Digital Marketing Trends To Watch for in 2017

 In The NetSearch Blog
It’s a new year! We’re a few weeks into 2017, and while you may have already broken some of your New Year’s resolutions, hopefully you haven’t broken your resolution to implement a good marketing strategy for your business. Online marketing and advertising is evolving at a rapid pace, and if you want to stay on top, you’ll need to keep up with what’s changing in the industry. Whether you’re part of the industry or someone with a small business looking to edge out the competition, here are some of the marketing trends to watch for in 2017.

Behavior-Based Email Marketing

People are receiving more email than they ever have before, meaning declining open rates and more people unsubscribing from their email campaigns. To combat this, marketing tools have been introduced that automatically tag and segment their subscribers based on their behavior. This means all sorts of cool things can be done with subscriber lists based on the way they interact with your emails or website.

For instance, one subscriber in your list may receive a different set of follow up emails from another based on the different links they clicked in an email. This means your drip campaigns can branch out and offer different experiences to subsets of subscribers. Many email marketing tools also integrate with website’s landing pages and shopping carts, so if one of your subscribers has viewed your pricing page many times, a sales person at your company could be notified to reach out to them directly. When your customers receive these types of customized experiences, the information is more useful to them and in turn they value your brand more.

Big Data & Predictive Marketing

Big Data, customer insight, and predictive analytics applications are set to get even bigger in 2017. Advisory firm Ovum estimates that the big data market will grow from $1.7bn in 2016 to $9.4bn in 2020, compromising 10% of the market for information management. Advertisers are eager to utilize new tools to analyze their customer’s behavior and provide better and more customized experiences. Getting access to information on their age, gender, location, interests, and behavioral patterns allows for highly targeted advertising techniques to be employed, meaning more focused types of ads and content reaches a more specific audience.

Additionally, advertisers will have new ways of visualizing data, making it easier to quickly interpret and digest large amounts of information. There are many data visualization tools that have been introduced within the last year or so and the number will continue to grow. Many existing advertising platforms are improving their included data visualization tools to provide more useful information from one platform. These tools can quickly process vast quantities of raw data and output it in interesting ways, making it easier to see how and what types of users are interacting with your platform. In turn, this helps marketers make predictions about how their customers will interact with their product moving forward.

Increased Personalization

Noticing a trend here? Advertising is becoming increasingly targeted, customized, and personal. With more information available about their user base, companies can now offer much more targeted content. The more customized an experience is, the more your audience will appreciate it. As the online marketing space becomes more crowded, companies will target more niche audiences. While this is technically going after a smaller piece of the pie, it often offers greater returns as the audience is more engaged, interested, and qualified for the offers they receive. Narrowing your demographical range means you’re only targeting a highly specific audience, and this can be massively successful if done correctly.

From the user end, increased personalization can also offer a ton of benefits. You’ve likely already clicked through to a recommended product on Amazon based on past purchases, or browsed through a recommended category of movies on Netflix based on other movies you’ve watched previously. You’ll see an increase in this trend from e-commerce and media streaming platforms to more niche services.

More Video

Online video is nothing new, but it’s more popular now than ever. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Ten years ago, most of what we shared and consumed online was text. Now it’s photos, and soon most of it will be video. We see a world that is video first with video at the heart of all of our apps and service.” Similarly, social media management tool Buffer put out an interesting study based on 16 million posts on social media. It revealed that video posts on Facebook overwhelmingly got the most engagement by far (double the amount of link posts, and triple the amount of text or photo posts). However, they still only accounted for about 1% of brand’s posts that were reviewed in the study.

YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every single year. Mobile technology is only getting better across the board, meaning more people are creating and sharing video than ever. Most recently, live video has been integrated into Facebook and Instagram, and Snapchat filed for it’s IPO. Live video is still new and relatively untested waters, but it hasn’t stopped some brands from using it creatively. For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts recently showed their customers an insider’s look at their test kitchen, where viewers got to see what goes into creating a product and offering feedback in real time. Live video offers some freshness to the proven appeal of video, adding an “in the moment” component that compels viewers to watch and increases brand awareness. In 2017, it’s certainly a marketing component worth considering.

Mobile First

This one isn’t new, but it’s still incredibly important. If you’re website doesn’t have a mobile version and you’re looking to capture new leads, then you have a big problem! Google has stated that they now receive more traffic from mobile users than on desktop, and many leading search marketing agencies put the number at closer to 60%. Mobile is no longer an afterthought, it’s a necessity. Everyone has a smart phone these days, and for most people it’s on their person the majority of their waking hours. It only makes sense to aim for mobile experiences ahead of desktop. More people are searching for information and services, engaging with social media content, and watching video from their mobile devices than ever before – and this trend will only continue to grow.

There’s A Lot to Be Excited About!

The face of digital marketing is certainly changing at a rapid pace and there’s a lot on the horizon to be enthusiastic about. Advertising is set to become even more personalized, engaging, entertaining, and most importantly useful to both companies and their customers. However, we know there are a lot of moving parts and it might seem overwhelming! No problem though, because we’re here to simplify the process for you. If you’re interested in kick starting your online marketing campaign for the new year, NetSearch Digital Marketing would love to help you achieve your business goals. We’re a solution focused agency that can provide our customers with customized marketing packages for any budget. Click here to contact us or call us anytime at 1-800-683-9218.

About The Author

David LaBrie is an Internal Marketing Specialist at NetSearch Digital. When he’s not researching ways to improve businesses’ marketing efforts, he enjoys making beats or biking with his friends. He has already broken most of his New Year’s resolutions.

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