempt them into buying your goods.
5 . Every business will be a tech business
Some companies will fall flat on their faces in 2017 thanks to this emerging trend – but if they get it right it could prove to be very lucrative. The rise of ‘fintech’ (financial technology) shows that even traditional industries can benefit from incorporating some digital services and products – particularly with the likes of mobile payment systems like Apple Pay becoming ubiquitous.
4 . Voice search will become more important
Whether this is through devices like Amazon Echo or smart home speakers, voice-based searches are set to grow in popularity as people look for smarter ways to get through their days. Look out for searches where the user’s intent is to speak to a virtual assistant.
3 . Analytics will become even more important
As companies get savvier with their marketing strategies, they’ll place greater emphasis on using data to improve results and provide detailed reports on customer behaviour. This could even result in some businesses increasing their budgets for analytics tools as they try to harness the power of big data.
2 . Ads are becoming less intrusive online
The rise of adblocking software has forced advertisers to rethink how they reach customers – resulting in an increased focus on ‘native advertising’. This means ads that fit seamlessly into your social media or email feeds, so users don’t feel like they’re being constantly interrupted by popups and banners.
1 . Digital is now mainstream
Perhaps the biggest trend is that digital marketing strategies are no longer perceived as a new phenomenon. They’re not seen as some special tactic that savvy companies use to target younger demographics – they’re increasingly being used by everyone, with more businesses realising that they can’t afford to be left behind.