Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2017 - With insight on how to start the New Year

Another year is here. When that ball dropped in Times Square, we would venture to bet that you had the same feeling that we had – anticipation.

Wiping the slate clean and starting a new year is intoxicating. However,

unless we have a plan of action, we will not get anything accomplished that we set out to do. Just as your plane cannot arrive at its destination without a flight plan, so your business cannot accomplish the mission this year without a plan. Over our next few blog posts, we will be laying out a specific marketing plan as it pertains to all of your digital interests. For now, we will focus on the view from thirty thousand feet. What are the overall trends that your business should be following in 2017? We will be using the word “START” as an acrostic that details what your business should be doing to be relevant in 2017. Let’s get started!

S - Social Media, Engaging Videos/Visual Content

By now, most of the world is aware of the power of social media. Whether users are sharing a meme that has gone viral, or keeping up with friends and family, the importance of social media in the public sphere is undeniable. Studies show that over 68% of all adults in the United States are on Facebook, just as an example. Instagram is not too far behind, around 32% of American adults frequent their site. How do we reach these masses of people? The answer, which we will expound upon in greater detail in coming blogs, can be summed up in two words: “visual content”. Research has shown that social media users are far more likely to be affected by a short engaging video than with text alone. Pairing a compelling video with a Facebook ad, for instance, will be a winning combination for forging a digital footprint.

T – Technology, Live Stream Video

We are living in the midst of a technological revolution. Streaming live video is now easier than ever. Businesses should be taking advantage of this by incorporating live streaming video content. Live-streaming allows for an “in the moment, behind the scenes” type feeling. Being on the spot allows for a perceived relationship to take place subconsciously. Take your followers behind the scenes or do a question and answer session. Showcase your willingness to connect. This connection will take you a long way.

A – Agility, Mobile is First

Mobile device usage is at an all-time high and will continue to climb in usage this year. Is your site optimized for mobile devices?

Consider this: the typical consumer will wait around 10 seconds for a site to load before moving on to another site.

Upload speed is not the only area that agility is necessary. Increasingly, consumers want answers to their questions at all times of the day. Chatbots are growing in popularity for this very purpose. Instead of scouring the website for the answer to their question, the consumer should be able to type in their query. In other words, websites should be there to answer the questions before the potential customer even knows that they have a question.

R – Relatability, The Age of Authenticity

Now, possibly more than ever, brands are being called on to be relatable. Can your brand be described as authentic? One way to get the message out about your brand’s authenticity is through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a “form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole”. Essentially, the idea is to find “brand ambassadors” who will get the word out about your business through social media and other means.

T – Tailor-made, Native Content

Digital marketing should be tailor-made to be successful. Native content is a great way to customize your marketing efforts. Native Content, also called native advertising, is “a form of paid media where the ad

experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.” Native advertising allows businesses to go to where their potential clients already are. Consumers are much more likely to interact with native content than they are traditional paid advertising. One expert laid out the case for native advertising this way:

Click through rates tend to be much higher on native units and if you are really working with the publisher and customizing to their audience, you can get earned impressions on top of your paid impressions with shares on social media.”

If your business is already using Facebook Ads, then your business is already engaged in native content!

These are just a few steps to help you get off the ground with your digital marketing as you start this New Year. Be on the look-out for our upcoming blog posts. We will be diving even deeper into digital marketing solutions that will help set your business apart in 2017.

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