As the end of the year approaches, it is time to look back on the year in marketing and analyze the trends we should expect to see in the coming new year. This helps you, as a marketer or business owner, be prepared for and to properly plan out your marketing for 2017. Here are 10 of the marketing trends to watch for 2017.
- Content marketing getting better
One of the trends that will carry over from 2016 is that marketers are getting better at content marketing. By better, we mean they are having more success with content marketing campaigns. A MarketingProfs report shows that 62% of B2B content marketers are “much more” or “somewhat more” successful with their content marketing than they were last year. The same goes for B2C marketers as well. For the same survey last year, the reported success rates were at just 30%. Of course, this is a good thing because content is so important. However, it does mean being prepared to allocate more budget to content marketing.
- Mobile, mobile, mobile
We know, you’ve been hearing about mobile for quite a few years. It may sound like a broken record, but that’s only because it is so important. Mobile devices are the source of more traffic on the internet than desktops. The other thing to think about when planning your mobile marketing strategy is that you must consider your mobile target audience as if they were moving targets. You, as a marketer, have unique insight to so much of your customers’ lives and activities thanks to mobile data and permissioned data. You know that your target audience’s’ needs change throughout the day and thanks to all that mobile data, you can customize your marketing to target your audience where they are and accordingly for what they are doing.
- Visual content
Visuals are so important to all of your marketing efforts, not just social media. Visuals can help with your branding, help you stand out, get recognized, and be remembered. If you haven’t embraced visuals yet, it’s never too late to start incorporating them into your plan for 2017. How can you get started? Hire a photographer to take photos of your company and your products. Make sure a good portion of the photos are timeless so that you can continue to use them for different advertising and promotional campaigns. If you don’t have a design team on hand, look into some design apps that take the work out of photo editing and make some creative and catchy photos.
- Video content
Of course, video content could fall under the visual content category we just mentioned above, but it deserves its own bullet point. Static images are not enough. Video has become so important. Video literally reaches out and grabs your audience’s attention. It doesn’t give viewers a choice, it just begins. Try both funny and emotional videos to really connect.
- Marketing to customers in-store
Chances are you’ve done it yourself. Have you been shopping lately when you do a price check with competitors while you are in a store? The only way to compete with this is to market to your customers while they are in your stores.
- Native advertising
Expect to see an upswing in native advertising in 2017. The formats are getting better and more improved. If you shied away from native advertising, you might feel more comfortable with trying it if it is right for your brand. More major publishers are likely to start offering this method of advertising in 2017.
- Chatbots and AI gaining in popularity
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that third parties would be able to access the Facebook Messenger platform. As a result chatbots have grown quickly in popularity. Using chatbots is a slippery slope, but can definitely help increase the speed of engagement and allows for real-time engagement.
- Influencers increasingly important
Influencers have been becoming increasingly important tools for marketers to use. It is the best form of user-generated content. The public is quick to believe what others have to say about your product. When those “others” have a huge audience full of believers, your message reach grows exponentially and in a positive direction.
- Organic traffic is on the decline
After spending the time and effort to develop the best content, it can often be lost and never seen when you post it across social channels expecting organic content to go viral. Now that Facebook and Instagram do not post content chronologically, most users will only see the most popular posts. How do you get those posts to be popular in the first place? It likely isn’t going to happen organically. As a result, plan for 2017 to start paying for your “viral” content.
- Live and vicarious experiences will increase
If you haven’t noticed the popularity of streaming video content, then you haven’t been paying attention. In 2016, Facebook Live introduced a whole new novice audience to live-streaming video. Facebook made it so accessible to the public, that now consumers will be more open to see live-streaming advertising on different platforms. Live streaming is beginning a new trend in vicarious experiences and will cross over into other immersive experience types of content like 360 degree video and augmented reality.
- Social analytics
Social analytics will become increasingly important, just as important as other analytics you use in your marketing analyses. Social listening and collecting social data will help you through 2017. Be sure to follow this trend and look into tools that will help you process all of the valuable social analytics information that is out there, waiting to be mined.