Welcome to our guide on the digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2017. This is an article that we will regularly update to keep you in the loop with emerging trends.
With the rate technology is advancing, Digital Marketing can change in the blink of an eyelid. From Google’s ever-changing algorithms to new forms of video content, if you keep the same strategy, you could easily fall behind.
Thankfully, you've got our digital marketing trends overview of 2017 extravaganza...
To help make sure your digital plan is robust, we’ve put together the following list of some key trends this year.
Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic so it goes without saying that it should feature in your digital marketing strategy. As technology has progressed, brands are increasingly turning towards platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live where they can stream live to their followers.
Statistics show that people spend three times longer watching videos which are live compared to pre-recorded video and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said that by 2019 ‘most of Facebook will be video.’
It’s a relatively new trend which has brands jumping on the bandwagon left right and centre. From the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer to Pepsi’s augmented reality ad, this is quickly becoming a key digital marketing trend.
Facebook and Youtube both support 360-degree video now and it’s a great way to share content; be it for fans, followers or customers. To work out if it really is the way forward, Google ran a comparison test with two videos - one standard and one 360-degree. The videos both had the exact same call to action and Google found that although the 360 version had a shorter view-through rate, it had more views, click-throughs, shares and subscribers.
This year, it’s all about the voice search. Yes, it has been around for a good few years now and anyone with an iPhone will likely be familiar with Siri. However, more recently with popularity of products such as the Amazon Echo and Google forum, voice search is becoming increasingly important where SEO is concerned. ComScore has predicted that by 2020, half of all searches will be done by voice.
This will change the way keywords are determined, shifting the focus to personalised and location based content. There are now plenty of online tools such as Answerthepublic.com to help you to understand natural keyword searches and user intent which will enable you to work out what people are searching for and how to optimise your site accordingly.
Google has already been making great strides to understand language and has moved away from the typical "web design company nottingham" type queries and more towards understanding that if someone types in "web design", they probably want somebody that's local to them.
This is something we spoke about when we were recently interviewed about the trends that are likely to emerge when it comes to SEO in 2018.
Like SEO, PPC is an ever changing entity and with the volume of data becoming available, marketers will be able to be even more targeted in their approach. To do this yourself, create a number of audience profiles based on the people you are trying to attract. Think about interests, times of day, locations and you can then create targeting options which will be triggered to share ads in line with the profiles you are aiming for.
Another key trend for PPC this year is Google’s shopping ads - great news to online retailers. As you’ll probably know, these ads have been around for a while now but Google plans to build more into SERPs so, for ecommerce sites, they are well worth investing in.
Conversion rate or CRO is basically understanding what people are looking for when they land on your page and ensuring they get it. This can be anything from checking your call to action is easy to navigate or that your website doesn’t contain unnecessary steps and confusing information that will act as a barrier to conversion.
Make no mistake about it, CRO has always been there and isn't particularly a 'digital marketing trend', but we thought it's one of the most commonly overlooked parts of a digital strategy, so we thought we'd include it!
A key tip for this and something that is being used more and more is ‘FOMO’ or ‘fear of missing out.’ This is by no means a new thing, but is a tactic brands are using increasingly to entice people. We’ve all been there - ‘last three remaining don’t miss out!’ ‘Dream trip to paradise, half price, sale ending now!’ Everyone’s had a quick look, even just out of curiosity and used well, this can really impact your CRO for the better.
Another key tip for CRO is to analyse your bounce rate and importantly, analyse your mobile bounce rate. This is data that many businesses are guilty of forgetting, but as the percentage of mobile users is increasing every year - failure to keep an eye on this can be really detrimental.
Influencer marketing has become an integral part of digital marketing strategies over the past few years and has become one of the leading digital marketing trends. Brenner goes as far as to say that it’s the most powerful trend in marketing right now, generating an ROI of 960%. Clearly, it’s not just a passing trend.
As we moved into 2017, authenticity of influencers was brought into light. Followers don’t enjoy promotion after promotion and it has become increasingly important that influencers balance their promotional posts with valuable content to remain true to their followers.
Something else to note is that brands using influencer marketing are shifting away from celebrities and towards ‘micro-influencers.’ They are generally people with less than 100,000 followers but are perceived to be more relatable by their followers. They are more likely to actively engage with followers, making them much more relatable than A list celebrities.
Something that we can be guilty of in digital marketing is having too much data and not actually using it. Data driven marketing is set to be huge for years to come.
Data driven marketing is a pretty grandiose term for doing what you should be doing anyway, analysing the data behind your marketing campaigns and using the data to drive decisions and direction.
An example would be if you had run a content marketing campaign with the goal of earning new links to your website with the follow-on goal of generating more traffic from search engines. The data to support whether the campaign has been successful is pretty simple: you're looking at total links earned and traffic increase over time.
This can help you drill down to which content works best for earning links and resonates most with your audience.
Campaign Monitor have produced an excellent infographic about data driven marketing which we'd recommend looking at.
It's very easy to get swept up in the new marketing technology and the digital marketing trends that appear almost daily, but it's the old adage of don't spread yourself too thin. Unless you have a large marketing department, we suggest tackling your marketing in a modular fashion by focusing your efforts on one channel until you've built a consistent and systemised process.
Once you've done that, repeat the process for another channel and so forth.
We've found that by operating in this way ourselves we're able to maximise the potential of each channel and build a highly profitable marketing strategy over time, instead of trying to do everything at once and getting poor to average results in each area.
If you liked our guide to the digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2017, then you might find our guide about the 5 cogs that are integral to any successful digital strategy interesting.