Digital marketing is always going to be a changing industry because the online world is changing rapidly.
It only takes a few months for a once essential resource to be out of favor because a hot new site or tool has popped up that everyone uses instead. Think about how hot networks like Friendster, MySpace and Vine once were.
It’s not just a matter of sites coming and going. It’s also a change in the way people interact online, the software they use, the devices they use, and more.
Staying on top of all these changes is always going to be a challenge. Here are some of the top challenges ahead for digital marketing 2017:
Increased Security Risk
As more information is shared online, there is more incentive for hackers to find ways to get through your security.
We shop online, pay bills, submit applications with private information, order copies of our birth certificates and other important documents, and much more. That’s a treasure trove of data for thieves.
You may already have security for your site, such as a good firewall, HTTPS encryption and maybe even a good antivirus program. But you’ll need more. Work with a good security team to identify the weaknesses for your websites and to create measures to reduce risk.
There are billions of websites in a limited number of niches. How will you make your website stand out amongst the rest?
SEO is just one way to help you rise to the top, but it is not enough. You have to find ways to provide unique and valuable content, you have to have an original voice, and you have to engage people.
Everything has already been done, so there’s no use in trying to reinvent the wheel. You can’t be outrageous or goofy because that bar is already too high. Ditto for shocking or controversial.
Instead, focus on giving your readers what they really need. Provide them solutions to their problems. Talk about the things they care about. Make emotional appeals.
Less Focus on Keywords
In the past, keywords were the bread and butter of SEO.
Find the right keywords and use them the right way and your site could shoot to the top of search results, helping you get more traffic and exposure.
With all of Google’s algorithm changes, keywords have become less important. They are still used, but they are not the focus. Instead, Google crawls your site to get a sense of the overall tone and scope. It’s a topical approach rather than seek and find.
That means that you need to use search phrases rather than keywords and that you need to build content around topics rather than writing a blog post for each keyword you want to target. Make your site a resource for the phrase or question you are targeting and you will see results.
More Ad Blockers
The use of ad blocking software is growing exponentially, and the people who are not using them will soon be in the minority.
That presents a big challenge for marketers, who will have a hard time getting people to even see their ads, let alone to act on them.
Native advertising is emerging as the most effective solution right now, including sponsored blog posts, reviews and mentions. Intent-based native advertising will help marketers get even more results since it improves targeting to ensure that the right customers are seeing the ads.
Increased Ad Costs
The right advertising can help you get the exposure you need, but you’re going to have to pay more for it in 2017.
There is more competition than ever for advertising, and networks like Google and Facebook are pushing up prices across the board. For competitive niches, you’ll have to pay a lot more this year.
Make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth by creating the best ads and placing them on the right networks. Using an automated program like In-feed can take the guesswork out of it and ensure that you get the placement you need for maximum ROI.
Even with smart choices, you’ll still need to put more money toward advertising in 2017. Start looking at your budget now to see where things can be moved.
Digital marketers will always face challenges, but learning about changes and developing new strategies can help you overcome them. The changes expected for 2017 are part of an evolution, so it is important that you think long-term about how your strategies will help you reach your goals.