2017 promises some major changes in digital marketing trends.
After everything that 2016 brought us — who knew that we'd be seeing virtual reality so early? — it's safe to say that this year will bring us even more exciting digital innovations. New inventions and trends also mean that the marketing landscape will shift.
The rise of digital marketing means that best practices change much faster than they used to. It's important for all professionals to stay on top of the industry changes.
Keep reading to find out some of the major digital marketing changes we'll see in 2017.
Why Should My Business Watch Digital Marketing Trends?
Maybe your current strategy is working well for you, or you like staying with something that's tried and true. You're not alone!
But if you want to stay competitive, you're going to have to change it up. Imagine if a business weren't on social media in this day and age. How many potential customers would they be losing? Not learning the latest trends could eventually leave you in a similar position, scrambling to catch up. Your business needs to know what's happening to keep up with the competition. Missing out on some of these digital marketing trends could hurt you in the long run.
Here are the top eight trends to know this year.
Okay, I know — video is expensive. But it is well worth your money, which is why I'm putting it at the very top of this list. Social media has changed the way that we consume content. The average human attention span is now only around six seconds long. How are you going to grab someone's attention in six seconds? A short form video will do the job much better than text can. Video is one of the biggest digital marketing trends to watch this year.
2016 saw marketing become more personalized than ever. Now, we have the technology to target not just our target audiences, but also demographics within that audience. Forget target group. Now you can tailor ads and layouts based off of the individual. And it pays off. Personalized marketing leads to higher engagement and more repeat customers, which translates to more money for your business. Take A/B testing to the next level. Personalization leads us to one of our next digital marketing trends…
3. Marketing Automation
Email will still be content king this year, which means you should be thinking about how you're delivering content to your subscribers. Are you sending everyone the same email, no matter what their engagement with you has been in the past? Or have you set up a system that sends them emails tailored to their purchases or activity? If you haven't incorporated marketing automation into your strategy yet, this is the year to do it. When done thoughtfully, it can provide your business with great returns.
4. Data Analytics
How much data have you collected, only to allow it to collect digital dust on your hard drive? In 2017, stop letting data go to waste. Decide how and when you're going to take the time to analyze your business' data. Make sure everything is correct and figure out where you should place your focus. After that, analyze as much as possible. Can you draw any conclusions about customer behavior? Are your systems communicating the way they should? Without managing your data, it will go to waste. And one of the other big digital marketing trends this year will be a huge increase in the amount of data available. Speaking of, there's a new way to analyze data coming —
5. Google Optimize
Google Analytics has probably been a lifesaver to you in the past. It will still continue to be an important part of your marketing strategy, but Google has outdone itself with this latest update. Google Optimize makes personalization easy. You can use the analytics you already have along with running new A/B tests to make sure that you're creating the most engaging experience possible. Bonus — you don't even have to recode your website every time. This is a trend you definitely need to hop on.
6. Content Marketing
We already know that businesses spent more on content marketing than they did on traditional advertising last year. Content marketing will still be one of the important digital marketing trends of 2017, but with a bit of a change. As more people include content marketing in their strategies, the sheer amount of content also increases. Even if your SEO is flawless, how do you stand out from the crowd? Try selecting a specific niche for your content and use GIFs or images throughout your post. Be creative with it!
7. AI Marketing
Don't worry, it's not as terrifying as you think. You don't have to be Google, Amazon, or Facebook to start using AI as part of your marketing strategy. At the very least, you should be learning about it. Even though marketers recognize the value of AI — and its potential to change the entire landscape — very few actually understand what it is or how to use it to their advantage. If you start learning now, you can be ahead of the game. For now, though, a more attainable form of AI marketing is…
8. Chat Bots
Realistically, there can't be someone from your business on hand 24/7 to answer customer questions. That doesn't mean that customers are okay with that. They want answers when they have questions, even if that's at three o'clock in the morning. So what do you do? Design a chat bot. Bots can take care of some of your FAQs so you (or a staff member) don't have to. Want more proof that chatbots will be huge this year? Tens of thousands of developers were already using them last year. Consider this one of the big digital marketing trends to keep an eye on. Is your business ready to start incorporating the new 2017 digital marketing trends into its strategy?