The marketing landscape in the digital realm has evolved significantly over the last few years. With the adoption of new technologies and methods of distributing value to potential customers, digital marketers need to stay on top of the platforms and strategies that will enable them to best connect with their target market. From augmented and virtual reality, an increase in streaming videos, to the rise of wearable technology, there’s definitely a lot to look forward to in 2017.
Understanding how to implement and drive omnichannel marketing will be crucial, where regardless of channel or device, physical store, online website, mobile app, and/or social media, marketers must be mindful that customers can now access information about their products and services on many different formats. The best course of action is to ensure that there is a consistent and complementary consumer experience on each device. Please be sure to read our related Blog post titled “10 Actionable Website Tweaks that Could Drastically Increase Traffic and Sales”. At Webilize (Portfolio and Testimonials) we specialize in building optimized websites that help drive sales revenues www.webilize.com.
And now… here’s the list of our top 10 Marketing Predictions for 2017:
1. Content Marketing Strategies
Content will still remain king. There is an upward trend of companies having content marketing strategies in place, and with this, there will be an increased number of content produced. Although it’s important to have quantity, it is even more important to have quality content that engages. Case studies and white papers will continue to be an important part of lead generation initiatives, however, creating interactive content, such as webinars, quizzes, and, presentations, will be just as important.
After you have segmented your target market, it’s important to make good use of your subscribed email lists by launching effective and targeted email newsletter campaigns. A/B testing and tracking engagement through analytics can help optimize messaging. Drip nurture will continue to be an effective way to stay top of mind for leads that are at the MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) stage that are not quite ready to buy.
Having high quality and unique content that leads to consistent engagement will prove to outshine traditional forms of advertising. And with the influx of professional writers and video producers, content marketing will become that much more competitive. The short 300 to 500 word blogs just won’t cut it anymore, you’ll want to create value with posts with 1500 to 2000 words.
2. Increase in Video Ads
An increase in video ads will be seen in 2017. Facebook video ads and YouTube ads have proven to be and effective means for brands to connect with their target audience. The growth in consumption of video is primarily driven by the increase in smartphone and tablet penetration, and YouTube remains as the top ad-based video platform in the US.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
To stay relevant in the technology sector, companies must innovate, and in recent years, there has been a push for a number of the tech giants to innovate. AR and VR technologies are just scratching the surface of realizing its full potential, and with many new entrants into the marketplace, the competition can help improve user adoption. The success of Pokémon Go in 2016 indicates that users are ready to embrace new technologies. Companies can harness these new technologies to help distribute their content to its target audiences. In recent news, Apple has been looking to integrate AR functionalities within its iPhone’s camera app, and the company is rumored to have interest in the smart glass AR technology. Microsoft has moved into the holograms 3D digital content realm with their HoloLens which has gaze, gesture, and voice capabilities, and their VR headsets competes with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, or HTC Vive.
4 Multiple Platforms and Devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) is here and is omnipresent. There has been a surge in sales made through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and this increase in mobile dominance is expected to continue in 2017. It’s important for companies to create consistent and optimized brand experiences on all channels. Marketers will need to use creative ways to break through the noise and ocean of content. Visual content will also become more important as search engines are getting better at reading and analyzing images.
5. Increase in Live Video Content and Streaming
Video content is nothing new. In 2017, there will be a dramatic increase in live video streaming. Almost all social media platforms now have some form of showcasing video content. First brought to the market by Meerkat and Periscope, live video feeds have exploded since the summer of 2016 – Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Snapchat, now enable marketers to host live tours, product briefings, tutorials, and launch events. In addition, Snapchat has introduced vertical videos, which allows more pleasurable viewing experiences on mobile devices, and helps to improve completion rates of their ad content.
6. Changes in Search Algorithms
Search engine algorithms will continue to play a large role in how content is seen, as we have seen already with Google, Facebook and Twitter. Google has come out with a number of algorithm changes, with ranking signals, to its search engine (Panda and Penguin), that affects the way websites are ranked. In 2017, it will be more important than ever to ensure that your website has a dedicated IP address as well as an SSL Certificate (HTTPS). The dedicated IP address for your hosting server increases your website speed, and provides enhanced performance and security (access to the SSL Certificate). For eCommerce businesses and other online businesses that collect personal information from customers, having an SSL Certificate on your website with a dedicated IP address, will be crucial if you want to rank well on Google’s search engine.
At the core, having an optimized website for loading speed times, mobile responsiveness, strong security, and engaging content, will help your website rank higher. In addition, both on-page and off-page SEO techniques are required to rank well. On-page SEO refers to content marketing, using unique and static URLs, inclusion of relevant keywords in headings and subheadings, the use of clean HTML code, Meta-tags, and 301 Redirects. Off-page SEO include social bookmarking, content marketing, submissions to directories and search engine indexes, and link building and exchange.
7. Increased Personalization and Purpose
To help drive the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, it is important to align your marketing strategy with personalization. Conducting a thorough market research and identifying your target market will be essential to creating content that speaks to your prospective customers and will enable you to differentiate amongst your competitors. There is an increasing trend of companies using influencer marketing. Keep in mind that it’s more important to align with an advocate of your products or services based on relevancy with your target audience, as opposed to only considering the number of their followers – The relationship should benefit both the brand and the influencer.
8. YouTube Audience Engagement Strategies
More so than ever, videos are being watched on multiple devices. There is a significant percentage of the millennial population as well as those in the age bracket of 18 to 34, that prefer to watch content on YouTube. Thus, there will be a continual push for companies to create branded content on YouTube.
9. Increase in Wearable Technology and Smart Devices
With the launch of the second edition of the Apple iWatch paving the way, in 2017, there will be continued entrances of wearable technology and apps, which enable users to stay connected with the digital world. Regardless of what your opinion is on wearable tech, it’s gaining traction, particularly in data tracking in the field of health and fitness.
10. The Rise of the Messaging Apps
Consumers now have access to a wide array of messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat. All of these platforms enable users to communicate with their contacts anywhere in the world. Most consumers would balk at the sight of seeing ads on their mobile messengers, as such, chatbots, or artificial intelligence robots are becoming a popular alternative to advertise. Chatbots are available on Facebook, and allow companies to create more personalized experiences with customers. Also, Facebook Messenger now accepts payments directly in the chat without having to send users to an external website.
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