It’s that time of year to plan ahead. But in an ever-changing digital world, how do you stay ahead and stand out? Digital marketers are continually researching the best, most innovative ways to reach customers on a digital basis. In fact, EMarketer, a digital research and data company, even predicts that social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion by 2017. It’s important to stay informed on what could be happening in the near future. We’ve done the research and complied four marketing predictions for the new year.
- Collect Data With a Purpose
2016 was the year that showed us we need to pay closer attention to our data. We figured out the importance of understanding our social media, blogs, organic search engine optimization results, and how it impacted our website and most importantly how we earned new accounts. From here, we’re able to see which posts and/or blogs outperformed others. Effectively measuring analytics in 2017 will only become more important. Likes and shares will slowly become meaningless but measuring brand affinity, recall, and conversion will be the results that brands start focusing on in 2017. Knowing how to collect, analyze, and interpret this data will help you identify key performance indicators, which will set you apart from the competition and expand your business. There are a number of opportunities with regard to how businesses can set themselves apart but only if you are brave enough to embrace the data.
2. Video Killed the Radio Star
It’s no secret that live video was King in 2016 and will continue to grow in 2017. Facebook started live streaming capabilities this past summer and ever since, it has become extremely popular amongst everyday users and companies. More recently, Instagram launched live video capabilities as part of it’s “Stories” feature. Marketers agree that creating and sharing videos brings the highest return on investment and Simply Measured, a marketing analytics blog, estimates that nearly 74% of social media traffic in 2017 will be video. Social video platforms like Facebook are riding the tide and optimizing feeds to improve the viewing experience. Having more videos also improves search engine optimization, as Google favors them in search results. In addition to live video, users are craving a more vicarious experience- such as 360 images and video. The idea is to make followers and the user feel like they’re a genuine part of the experience.
Along with social media, Apple’s new update to the iPhone has the capability to allow a library of GIF’s to be sent to friends, which is cause for humorous and realistic responses. Better video content and more of it will be seen across the digital marketing sphere. Visual content on specific social media such as GIF’s and videos will become trendier in 2017 and beyond.
3. Mobile Mobile Mobile
With a mobile device in everyone’s hands, social media users can readily access content and real time conversations. These days, trading topics on social media is the fastest way for news to get around. The ease and speed of access to social media platforms will make it the first choice for distributing your company’s content. In addition to content distribution, social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have advanced dramatically within 2016 by adding new features including expanding their messaging capabilities. We predict that more apps will continue to explore messaging opportunities since there have been so many updates in the past 6 months of 2016. Digital marketers should keep an eye out for new social media platforms and how their potential and current consumers interact with them.
4. Virtual Reality Takeover
This summer, the virtual reality game Pokemon Go took over the mobile screens of millennials around the world. The success of Pokemon Go indicates how users are ready to embrace new technology, which means that businesses should plan and measure the effectiveness of new types of content. Google is currently focusing on artificial intelligence, which might serve as a good indicator on what to expect in the future from more companies. On December 8th, Starbucks announced a partnership with Pokemon Go which will turn approximate 7,800 locations into “PokeStops”, places in the game where you collect items such as eggs and Poke Balls. In addition, Starbucks has created an official Pokemon Go Frappuccino: a vanilla bean frappuccino blended with raspberry syrup and freeze-dried whole blackberries topped with whipped cream. The development of this partnership preceded the more recently announced re-launch and revamp of Pokemon Go which could bring further developments to virtual reality.
Only time will tell if our predictions are correct but until then, it’s important to pay attention to changes in the digital world and create effective marketing strategies for your business. It’s always important to save room for the unpredictable and unprecedented, always remain ahead of the competitor and stay informed. Digital marketing isn’t disappearing anytime soon and therefore, it’s time to stay ahead of the game.