by Diana Prodan
The end of 2016 is quickly approaching, and as marketers are starting to develop their 2017 marketing strategies we’d all love to have a crystal ball to help in the planning process. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, but we can definitely make some educated and informed predictions based on current trends within the industry. Below are some of our predictions on what marketers should be focusing on in 2017:
Put Mobile First
If you haven’t heard yet, mobile is taking over. Mobile was on our list of things to focus on in 2016, and it’s only going to get more important. At the beginning of 2016, 198.5 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone, and that number is just expected to grow. What does that mean about marketing strategies? Just being mobile-friendly isn’t going to be enough. Your strategy needs to become mobile first. In regards to website development, mobile first means that your site needs to not only be responsive but built starting from the lowest common denominator – mobile. Starting with the simplest foundation of a site for mobile will make the addition of higher levels of tech and design for larger screens much easier. From the SEO perspective, mobile optimization is of the utmost importance as well. Some of the newest developments to Google’s algorithm have increased the effectiveness of its mobile-friendly ranking, and signs show that mobile website speed and Accelerated Mobile Pages will also soon be favored by the algorithm.
Create Personalized Content Marketing
Everyone’s creating content. It’s pretty much understood that marketers need to be creating content in some way, shape, or form. However, 2017 needs to be the year that everyone stops and takes a minute to evaluate. Are you writing content that your audience cares about? Taking a step back… do you even know who your audience is? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then that content that you’re working so hard to create is just adding to the clutter out there in the interwebs. If there’s one marketing tip that we take with us from 2016 into the new year, it’s that bad content is worse than no content. So how do you improve your content?
- Learn who your audience is
- Learn what your audience wants
- Learn what you can give your audience that no one else can
- Give your audience what they want
While this is obviously an oversimplified breakdown of what you should be doing, it all comes down to losing that ego. It doesn’t matter what you want to write about, it should be about creating personalized content that your audience wants.
Get to Know Your Social Audience
In terms of marketing techniques, social media is still very young and unexplored. In fact, social media is expected to grow to 24% of marketing budgets in the next five years, up from 10%. Social media is not going away, but it is evolving rapidly. One thing that many marketers aren’t capitalizing on is the huge opportunities available to gain insight into audiences through social media audience data. Content creation is important, as is distribution, but how do you know if that content is performing? Analytics can give you insight into these question. Let’s look at the numbers. In 2016, 78% of the U.S. population has a social media profile. By nurturing and analyzing audiences and their engagement, a company can gain unprecedented information and patterns into customer purchasing.
Target Audiences Wherever They Are
In audience targeting, you are only as good as your data, so it’s important to start there. Collecting and analyzing data can be tough for some companies, but the more personalized experiences customers want, the more data companies will need. Defined audiences can open a whole new world of targeted advertising, and not just on the basics like age, gender, and household income. Targeted advertising is much more advanced these days and can be aimed at people based on their behaviors or other patterns. In addition to targeting across the web, businesses need to start considering how to target advertising across devices. Consumers are connected through an average of five devices. Data can help you pinpoint consumer’s devices, which then allow a company to target across these devices and gain more opportunities to get your brand in front of the consumer.
Show Your Brand’s Face Through Video
Well live streaming sure blew up this year, didn’t it. It got a brief mention in our trends to watch in 2016, but the success of Facebook Live has really changed live access to everyone, everywhere. How many times has a Facebook Live video popped up in your notifications and sucked you in to watch, even if for just a few minutes? Video content has not only become popular, but necessary. Video improves SEO, has higher engagement rates, and is more likely to gain consumer attention, and has higher retention. In fact, 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video. It’s predicted that 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. On top of all that, videos create higher open rates for emails and increase click through rates. It’s a no-brainer – video content is not going anywhere, and will only increase in popularity for marketers.
Those are the five predictions that we have for marketing in this coming year, but of course, there will probably be new and emerging trends and apps that we could have never seen coming. Looking forward to an exciting new year in marketing, and hoping for some fun new trends to check out in 2017!