Digital marketing trends are constantly evolving. When mobile device usage began to explode, many websites made mobile versions to give their consumers a great user experience. When people started using tablets along with their mobile and desktop devices, responsive web design became vital. Video used to be a simple exercise but with live streaming and virtual reality becoming popular, there’s a whole new set of rules to follow.
We here at Surfside PPC keep up with digital marketing trends and follow them closely. That’s why we created this article along with a YouTube video and SlideShare presentation to make it easy for you to understand everything you need to be paying attention to. The video is below and the SlideShare presentation is at the very bottom of the article.
Digital Marketing Trends 2017
Programmatic has been a trend for several years but it has really improved as we move into 2017. Google, Facebook, Bing, and others are adding more programmatic features to help you get the absolute most out of your money. Services like MailChimp have added so many programmatic outputs based on a set of inputs that you create. In addition, If This Then That has created a huge number of capabilities for businesses.
Ultimately, programmatic advertising works because you are tailoring everything to each individual within your audience. No longer are you creating mass outputs, you are creating individual outputs to make sure your audience has a great user experience no matter what.
2. Big Data & Customer Profiles
While programmatic helps you gear your ads and experiences to every individual within your audience, Big Data & Customer Profiles help you to use your audience data to add new individuals to your audience.
To use an example, let’s take my favorite sports team, The New York Jets. Let’s say after studying audience and fan data, they realize that the bulk of fans are single males aged 22-32 who work full-time and live in the NY DMA market. The way Programmatic and Big Data intersect is that the Jets can then use this Big Data to advertise and build their audience (AKA fans coming to the games) and then use Programmatic to give the ideal user experience (AKA mobile beer and food vendors, comfortable seats, clean bathrooms, and a stadium that’s easy to navigate).
If you can combine Big Data and Programmatic Digital Marketing features, you will be able to add to your audience while making your audience more loyal.
3. Mobile First Environment
We used to talk about mobile being here and then the incredible amount of mobile device usage growth over the last several years. Today, we live in a mobile-first environment where people are doing tons of research and converting on mobile devices. Many people are only using laptops and desktop computers when they need to do something specific, but they spend the majority of time on their phone.
4. Video, Audio, Written, and Visual Content
People are reading, listening, and watching their content today online. Some people prefer just one medium while others will use all three. Personally, I used to only read blogs but now I listen to podcasts and watch a lot of videos.
All in all, you need different forms of content. You can create a podcast based on a blog article, you can create a blog article based on a video, and more.
5. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has been a trend for years but it has continued to expand and become more important. The process of CRO is basically testing, optimizing, testing, optimizing, and continuing to do that until you improve your conversion results.
6. Social Media Engagement
Gone are the days of driving huge results from social media and here are the days of using social media channels for engagement, public relations, and customer service. You can still drive traffic, leads, and sales from social media, but you need to see the channels as a place where you show useful content to your audience and delivering value. If you use social media to constantly run promotions or attempt to drive sales, you will struggle to build your audience.
7. Search Engine Domination (SEO, PPC)
Dominating your top keywords in search engines will help you grow revenue. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you improve your rankings in search engine results pages, which will in turn drive more targeted traffic to your website. You can also use PPC Advertising with Google AdWords and Bing Ads to target your top keywords in search engines.
Search engines have long been one of the best areas to advertise your business and your website in order to drive leads and sales.
8. Smart Email Marketing
Instead of sending out mass email messages, you are able to send out emails based on a set of inputs you set. When someone looks at and buys product A, you can send them an email about product B, which works seamlessly and enhances product A. When someone adds something to their cart but doesn’t convert, you can send them an email with a 5% off coupon so they convert.
You can still send out newsletters to your email list, but the more you can target individuals on your email list the better the performance you will see.
9. Live Video
Live video is available on almost all social channels right now, most notably through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. If you have daily news you can talk about or information that is helpful, creating live videos is a great way to reach your audience.
I love the idea of casting your live video on social channels and then publishing it after you are done as a video and a podcast. It’s a great way to make one video and repurpose it everywhere.
10. Virtual & Augmented Reality
More and more people have virtual reality headsets and they are using virtual reality apps. We saw a huge explosion from Pokemon Go and we should see more growth in Virtual Reality over the next several years as prices fall and quality improves.
You can create virtual experiences like a real estate agent creating a home tour. You can create virtual experiences that help people understand your products and services.
11. Messaging & Phone Calls
Facebook and Google AdWords have added new features to help you drive text messages and the phone call capabilities have improved as well.
Just keep in mind that more people are messaging companies directly for customer service or for real-time deals. It’s something that seems natural since we basically live on our phones nowadays, so businesses are adding features to help people reach them by phone at any hour of every day.
12. Influencers & Natural Native Advertising
Influencers has been growing online in particular but it is a long-term marketing trend that is changing. Rather than seeing Tiger Woods in a Buick hat, you might see a YouTube makeup star using a particular makeup to advertise it. You might see a foodie reviewing the newest products at a popular chain restaurant.
You are going to see more and more natural native advertising where influencers are actively using products and services online while advertising them.
13. Mobile App Development
No longer is it just good enough to have a Mobile App. Now if it is applicable, you need a mobile app that is not only user-friendly but also full of your latest content. We talked about being in a mobile-first environment earlier in the article, and this is one of the areas where you can probably improve.
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