Any company planning a digital marketing campaign for 2017 will notice significant differences from their 2016 plans. Digital marketing is evolving at a faster pace than ever before, and a number of emerging trends are likely to impact on digital-focused businesses this year…
Here are our top observations on trends for a successful digital marketing campaign:
Automation and augmented reality.
From Pokémon Go to driverless cars, and from Alexa to chatbots, 2016 was the year when immersive marketing and automation began to directly influence our daily activities. Consumers are eager for instant responses to website queries, and there’s an appetite for greater interactivity through AR and VR (Virtual Reality). Interactive content encourages repeat custom, so expect big brands to focus on predictive analytics and augmented reality software in 2017.
Companies are falling over themselves to harness the live functionalities launched by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram last year. These social media giants are attempting to replicate Snapchat’s use-it-or-lose-it urgency, while YouTube Live continues to battle Periscope and Meerkat. The spontaneity and sincerity of live streaming lends credibility to any digital marketing campaign, as Red Bull has demonstrated to great effect.
Native social media advertising.
Google is penalizing mobile sites that use hover ads or intrusive interstitials, dealing another blow to an advertising sector battered by ad-blockers and falling CTRs. Sponsored social media content is likely to see rapid growth, since it’s far less invasive and more in keeping with modern media consumption habits. A well-judged campaign should deftly or wittily reinforce brand credentials, targeting specific audience segments through big data analytics.
Recent search engine algorithm updates have seen canonical URLs routinely being assigned to mobile sites for the first time. Any brand’s digital marketing campaign should focus on mobile audiences, requiring streamlined ecommerce functionality on responsive sites. Most web traffic is carried by mobile nowadays, so designing for mobile is essential for driving traffic and measuring a campaign’s impact.
Maximising site engagement.
Another change to Google’s all-conquering algorithm last year saw the amount of time audiences spend on a website given extra weighting when calculating search engine results. Known colloquially as ‘the long click’, audience engagement has never been so valuable. Expect digital marketing to focus on regularly updated website content, from blogs and news pages to embedded YouTube videos. Clickable headlines are also gaining in value and merit.
Personalised marketing through big data.
Superior knowledge of consumer preferences will underpin increasingly personalized targeted advertising. Where digital marketing campaigns used to employ hit-and-hope tactics, now it’s all about meaningful individual interactions based on known preferences. The curated results of on-demand content providers like Netflix represent a classic example of using big data to improve one-to-one engagement – a win-win for consumers and providers.
Long tail keywords.
The days of cramming keyphrases into page titles are coming to an end. Search engines now favor exact search string matches, helping audiences to find precisely what they want rather than being directed to sites with the biggest marketing budgets. Long tails can be incorporated into blogs and news stories alongside standard website content, while the days of minimalist site design that prioritizes white space and images over text may be numbered.
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