There are many ways it is said you can tell the future such as reading Tarot cards or Nostradamus books, looking at tea leaves or coffee stains, using your sixth sense, fortune cookies, crystal balls or precognitive dreaming. Well, none of these methods were used in order to research the following marketing trends for 2017. Alternatively, we at Seltek Consulting have taken a year’s worth of accumulated marketing knowledge, which we took notes to everyday’s developments that took place and that seemed to be gaining friction, and extrapolated some predictions for 2017.
Some of the following information may not be “scientific enough for you” as they are less backed up with numerical explanation. However, they are still backed up by historical events as they are based on previous year’s data – and no, by historical I don’t mean that we used a Delorean going at 88mph to gather this information. At the end of the day, if you’re not paying attention to what has worked (or hasn’t worked) over the past 12 months, giving a good hard day-to-day good look at the past year’s performance, how are you going to know what to adjust in the months to come?
Looking and planning ahead at 2017, here are 17 trends you should be paying attention to:
When you look at content there are two varieties, content you can read and content you can interact with. The second category tends to be more popular. Let’s take BuzzFeed’s quizzes for example, this is a fantastic way to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests and more.
When was the last time you have looked at your Facebook feed? Chances are that 95% of it is video. I know I told you at the beginning of the article that there won’t be much of numerical explanation, but here is a fun stat: mobile video views grew six times faster in 2016 in comparison to 2015. Facebook has conveyed users by embracing video, and is seems to be ongoing. Twitter are banking on broadcasting NFL games to boost their revenue. It seems we can’t get enough of video, so expect the powers that be to serve up even more.
The kinks and perks of live streaming broadcast are still in the works in regards of its technology, yet it’s clear that live streaming broadcast will continue to push its boundaries. Instagram’s live streaming broadcast aka the Stories feature was a big step in this direction which means we are going to see a lot more live broadcasts in 2017. Additionally, both Facebook and YouTube have introduced 360° video, and some brands have already begun experimenting with the format for an interesting and innovative experience. Take a look at this 360-degree promo for Star Wars: Rogue One, or this effort from GoPro.
What do you think is the best about Snapchat? What gives it the appeal is the fact that the content disappears. This feature is the most compelling allure for Generation Z (those born between 1995-2009), which are most famous for having an eight-second attention span. Knowing this, and that there are approx. 2 Billion of them on the globe (26.7% of world’s population), is why you should be integrating short-lived content into your content strategy. Snapchat’s unchecked rise in popularity did more than being just another social media platform, they knew how to get to new target audience with an value of disappearing or short-lived content.
On of the biggest highlights during 2016 for us was without a doubt watching a screen-afflicted community if populace walking around the streets or just standing still in odd places with their mobile devices catching Pokémon. The most substantial takeaway from this experience was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results. Markets took this seriously viable opportunity to bring the “online” into “reality”. As this progress will be gradually slower than what most of want it to be, this is still a fantastic trend that’s been on many a list. In my honest opinion, I do believe its use will increase, but it is unlikely to develop beyond a niche market in 2017.
In the meanwhile, following on from the success of Pokémon Go, Pepsi developed an augmented reality ad that we can all enjoy.
We all know that mobile is the future. Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. You will definitely miss out immense opportunities if you are not catering your content, ads and online experience for mobile users. You have to remember a simple fact: It is not just about “optimizing” for mobile users; it’s about ensuring that your content merges with the mobile user’s lifestyle on the go. Moreover, 2016 gave us two important indicators for the facts I stated, Google announcing a mobile-first web index, and the fact that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop for internet usage.
Personalization means segmenting your content to reach different types of audience members based on their preferences, habits, etc. You can do this by creating lists in which certain content gets sent to certain types of users based on which lists they’ve opted into. Marketing automation, which has been getting more sophisticated as of late, makes this a breeze. With tons of content being published daily, personalization might be the right strategy for you to cut through all the noise and deliver exactly what your customers are looking for.
I know, I know, when chatbots come to mind, you might think of the annoying pop-ups that look like a windows 95 chat. Don’t worry, the chatbot technology has become much more sophisticated since those days in the mid 90’s. A more enlightened example is the colossal Facebook, which allocates a substantial amount of resources into bot programs that eventually we see them as news updates, personalized responses and more.
Did you ever hear about the Turing test? You probably saw the film “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch (if you didn’t, go watch it now, it’s amazing). Well, long story short, if you can’t tell if you are speaking to a human or a bot, then the bot is working as intended. Making your software reach those levels of sophistication and passing the Turing test will most definitely be a trend in 2017, but don’t expect to be talking to Scarlett Johansson in Her anytime soon.
