There’s no doubt about it – 2016 was an incredible, fast-paced year for digital marketing and 2017 promises to follow suit.
Now that we’re all done celebrating, it’s time to start thinking about the types of changes the industry will see in 2017, and how you can prepare your business accordingly.
Digital marketing is all about planning, keeping up with industry changes, and pouncing on the latest trends before your competitors turn them into old news. So, keep reading for the top five changes next year will bring to the digital marketing world. You don’t have to implement all of them for your own business, but even being aware of them will put you one step ahead of the competition.
Trend 1: The expansion and growth of the marketing cloud
The marketing cloud umbrellas over all of a brand’s digital marketing efforts. These online platforms give brands innovative, new ways to present their products and services, engage with their target audience, and promote their business. While advertising is traditionally based in print, the Internet has provided vast amounts of ways for brands to connect with their customers on a more dynamic, intimate level, from online retailers to Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Automation tools and programmatic ads have become new ways for brands to pass their messages on, saving time, money, and valuable manpower. As 2017 approaches, automation and programmatic ads will become more popular than ever, and are definitely something business owners should be investing in to stand apart from their competition.
Insider tip: Check out Zapier. It automatically syncs new updates from integrated tools with customized workflows. Plus, it works with tons of the most popular web apps.
Trend 2: Intuitive websites
The easier your brand’s website is to navigate, the more people are going to use it.
Think about it: Let’s say you’re doing a Google search for something, and click on the link most relevant to your search (likely a top result). You check out the site, but can’t figure out what is going on. It’s cluttered, flashy, and confusing. The blog is somewhere on the very bottom left, and it’s probably going to take about two hours to figure out how to contact them. Chances are, you’re going to leave and your website visitors would too.
You want your website to be intuitive, meaning it’s easy to navigate. It should be obvious to your visitors exactly how to use your site and what you want them to click on. This is something you can expect to see a lot more of in 2017, and something that would put you ahead of your competition.
You want your website’s design to be functional and intuitive, rather than just flashy and pretty. If your site is too difficult, confusing, or cluttered, your visitor will go to another site. This means you’ve lost a potential sale, and will now have a lower conversion rate.
With an easy-to-use website, you’re one step closer to making a sale or getting a new email list subscriber.
Insider tip: Grab iGloo, a fully customizable drag & drop page builder. This website marketing & design suite will have you up and running with an easy-to-navigate site in no time!
Trend 3: Live streaming video will skyrocket in popularity
Live streaming video will dramatically increase in popularity, something digital marketers can certainly benefit from. As technology continues to advance at such a rapid pace, social media users are starting to demand more real-time content, giving them a more in-the-moment way to view the world around them. With mobile technology and the Internet advancing as quickly as they do, live video has started to really become its own trend – and one that doesn’t appear to be dropping any time soon.
While Facebook Live is already making it’s mark, there are numerous mobile apps and platforms that make it easy to live stream video. Many of the popular streamers have hundreds of thousands – and even millions – of views. This new technology trend will really take off in 2017, giving digital marketers and business owners a great way to get their brand in front of a new audience and strengthen their connection with their current customer base.
Insider tip: Take your Facebook Live streams one step further. Grab a camera and sign up for LiveLeap to optimize AND automate your live streams. Stream once, and syndicate videos across multiple social media sites to really increase your exposure!
Trend 4: Niche marketing becomes even more important
A niche is a specific, targetable aspect of the market. Your brand specializes in offering a product or service that serves the needs of a very specific demographic; needs which are not addressed in the same amount of detail by mainstream brands.
The digital marketing space is growing even more crowded by the minute, and the best way to help your brand stand out is to target a more specific niche and demonstrate a brand value other businesses within your industry can’t offer. By honing in on niche marketing, your brand will be appealing to a demographic range that is far more narrow and specific. This produces content with a personal feel, as it directly relates to visitor and customer needs and interests.
Insider tip: Niche EVO helps you target new customers and increase your income potential. This all-in-one tool allows you to become a niche expert faster than every before. Uncover the most overlooked AND profitable niches using market research, keywords, content and more.
Trend 5: Articles, not blog posts
Rather than focusing on churning out blog posts, businesses should produce quality articles for their blog. The content needs to be dense, written as though they were an article and not just a blog post. Because people skim and share content after just reading the headline, making the content dense means every word counts. Furthermore, keywords become even more important, as this helps the content reach more of the target audience when internet users are conducting a search.
Most website visitors prefer content to be meatier than a regular blog post – we’re talking a post of about 1,000 words or more. Not only does this keep your reader engaged (assuming it is written well), but it’s also great for search engine optimization (SEO). The top content for Google all have a minimum of 2,000 words per article. This is because Google’s webpage crawler checks out every single piece of content on a page, including titles and individual words. If you have an article on your site with 1,500 words then you will have some more flexibility your keywords, rather than limiting your site to just one or two of them. This lets you include more keywords that aren’t super specific, but still relevant, in addition to your primary keywords. Furthermore, SEO and length go hand-in-hand when it comes to getting quality backlinks, because those types of posts are more likely to be shared.
Don’t forget about overall readability and visual appeal. Formatting and images can take the feel of a post from casual blog to classy article when done correctly. This is not to say that each post has to look like a designer painstakingly crafted every detail, but consistent presentation can go a long way when it comes to quality.
Insider tip: Grab a tool like Pixel Studio FX or Viffy to add in some customized visual interest. Whether you are writing about a new digital product & need the perfect eCover, or want to throw in a GIF for some liveliness, these tools will help your business increase the quality of any posts.
Now that 2017 is just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the top trends coming your way. Finding a way to incorporate these latest trends into your brand and business operations will put your company one step ahead of your competitors once the new year hits.
What new digital marketing trends are you implementing in 2017? Are there any up-and-coming insider trends we may have missed?
Let us know in the comments below which trend is YOUR favorite!
To unwind after hours of writing code or perfecting a design, Natalie likes to go out swing dancing or stay home alone and solve jigsaw puzzles.