Online marketing (and, in turn, how it affects print marketing) can be a tricky world to begin to learn – there are many players, both large and small, hungry to take your money and advertise your services, products, books or ideas – so let’s take a look at some of the more popular marketing trends to watch out for in 2017, so that we can begin to conceptualize our plan of attack when it comes to where to spend our hard-earned marketing dollars (or even how to better use the data we’ve already been collecting throughout various channels and how we can capitalize on all that information).
The information in this short article is meant really to stimulate your ideas and hopefully allow you some thoughtful approaches to begin your own research into the various methods of marketing we look into – if we were to write a comprehensive guide for each of the aspects of marketing we touch on, we’d have an exhaustive task ahead of us that not many people would have the time to read! We wholly encourage you to do proper research and find what kind of marketing will work best for your service, product or brand.
Articles and Polls
According to a smartinsights.com poll, the five largest trends for 2017 that marketers should be aware of will be:
1- Content Marketing
Content Marketing has always been a powerful tool in the world of online marketing, however it’s important to realize the changes we’ve been experiencing on this method in recent years.
Specifically, there was a war between Kellogg’s and Breitbart.com – where Kellogg’s pulled advertising because of some political motivations that the latter held with the recent American election, that Kellogg’s didn’t agree with.Breitbart – geniously – initiated and nurtured a #DumpKelloggs campaign that took the internet by storm. What’s not important for our thoughts today are the political motivations behind this entire altercation, but actually the statistical growth among the audience of Breitbart.com was significantly higher than almost any other media site during the election – which means that, while Kellogg’s was able to follow up the Twitter storm and stories and most major publications with some press releases or a publication in the Wall Street Journal, Breitbart experienced significant growth through a perfectly executed content marketing campaign.
What we can learn from this is that if a media outlet can initiate this much outrage across the Twittersphere and the rest of the internet, the only way for brands and players to be safe from these kinds of attacks is to build their own massive, loud and loyal audiences in order to counter-attack these kinds of outbursts – and we’ll probably see the internet alive with many competing thoughts as these types of altercations continue and grow in the near future.
2- Big Data
You heard it right – your databases filled with information about your sales, marketing habits and response rates, price history and the results price fluctuations or a given markdown had on your conversions are all considered Big Data. What’s more is that the more of this information you have accumulated over a longer period of time, the more certain companies or individual ‘Data Scientists,’ as they like to be called, can provide you key and defining insights on how to operate and market your business – right down to very granular aspects of your business, such as pricing in certain geographical locations.
3- Marketing Automation
There are many tools available to help businesses – small and large – with their marketing automation. These tools can help you define funnels or marketing sequences that send out automated communications on regular intervals to different segments of your customer base at different times, and truly engage your audience in order to – you guessed it – generate more sales, revenues and customer happiness within your offering.
It’s worth trying to get a solid grasp and understanding of marketing automation and how it can help your business grow and succeed. There are different offerings that allow you to accomplish different things, but it’s a statistical fact that adding something as simple as one (or a few) follow up emails to an abandoned cart in an online store can prove as much as 30-50% increases in the amount of new customers you gain. That’s impressive – and something that’s not worth overlooking, given that that sort of low-level and easy-to-implement marketing automation can see tremendous extra revenues in an online store (for instance).
4- Mobile Marketing
The mobile market continues to be the single fastest growing segment of technology users across the boards and across geographical constraints – and as such, thinking about marketing to mobile devices – or even having a ‘mobile-first’ offering – is something that should be crucial to anyone looking to launch or expand an online business in 2017.
5- Social Media Marketing
Social media are havens in which we can exchange hard-earned marketing dollars for the chance to become ‘viral’ on that particular – and then possibly other related – social media platforms. It’s incredibly important to consider a social media presence – at bare minimum – to acquire, engage and grow and online following – all for the all-time low cost of $0. On top of that, we can look at advertising directly on Facebook or Twitter to have your posts become popular media for users with which you’d otherwise not have had contact with – who will then retweet, share, or comment on your paid posts, and may even give your page or account a follow or a like. It doesn’t stop there – as there are literally dozens more social networks that are as important or may even be more important, depending on the brand or product you have in mind that needs to get in front of the eyes of potential consumers or businesses.
