5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2017
As 2016 draws to a close, we decided to take a look at what digital marketing trends are likely in 2017. Why is digital marketing important for your business?
Because without a digital marketing strategy you’ll miss opportunities and lose business. It really is that simple. Modern consumers like to do business with brands they know and trust. Often, they’ll make a buying decision based on the recommendation of a family member, friend or colleague. They will often research a buying decision before they step foot into a business, and they like to be well-informed and empowered before they make that decision. They love to have a two-way relationship with the brands they do business with; to be able to communicate in real time. That’s why every business needs a digital marketing strategy.
We know that the Internet and the way it’s used continues to change and evolve rapidly, and therefore, so does digital marketing. What digital marketing trends will dominate in 2017?
Digital Marketing Trends #1: Mobile will completely dominate desktop.
This is no surprise to anyone. 2016 was a big year for mobile. Google virtually phased-out all websites not optimized for mobile and we all developed neck strain anf headaches from looking at our smart phones so much.
Mobile search and mobile optimization should, therefore, be a top priority for any business in the year 2017. Do you have a website that is responsive to a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet? If not, your business is already being penalised. If there is one thing you must do in 2017, it’s make sure that your website is optimised for mobile devices.
This is particularly important because Google has just released a new mobile-first index. Google will run two indexes in parallel: one will be for informing mobile search results, the other desktop, but the mobile one will be the primary database and will be updated more regularly.
Mobile now accounts for over half of web traffic, and it is no longer safe to assume that potential customers are searching for you on their desktop devices. They’re more likely to look you up in their lunch hour, or on the bus, or while their kids are at dancing classes or rugby training. So allow me to reiterate: be sure that your content is mobile optimised.
Digital Marketing Trends #2: Search algorithm will change.
Like everything else Internet-related, search engine algorithms will continue to change. With the enormous amount of information being added to the internet every second, search engine giants will keep on updating their algorithm to decide which content should get priority and rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs), and which should not.
I’ve probably mentioned this before (many, many times). Therefore, the only strategy should be to remain original, informative, and helpful to your audience. Your content can’t be carelessly slung into cyberspace. It must be thoughtfully and professionally crafted and it should incorporate text, images and video.
Digital Marketing Trends #3: Unique, high-quality content will be the key.
I’ve mentioned this before, too. Content, often referred to as the king in digital marketing, will remain an essential part of any online marketing campaign in the years to come. It’s crucial to understand that a blog post is not just a blog post.
The key will be to write unique, high-quality, and interactive content that readers can connect with. Look for a focus on quality over quantity. You can no longer get away with churning out a seemingly endless stream of fluffy stuff in the hopes of reaching your customers. Instead, your focus in 2017 should be on producing substantial, quality content that will resonate with your target audience—and with search engines.
Writing still counts, perhaps more than ever. More than not, marketers are abuzz about social media and video without comprehending that most of our communication is still text- and story-based. But writing doesn’t come easily to everyone. If it’s a time-consuming, tedious task for you, then you’re wasting your valuable time. Call in a professional and be prepared to invest in the success of your business.
Digital Marketing Trends #4: Live Video/Feed Streaming
Facebook, Periscope and Twitter all have their own live streaming features, so how can you incorporate live video into their digital marketing strategy? Video content is effective; from 2013-2015, there was a 360% increase in video views and videos can be used to attract customer interest to both content and your business. And with the widespread adoption of smartphones and consumer access to live streaming sites like Facebook, brands can use live video to increase customer engagement. Surveys reveal online video accounts for upwards of 50% of all mobile traffic and over one billion people use YouTube, a 40% increase since March 2014.
If video and/or live streaming is completely foreign to you, it’s okay to start small. You might start by demonstrating how to use one of your products. You could host a question-and-answer session. You could live stream part of a class or seminar. You could undertake a behind-the-scenes tour of your factory. You could introduce a staff member. You could make a major product launch announcement. There are a myriad of ways you can use video and live streaming for your business.
Look for live streaming video to enter the marketing mainstream in the new year. Advances in technology will allow the ‘consumer as voyeur’ model to grow in 2017—it will become increasingly easy to provide users with the unfiltered, unedited look behind the curtain that they respond so well to. Couple that with the fleeting nature of spontaneous live video—better watch now or you’ll miss the opportunity completely—and consumers are hooked.
Digital Marketing Trends #5: Voice activated search and search engine optimisation
What is voice-activated technology? It’s the use of Siri, Cortana, Google’s microphone or Amazon’s Echo. It’s using our voices to interact with our devices rather than typing in text.
Google’s Director of Conversational Search Behshad Behzadi presented a keynote on how Google is approaching voice search. Behzadi shared that Google has seen the ratio of voice search growing much faster than text search. He attributed that in part to the fact that people are increasingly comfortable using speech commands, and also because of the quality of results.
Today, Google’s speech recognition error rate is only 8%, down from 25% just two short years ago. As a result, they’ve seen people use more natural sentences instead of query language, such as “What’s the weather like in Paris?” vs. “weather Paris.”
This is key. Voice search differs from text search in the usage of question phrases. Voice has longer queries and natural language reveals intent more clearly. For the purposes of SEO, this is really important and will change the way that you use keywords and content.