As 2016 draws to end, it’s time to look on to a new year. Take this time to evaluate both successes and failures over the past year, then plan accordingly. 2017 promises to be another year full of exciting changes and new trends for internet marketing. As you finalize your annual marketing plan for next year, take a look at the top eight 2017 online marketing trends.
Increased Focus on the Customer Experience:
Customer expectations are higher than ever and the number of options they have continues to increase. With the rise (and fall) of new trends and technology, the best way to earn long-term customers is through a distinguished customer experience. This approach needs to start from the top and funnel down to every single employee. A customer’s experience is defined by every interaction they have with an organization. Look for ways to personalize interactions and delight the customer.
We’ve reached a point in technology where there’s no shortage of data. However, in 2017 “big data” will turn into “actionable data.” Analytics software made great strides in recent years to help measure SEO and online marketing efforts. Now, even a small company can connect all of their data sources into one dashboard. With this, we expect a much more focused approach in analyzing the data. Dashboards should be created with only the most important and actionable insights. If you can’t glance at your dashboard and get a pulse on the business in five minutes, then it needs to be simplified.
Move from Real-Time Marketing to Right-Time Marketing:
In the past marketers focused on real-time messaging. We leveraged new technology to send messages and reach our audience immediately. No more snail mail. Emails, blogs and social updates posted immediately, but now we see another shift. Rather than real time, focus on right time. This requires a more thoughtful journey. Rely on data from Analytics 2.0, then define the best moment to connect. The goal should be hitting the right person, on the right channel at the right moment.
Even More Imagery:
There should be no surprise here, but content continues to evolve. People read less, but view more. Video became a mainstream marketing tactic in 2016 and we expect to see even more of it in 2017. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram continue to enhance their video capabilities. From Facebook Live to Instagram stories, we’re seeing a defined shift in user behavior. On top of video, focus on moving content from telling to showing. Add infographics and images to your blogs, then share across social networks.
Websites continue to become more visual. Expect to see increased visual navigation, bright colors and “popping images” across sites in 2017.
More Social Selling
Social media dominated 2016 marketing tactics. However, many businesses struggled to see revenue lifts from social media. Expect that to change in the 2017, as social networks increase e-commerce capability. Social efforts should bring value to the business, not just entertainment. Engage, don’t blast. Use audience targeting to reach the right viewer at the right time.
Native advertising is simply an ad experience that follows the natural user experience. Rather than top and side banners, the ads are embedded naturally in the site. Examples include ads in newsfeeds and sponsored content at the bottom of news sites. By 2021, native advertising is expected to make up 74% of display ad revenue. The reason? Native advertising sees nearly 50% more engagement than traditional display. It performs exceptionally well on mobile with a highly engaged audience.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Both AR and VR are expected to be some of the biggest 2017 marketing trends. Augmented Reality layers computer-generated enhancements on to of reality. Pokemon Go launched AR into motion. Since then, AR apps are the hottest trend. From apps to find my car to Google translate, the opportunities are limitless.
In contrast, virtual reality is an artificial, computer-generated simulation, typically using goggles and headphones. The goal is immersion. Big brands took note this year. Marriott created a teleporter. Volvo developed a test drive. Even McDonald’s created a happy meal box ski app.
While currently limited to big(ger) brands, expect to see VR and AR explode in use.
Embracing the Internet of Things
Our clothes, devices and homes now connect to the Internet. This means an enormous shift in product and marketing capability. In the coming year, everything from garage door openers to clothing will connect. On demand services like pizza and groceries will continue to grow. With the change, marketers will also gain enormous access to data. Brands should look for ways for their offering to tap into the IoT.
Need help building out your marketing plan and keeping up with 2017 marketing trends? Webolutions can help! Give us a call at 303-300-2640 or email us!
Webolutions is an award winning marketing agency located in Denver, Colorado and provides web design, application development, search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design and strategic marketing services.