Welcome back to part 2 (click here to read part one on Digital Marketing Trends from 2016) of this mini-blog-series. With the new year already here, it’s an exciting time when many of us think about the next 12 months and the best goals to set to make this the best year so far. Whether they’re personal, career or business goals, now is the time to make your mark. Dream BIG is all I can say.
I must confess, I have mixed emotions about this blog post as it will be my last one for gShift. As my internship here comes to an end, I’m excited to have the opportunity to predict a few digital marketing trends to watch out for this year.
Trend #1: The Year of Snapchat
The Snapchat (or Snap Inc.) social app is already immensely popular with a rough active user base of 150 million users around the world. According to an eMarketer post, Snap Inc. is expected to grow to almost 220 million users worldwide by the end of this year.
If you’ve been using Snapchat for a couple of years now, you will have noticed a drastic in-app evolution has taken place. Promoted Stories, Geo-filters, Short Video ads, Sponsored Lenses, as well as unique CTA features like “snap to unlock codes”, have all been added to the app within the past two years.
Unfortunately, features like sponsored lenses and promoted stories cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, so they aren’t economical for most companies. Where there is opportunity, however, is in Snap Inc.’s advertising option to create brand awareness through hyper-local targeting.
Trend #2: Interactive Video
Thanks to Pokemon Go (and yes, I played the game passionately), Augmented Reality (AR) really broke onto the digital scene in 2016. Aside from AR, the increased popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° video enabled brands to have their customers engage with their video content instead of just passively watching. This gives brands an edge and will definitely encourage them to produce more engaging video content in 2017.
These new video formats are dependent on the industry a brand finds itself in. If you’re talking about the travel/tourism industry, for example, VR is a great way to showcase to a prospecting customer what they would experience. These tools leave brands with the ability to be creative and really add value to their customer’s experience. The potential for rich interactive video content leaves 2017 filled with endless video capturing possibilities.
Trend #3: Content Will Get More Personal
Most companies by now have included some sort of content marketing strategy into their digital marketing mix. This means there is a lot of content circulating the Web. As a consumer, it has become increasingly difficult and often overwhelming to navigate through the content noise and it has become even more difficult for brands to stand out and grab the attention of their preferred consumers. One solution to the problem of content noise is to target your content toward a hyper-niche audience to attract new leads.
This means the brands which will succeed in standing out from the crowd will be the ones which fully utilize their online data and truly understand who their ideal customer is. This will ensure they are providing rich content, which speaks directly to their targeted audience and will cut through the rest of the clutter.
Trend #4: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
I know what you’re thinking, optimizing for mobile is common knowledge. Not exactly a new trend for 2017, but hear me out. It’s no secret how popular smartphones have become and how Google’s algorithms are cracking down on sites which don’t have a specific mobile version.
This may true, however, take into consideration consumers, in general, are still more likely to make a purchase from their desktop than they are on their mobile devices. Data by Smart Insights shows, for e-commerce websites, the global conversion rate for mobile at the end of 2015 was 1.53%, while global desktop conversion sat at 4.43%.
Mobile consumption isn’t slowing down and has increased considerably in 2016. Due to the above statistics, getting the customer to convert and increasing their trust while using their mobile should be at the top of a business’ 2017 to do list; especially if your business relies on e-commerce.
That does it for me, thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts during my internship at gShift. I sincerely hope I helped your digital marketing efforts in some way.
Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.