Welcome to 2017. We’re off to a great start. Let’s kick off the year by looking at the digital marketing trends of 2017. Let’s look at those that are poised to reign and those we’ll likely begin the sad goodbye to.
Digital marketing is fast. Super fast. It changes with technology and with customer expectations. It’s influenced by other brands and by new channels. Customer acquisition and communication growth channels, strategies and tactics are always evolving, and today’s platforms have opened up new avenues to reach audiences in new ways.
Although the fundamentals of marketing remain, today’s environment is one of creating unique communications, understanding unique audiences and knowing how and where to connect with them. Here are 3 digital marketing trends of 2017 that will shine, and 3 we plan on saying goodbye to.
Facebook has dedicated video tabs in the works for rich video content. YouTube is working to keep up, SnapChat is right in the middle and LinkedIn has launched native video. Something to keep in mind, whether you’re creating Live Video or generating content on YouTube or Facebook, not any old video will work. Particularly not video that hasn’t been created to connect with users. Shareworthy videos that are uniquely-crafted and on-brand will shine this year.
Digital marketing trends of 2017 will see more unique email communications. As online brands mature and enhance their presence, there will be more competition for less attention. We all know how our morning email looks. Competition for inboxes results in more unsubscribes and less opens than we saw in the past. People won’t open — let alone read — your email unless it’s branded, customized and useful. The most effective email communications meet readers’ interests, wants and needs, and give them what they want. If they don’t want it, they won’t read it — and they don’t have to.
Think about this: there’s almost nothing you put in someone’s email that they can’t grab themselves via Google. This, combined with the search giant’s strides towards a more instant internet, and we have content on command. In order for brands to create difference, they’ll need to provide something people can’t easily get on their own.
Entertaining, useful, interesting and engaging are the perfect ingredients for viral marketing. While creating content that goes viral is difficult, so long as it’s well-needed and well-crafted, brands will have a better chance at creating it. We recently boosted a cannabis-related post for a client that serves the commercial growing industry. We moved it through Facebook’s algorithm and watched it go wild. With content, you’ll win some and lose some, yet it’s all an ongoing effort towards the user. When you can create something that’s newsworthy, shareworthy and it passes the filters, you run with it, as the ranking and social signal-increase benefits the brand.
Now that we’ve looked at 3 digital marketing trends of 2017 that will shine, let’s look at 3 we plan on saying goodbye to.
It wasn’t too long ago that sponsored banners were the thing. Banners were often placed up high or in the sidebar to grab your attention. While banners will continue to be effective via paid channels, such as through Facebook Ads and Adwords, general advertisements that serve as one-for-alls will go away this year. Since they are mobile-friendly and use uniquely tailored content, targeted banner campaigns are over 50% more effective at lead generation.
While there will still be a place for stock imagery, we’ll begin to say goodbye to the glaringly stock stock. We’ve seen these stock models for years. The feeling they communicate is just as their name implies. As genuine communications keep the crown, brands will increasingly look to uniquely curated imagery that supports authenticity, encourages connection and improves performance.
Peer reviews work. Most of us check reviews before making purchases online. What’s more, most of us also trust the authenticity of those reviews, so long as we trust the brand where we find them. Naturally, Amazon probably comes to mind, as Amazon Prime has become the go-to shopping experience for convenience. Amazon has opened the door to fake reviews, and to those who are willing to pay for them. However, from as early as 2015, Amazon began taking measures against brands who seek out and publish inauthentic reviews — not to mention, users are getting better at seeing through fake reviews. We expect to see these seeded reviews begin to go away in 2017 and beyond.
Which channels are you, or your business, going to use in 2017 and which do you plan on saying goodbye to? Which 2018 digital marketing trends will you use? We would love to hear in the comments below.
Christina is the Founder and Creative Director of Savy, a digital marketing agency with locations in Bend Oregon and Santa Barbara CA. Christina grew up in Santa Barbara, has a supportive husband, Rob, shoots a Nikon D750 for select clients and loves her three children, chocolate lab, Badger, and wild kitten, Nala.
This is a very thought-provoking post. I agree that seeded reviews are going out of style, and I’m happy to hear it. Many of the big name review sites like Amazon and Yelp are improving their filtering software to hide or remove those planted posts. It’s saddening to know that companies would pay people to write fake reviews.
I plan to explore advertising on Pinterest and Google+ in 2017 – I think they both have the potential (and the community) to be contenders!
This is great input. Yelp does also get those fake reviews — and is almost too good at filtering them out. Anything with Google is promising, right? Google and Facebook’s audience is only accelerating. As a younger network doing new things and on the rise, Pinterest does look promising. A question will be, will they be taken over or will they IPO this year? I can’t wait to see where it goes. — Christina