You can even be very, very – actually, incredibly – granular in who you choose to display ads to on these networks, as they’ve worked diligently at already segmenting their audience for you to choose exactly who you want to reach.Forbes magazine
released an article (note there are many other trends in the original article, should you wish to read it) listing the top five trends to be aware of as:
1- Interactive Content
Some of the most popular content on the internet are interactive. We’ve all seen them: quizzes, games – you name it! if content encourages or requires you to be involved with the content itself in order to – lo and behold – see and then interact with more content, then you have a more defined and controlled experience with your readers and you’re also ensuring that you’re captivating more of their attention while delivering your point.
There are any number of vendors out there who offer quiz or game software – even eLearning platforms that are designed to not act or behave as if someone’s taking a course – which would all help you deliver interactive content to your audience, and encourage them to be entertained while engaged. What’s more is that – we all know – if someone has a truly unique and exciting experience on the internet, they’re very much likely to share that page and then share it some more – increasing your exposure at no further cost to you.
2- Influencer Marketing
We all know that the most popular celebrities and even internet-bred celebrities are making at least a part of their living by sharing, promoting and showcasing content that they feel aligned with and pays the right price. What’s more is that huge companies have been making a point in recent month of literally just buying up an entire social media following – through famous people’s efforts to collect them all – and using that social media following to their own advantage, in exchange for a pile of cash.
This is because influencer marketing – or, rather, when we’re told one idea, brand or product is great by someone we inherently trust (and that loads of us inherently trust) – is a tried and true method of increasing conversions and ROI on marketing campaigns.
3- Mobile Video
As we mentioned in our last roundup of top five areas of marketing growth in 2017, mobile is a huge market and one that needs newer and more engaging and interactive methods of capitalization. Mobile Video presents a huge opportunity in that your ROIs will be significantly higher should you know that, before someone clicks on your video and you pay for the interaction, they’ve likely seen most or all of the video first – ensuring they’re already engaged and more willing to spend or learn more about your service, product, brand or offering. What’s even more important is that if they’ve watched your video on a mobile device then chances are you’ve had their complete and undivided attention throughout the length of the viewing – vs. desktop video, where someone may have half-heard your video play while they were busy with some other task.
Livestreaming on sites like YouTube or Twitch.tv is becoming an increasingly popular way for interesting or incredibly skilled people and gamers to gain exposure and views on the internet. The key ingredient to a livestream is that it’s – you guessed it again! – live, which adds that much more complexity in the delivery of the content and value for the viewers. A livestreamer or someone taking advantage of livestreams to increase the value of their product, brand or offering has to have a certain dedication to the quality of the stream and engagement with a live audience that simply doesn’t happen with recordings that are usually made offline (and then heavily edited before being posted). This engagement with the audience is key because you have the ability to – in real time – answer questions or otherwise ensure that your audience is thoroughly enjoying their unique and interesting experience with the livestreamer on the internet.
Livestreamers who started with the goal of livestreaming then gather a following, a social media presence and before you know it – they’re now able to do some influencer marketing of their own! Before you know it brands will approach some of the more popular streamers, sign contracts and before you know it they’re making more than enough money for themselves doing exactly what the love or are passionate about. It’s a more popular story than you’d think – and it’s an amazing process – a transformation of hobby and pastime to a means of eeking out a living – to watch.
When people think of ‘chatbots’ they think of those incredibly clunky and odd chatrooms with an Artificial Intelligence that were popular in the 90s. They could – on a very basic level – learn your name and some key facts about you, and pretend to have a ‘chat.’
When we refer to chatbots that will have a huge and lasting impact on marketing, we mean like the ones that Facebook has been dumping millions into (did you or a Facebook user you know, for instance, get told to have a pleasant and sunny day recently? Or even to enjoy the holiday season?).The trick is to create unique, interesting experiences for your myriad users or customers while limiting the amount of actual people-time that goes into creating those interactions – adding value while saving money..
All in all, there’s a lot to consider when we try to first identify and then begin to learn about the most popular marketing trends for 2017. There are conflicting opinions from various sources – but it’s important to know that, with the proper amount of research, one can find the exact right method of approach for their brand or product and begin to capitalize on new, emerging, or just renovated ideas that will turn our marketing dollars into conversions.
Whatever your ultimate goal may be – conversions, brand awareness or maybe even just to make people in your local area that much more enthused with your local business through some local marketing online – there are any number of factors that can play into your success. Best of luck, and we hope this article was both illuminating and informative! Be sure to check back often as we have more educational and helpful articles to illustrate the complexities of online marketing.