As 2016 comes to an end, and having weighed up what worked and what didn’t, the time is now right to start thinking about the year ahead. Although the fundamentals remain the same, the marketing landscape is as ever changing as never before, with vast opportunities waiting to be utilised by both marketers and brands. So here are 7 trends we should look out for in 2017; better yet, seamlessly adapt them into our marketing strategies.
- Interactive & Multimedia Content
Because 2017 won’t be all about the impact of words; it will be about the experiences created for the consumer, and sometimes words are simply just not enough to educate, entertain and engage. We have all found ourselves skimming through text only to move to something new because we lose interest. For this reason alone, all brands must try to engage their audiences through images, quizzes, clips, GIFs, videos, infographics – anything that will make your brand’s value jump off of the screen, because words alone are like empty promises nowadays. Start experimenting and explore the endless possibilities on offer!
- Live Streaming & Video Content
Ditch the script, improvise, and go live – simple as that! What better way to engage with your audience than giving them a real glimpse of what you’re doing and what your core values are. Live streaming and video content will continue to push the boundaries, allowing brands to drop the corporate veil, connect human-to-human, and allow users to participate in brand storytelling in ways that enrich the customer experience. So, start embracing the digital conversation by incorporating live content streaming, visuals and videos!
Everyone’s special, or at least we all like to think we are. No matter what your stance is on this, you have to get personal with your target audience – for starters, your website, emails and social media should. Start segmenting your content to reach different types of audience members based on their preferences, habits, etc. – because let’s face it, if you keep treating them as one homogeneous group you are bound to lose out on the huge potential of your message. Start truly analysing the data: location, age, needs, hobbies and so forth – the technology is available, so make the most of it and you won’t lose out.
- Purpose Driven Marketing
Become a brand that gives and gets! In today’s world we’re all looking to be part of something bigger, something meaningful that will make a difference. Everyone’s passionate about their causes and trust me, customers will love that you have one too. Partner with a non-profit or charity, or set up an internal programme that “gives back” in some way – and you’re bound to win over the hearts of your customers as well as employees, helping them connect more fully with your brand as a whole.
- Native Advertising
No one likes ads, unless you manage to slip them into content contexts that your users are already part of and give value to. This is the core reason native advertising is taking the marketing world by storm: $36.3 billion will be spent on native ad spending by 2021. Good native advertising is not meant to be trickery; it’s merely allowing a storyteller to share publishing tools with marketer, whilst at the same time maintain consumer trust by telling the truth, being transparent as to who’s telling it, and finally adding value to the conversation with an audience. If done properly, it can be a win-win situation.
Mobile is not just first, it’s second, third – it’s everywhere and everything! Internet traffic is firmly derived more from mobile devices than desktops and if you’re not gearing your content, ads and online experience towards mobile users, you are definitely missing a huge opportunity. Remember not to stop at optimizing for mobile. Also, ensure that the specific content is integrated and respectful of the lifestyles of users-on-the-go!
- Embrace the lOT
How awesome is it that your fridge can actually remind you that you’re running out of milk and gives you the option to place an order immediately! Everyday objects are beginning to connect to the internet, and this trend is going to open the doors for brands to play a more active part in the everyday lives of consumers. By 2020 there will be 75 billion connected devices – now that’s a boom! The implications are huge and far ranging as we will witness a transformation in the way we live our lives, and consequently the way we market our brands.
In short, keep the 7 in mind, utilise your budgets effectively and stay ahead of the game!
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