As followers, viewers, consumers, clients and customers are becoming wiser and more immune to advertiser’s mind games, it’s getting harder to maintain a brand’s targeted audiences attention and earn their trust. Native advertising means integrating your advertising efforts into content that already provides value to readers and viewers. For these reasons, it tends to be more effective. A known fact is that both Google and Facebook solidified their control on the digital advertising game by controlling 76% of internet advertising growth. In 2016, Google and Facebook claimed 64% of advertising revenue, with Google generating $30 billion and Facebook generating $8 billion. Going into 2017, expect Google and Facebook sales to continue to grow, especially for mobile.
As a brand and a business, look for ways to weave your products and offerings into a larger narrative, instead of just blasting people with ads and you will receive better results and a bigger piece of the behemoth internet advertising pie.
Automation is becoming extremely powerful and popular among marketers and businesses who are looking to scale and expand past trading hours. Modern marketers are inundated with content about marketing automation tools that can help them generate pipeline and increase revenue. Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua, and many other platforms have become more intuitive and affordable, automation will become more common.
One of the most effective ways to extend your brand’s story is to give it a feel-good element. Brands that partner with nonprofits organizations, charities, or set up internal programs that gives back to their customers, clients or to the community in some way, have a much stronger presence because their story resonates with the hearts of consumers.
Big data has been around for a few years now, but getting the most out of all this data is still a challenge to many. Ovum, a market research firm estimates and predicts that the big data market will increase from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion by 2020. As businesses mature and put new structures and roles in place, big data will begin to become increasingly useful and utilized.
Big data is becoming increasingly widely used. It is said to have played a large part in the outcome of the US election. Cambridge Analytica harnessed big data for a variety of uses. Their analysis helped the Trump team know where to focus fundraising efforts, target ‘persuadables’, and increase spend. The data was even used to deliver 4,000 individual digital ads. This messaging was continually tested and refined using polling and the firm’s data.
Cutting to the chase, there are two types of marketers: those who want to use what’s popular and those who use what works, regardless of whether it’s popular or not. Data tells you what’s really moving the needle, and the truth is that every marketer needs to be conscious of it. If you aren’t fluent in Facebook ads and conversion ratios, for example, then you’re missing a crucial part of every marketer’s essential toolbox. Take a moment to reflect on your strangest and weaknesses and make improvements upon this information for your 2017 strategies.
What’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? Think about a lovable social media personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans, followers and viewers. The main reason that influencer marketing is something you should consider is because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. Once you find the right influencers for your product, they will establish the credibility you seek through each social media post or advertisement. Influencers work with brands because they genuinely believe in them, and that trust is passed on to consumers.
As we ride in the future, we are moving into an age where purchasing doesn’t need to happen on a third-party site. Additionally, your targeted audience is on at least one of the leading social media platforms, so why should they have to leave to a different website in order to buy something? “Buy” buttons already exist on many social platforms, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube, but they’re rarely used, likely due to a lack of awareness among online shoppers. This could change in 2017, as more platforms have been testing out the buttons and trying to get shoppers to become more familiar with them. But as retailers increase their confidence in the “Buy” buttons and add more product availability, their customers should find it easier to use this tool for online shopping, making 2017 the year this tool finally finds success.
How many times you noticed that you website or social media accounts are attracting “dark” traffic? We all know that the hardest part about tracking traffic, conversions and shares is that you are not always sure what the sources are. With the rise of encrypted and private messaging apps (where people still share lots of content with each other), you may want to invest in tools, such as Google Analytics and GetSocial.io, that can measure, to some degree, where this “dark” traffic is coming from.
Should your toaster talk to you? How about a vacuum cleaner that informs you when you should clean the house, and then gives you the option to place a call for a butler maybe? Everyday objects are beginning to connect to the internet, and this trend is going to open doors for brands and marketers to integrate with the everyday lives of consumers. Watch this trend closely, because it’s going to boom!
Brands tend to use viewability to measure success. While it’s important to ensure that a brand’s video campaign attracts eyes, viewability is table stakes and doesn’t necessarily move the needle. It’s time for brands to move away from media-based outcomes, such as views or clicks, and shift towards tangible business objectives such as sign-ups, downloads, and purchases. Instead, companies should measure their ROI’s on things such as sign-ups, downloads and purchases. This requires going beyond CPM’s and looking at the performance-based metrics instead.
As most of the aren’t new, they do, however, reflect massive growth and a transformation to a more sophisticated and focused online advertising marketplace. Brands would be wise to stay abreast of these trends in 2017, as it will be an exciting and action-packed year.
We hope you found these trends helpful. Stay tuned for more marketing insights and check out our related post: Obsolete Digital Marketing Trends in 2017.