Ringing in the New Year, 2017 has a lot to offer in the world of marketing. 2016 was great, don’t get us wrong. It brought us enhanced visuals, real-time social media, and a new world of mobile experiences (see the 5 hottest marketing trends 2016 had to offer).
But now technology is a year older, a year wiser, and it’s rapidly changing. Marketers have never had so many channels, technologies, and products at their disposal to leverage their overarching strategies. We came up with our list of the hottest marketing trends on the 2017 horizon.
1. NATIVE ADVERTISING BOOMS
Native advertising expenditures are expected to jump to almost $8 billion in 2017 and $21 billion in 2018. Native advertising hits home with consumers as it fits organically into their lives. What’s more, these advertisements don’t look like ads at first glance. The content is useful, interesting, and targets the right audience. We expect native ads to become much more prevalent this year.
2. LIVESTREAMING TAKES OFF
By now we know how video connects immediately with its viewers, how we can present messages and emotions that simply cannot be conveyed in other forms of marketing. Services like Facebook Live, Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope (among others) allow for livestreaming. Connect with your audience and allow them to engage with you.
Livestreaming new products, events, releases, or even office antics can boost your company’s image in consumers’ eyes. It was hot in 2016, but it should really take off in 2017.
3. CONTENT IS KING (STILL)
Content marketing serves as a cornerstone to almost every marketing strategy today. Creating relevant, useful, and interesting content is a never-ending process. It takes months–if not years–to see the fruits of your labor, but great content is worth it. Marketers will continue to see content as a major player for 2017 and beyond.
4. EMAIL REVIVAL
Email marketing is the most critical way for a business to grow its audience, but when the returns were not as high as they were a few years ago, companies started to shy away. In 2017, we’ll see an email renaissance. Look for brands to launch better, more targeted and relevant email campaigns.
With e-newsletters at their disposal, marketers will be able to create loyal relationships to deliver truly amazing customer experiences rather than use email marketing as collateral for bigger strategies.
5. INFLUENCERS WILL GET PAID
Influencers are no longer a commodity; they’re essential. The gold rush that is influencer marketing creates immense word-of-mouth (WOM) buzz and is incredibly important for brand success, especially on social media. In 2017, brands will no longer partner with influencers, they’ll buy them right out.
Buying influencers to exclusively use or advocate for a specific brand’s products or services is an easy (albeit, expensive) way for a brand to gather influencers.
6. HEAVY INVOLVEMENT WITH VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) AND AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)
If Pokémon Go and VR headsets have taught us anything, it’s that these technologies are no longer on the horizon; they’re right in front of our eyes (literally). Now that the world has a taste of these amazing abilities, consumers will want more and more of it. Look for brands to roll out AR and VR games, ads, apps, and more that will try to capitalize on the 2016 foundation.
7. EMBRACE VANISHING CONTENT
With Generation Z’s attention span being only eight seconds long, fleeting content makes for a powerful recipe. Snapchat, namely, has been on the frontier of this expiring social content, allowing brands to cut through the clutter. Why? Because when people fear content will go away, they get FOMO (fear of missing out). Look now, or lose your chance forever.
We’ll see vanishing content will continue to grow in 2017. It may take a while for marketers to fully understand the ability of Snapchat, but the possibilities are endless.
8. HARNESSING THE POWER OF DARK SOCIAL
If you don’t know about dark social, we got you covered with this blog post. In the meantime, dark social is essentially social sharing that cannot be tracked. With so much marketing traffic coming from unknown places, trying to find the most accurate numbers for your company’s traffic, shares, conversions, and likes becomes vital.
Luckily, tools (and agencies like us) can measure and track dark social. So, harness that dark social in 2017!
9. THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) CONTINUES TO EXPLODE
A lightbulb connects to the Internet to play music; you control your house’s temperature from miles away; your doorbell has a camera inside and lets you know who’s at your door; you can unlock your bike via cell phone. The Internet of Things is blowing up, and this will open huge possibilities for marketers to integrate their brands even more regularly. If you have the capacity to get on the IoT train, do it now.
10. CHATBOTS AND ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) HELPS MORE CUSTOMERS
These emerging technologies will have huge implications for customer service in 2017. These AI chatbots allow for 24/7, real-time interaction with customers that can aid in consumers’ inquiries and questions. Continuously learning from their interactions, the responses are all based on data relating to the human brain’s functions.
Marketing in 2017 will be different. The technologies surrounding us are enhancing at breakneck speeds.