Everyone is on social media, and you might have noticed an uptick on the prevalence of "buy" buttons. These let shoppers buy directly from social networks as opposed to going to separate e-commerce sites. Although they are available on sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook--many online shoppers are still unaware of them. This may change in 2017.
More platforms have been testing the buttons to help increase shoppers' familiarity. Since social platforms have not taken them down, it shows they are counting on them growing in use. Social platforms are also working on the number of products available through the "buy" buttons. If customers find them easier to use, 2017 may be the breakout year.
Organic Social Media
For about five years, social media ads and paid promotion have grown significantly. In 2017, there may be a move towards more organic social content. Part of the reason is it is more cost-effective and produces a good return on investment when used properly.
Matei Gavril of PrMediaOnline said, “Business owners naturally assume that, in order to stand out in a social media environment that’s growing noisier by the day, they need to pay for social media ads and promotion. However, with effective planning and the right practices, a huge social media marketing budget isn’t necessary. Many successful brands rely heavily on organic engagement, which is of course far cheaper than paid promotion.”
Live Video Streams
Video has been quite popular for the past few years. Now, marketers are focusing even more on one type of video: live stream. This is helping to get more views and engagement from target markets. With the release of Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook Live, this type of streaming started to gain traction. For obvious reasons, 2017 will see a continuation of this movement.
Live streaming can be used in a variety of ways from a behind-the-scenes look to an event such as a grand opening or product launch. Live streams are also no more expensive to make than pre-recorded videos. You can even use it for a cooking demonstration and more. Video helps you to send additional information in a shorter period of time. It can expand your total reach, while communicating with customers who browse on the go.
Currently, millennials make up the largest section of the workforce. This happened recently, and the market is responding. Millennials also value experiences over things. They may not necessarily buy something just because it seems like a good deal. As researchers have noticed, millennials would rather take a world trip over saving for retirement.
This sends a strong message to marketers. This is why the focus needs to be on ways to improve your customer experience. The easiest way to find out what your customers want is to ask. How can you improve your customer experience? Otherwise, you don't know what you don't know.
Data, Data, Data
Due to technological advances, we can collect and use data through several ways. One digital marketing trend for 2017 is using that data even more. To illustrate, most websites and social media platforms allow you to capture data around visitors including their age, education level, job position, device they’re using and region they're from. You can then use that data to create customer profiles, which you can implement within your written blog posts, slogans and in figuring out which social network makes the most sense for your business.
Another illustration is the use of predictive analytics to determine what ads are shown based on what customers have been searching for online. This is a win-win for consumers and marketers because it speeds up the shopping process, while showing customers items already holding their interest.
The Internet of Things
According to Gartner, by 2020, there will be over 26 billion connected devices. Technology will become more affordable and widespread. How can you use that in your digital marketing strategy? Well, more people will connect to the IoT and give it data. This is something that businesses can capitalize on. This includes refrigerators, coffee makers, cars, wearable devices, house lights and more. It's like a scene from The Jetsons.
All of this data can be used to analyze habits, customer behaviors and needs. You'll get countless marketing opportunities. For example, a consumer's refrigerator may tell you that they purchase milk every seven days. You can then create digital ads on a grocery store available for them to make their weekly purchase.
The personalization trend isn't going anywhere, and it will just get bigger. Notice how Google and Amazon are both big brands increasingly investing in personalization. Your previous searches now influence the results in your future searches. Digital marketers should take this approach to the experience your brand offers.
It is a large part of improving the customer experience. Any form of personalization will help to enhance customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of a purchase. Stop trying to appeal to everyone, all at once. Focus on creating relevant content for a more specific audience.
In 2015, it was dubbed the year of "Mobilegeddon." From that point on, it was clear that mobile first would be the mantra moving forward. It makes sense since 4 out of 5 Americans use their smartphone daily. Analysts even predict that 1 out of 4 will use a wearable device by next year.
This means it is essential to have a mobile-friendly website or app. You also need to ensure your content looks good on any device, regardless of screen size. This is true whether it is a mobile device or smartwatch. Plus, mobile messaging apps are becoming more popular. Here are a few:
Have you started planning around one, or several, of the digital marketing trends above? How does your digital marketing strategy look for 2017?