17 Digital and Content Marketing Trends for 2017

  • Date Published
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As we surge full steam ahead into 2017, one thing is for sure – the number of businesses untouched by the power of content marketing will shrink exponentially this year. According to a prediction by GroupM, the total spend on marketing services will notch US $1 trillion in 2017 – a first for this industry. Read along to see which trends will top the digital and content marketing charts this year:

  1. Virtual reality: Deloitte Global states that virtual reality and augmented reality will rake in US$ 1 billion by way of profit by 2020. Recent moves by companies such as Google, Dell, and Qualcomm reveal that they are looking as virtual reality as a here-to-stay trend. That’s great news for marketers in particular. From packaging to consumer products to media to entertainment to healthcare, virtual and augmented reality are expected create real value in 2017.
  2. Marketing automation and artificial intelligence: Marketing technology and marketing AI is upstaging advertising technology. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as companies such as IBM, Adobe, and Oracle have spent millions on acquiring marketing automation capabilities across social media, predictive analytics, personalization, and email. The thrust on personalization is unmistakable as digital marketers try to understand user behaviour and use artificial intelligence to tap into the slightest open opportunity.
  3. Cross-device marketing: As the virtual and real world combine to become one, marketers will be using more cross-device marketing tools such as beacon notifications, site-to-store, and apps.2017 is most likely to be the turning point for the cross-device marketing as TV could enter this league. Measurements and metrics for cross-device marketing have only now begun to emerge on the market. Google has found previously that search ad conversion rates spike by 14% for travel companies when cross-device was evaluated.
  4. Shift away from short form video content: Marketers have thus far safely stuck to short form video content because driven by the belief that viewers want bite-sized nuggets of information. But long form video content, a format regarded as being too smart for the average internet user, is expected to gain more traction. Facebook, for instance, is expected to start placing greater weight on 90-second-or-longer videos in its news feed as it introduces video mid-roll.
  5. Fake news will get pushed off the cliff: For content marketers and producers, fact-checking is set to become more important. The Journalism, Media, and Technology report published by the Reuters Institute of Journalism shows that “fact-checking” services will enter the arena more prominently in 2017. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said that it amounts to less than 1% of all the content on peoples’ timeline, but the sentiment of distrust that fake news is stirring among internet users is peaking. This is likely to make way for better machine learning and picture recognition.
  6. Influencer marketing: According to an eMarketer report that came out in 2016, 81% of marketers said influencer marketing has proven favourable in furthering their overall marketing goals. One trend that’s shaping up clearly is that brands will look at larger groups of less influential social media users than just a small bunch of hugely popular influencers.
  7. Ad blockers will hit their stride: In 2017, native advertising is most likely going to be the name of the game. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report shows that consumers are seriously annoyed by online advertisements that intrude their browsing experience. Preroll ads, it turns out, annoy more than 60% of internet users. And, wait for this, a staggering 92% of internet users said they would consider installing an ad blocker.
  8. Visual storytelling sets in: The Visual teaching Alliance states that the human mind processes visual information 60,000 quicker than information presented in the form of text. With the evolution of augmented reality and the Internet of Things, visual storytelling is expected to go the way of converged media.
  9. Online reputation management (ORM) will gather steam: As user generated content such as reviews, likes, and comments continue to influence a brand’s standing, ORM specialists will be the stars of the show. There’s a strong likelihood that ORM could well spawn a brand new sub-vertical within digital marketing because it would entail sifting through massive data to monitor metrics such as positive reviews, consumer sentiment, negative reviews, repeat visitors to a website, user-generated content, and so forth.
  10. Programmatic ads: In 2017, programmatic ads will likely be used to scale by even small and mid-sized companies to target buyers more intelligently. OwnerIQ, a programmatic ad solutions company, shows that programmatic advertising could well account for over 85% of all targeted banner ads and 67% of all video streaming ads by 2020. However, bringing in more transparency to programmatic advertising will be an area of sharp focus in 2017.
  11. Live streaming: Periscope and Meerkat may have just set in motion a trend that will snowball its way into 2017. Facebook is now seeing great interest in live streaming, so is YouTube. It’s pretty evident that moving ahead, live streaming will go beyond just entertainment, sports, and events. It will be used in hospitality, food, healthcare, and travel.
  12. User-generated content: The last couple of years have shown us that user-generated content trends can go astoundingly viral. Case in point: the ice bucket challenge. Heading into 2017, brands are going to be wiser about user generated content being an important part of social selling. It also aids their quest of being seen as more personalized and authentic.
  13. Mobile-first: The mobile is helping marketers re-imagine web design, shopping, and engagement. Spend on mobile ads is expected to be 2X more than that for desktop. The explosion of mobile apps, emphasis on native advertising, and growth of local are making creating a new mobile-first world.
  14. Short-life content: Platforms offering self-deleting messages and short-life content are expected to help brands smartly wade through the crowd yet not linger around too long to be lost in the noise again. We have seen the popularity of Snapchat soar in recent years and Instagram has joined the party with Instagram Stories. Their user base has reached epic proportions already.
  15. Bots and Chatbots: The use of chatbots on specific messaging and collaboration platforms will gain traction in 2017. The use of chatbots for business updates, as personal assistants, for therapeutic use, and in healthcare settings may entirely change marketing as we know it. According to a VentureBeat report, nearly 50% of consumers would prefer to contact a business through messaging rather than over phone. As business race to be available 24×7, the deployment of chatbots based on AI is sure to increase in the year ahead.
  16. Content-driven platforms: Facebook Instant Articles and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages have allowed people to go ahead and publish content instantly. As other self-publishing platforms such as LinkedIn Pulse and Medium see a continued increase in their user base, there’s every reason for digital marketers to stay attentive to what’s happening in this realm.
  17. Social commerce: Ecommerce sales are reporting an exponential rise year-on-year. “About two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook…. 85% of all orders come from Facebook,” says the folks over at Shopify. This demonstrates why being social is going to be so important to selling a product in 2017.

Interested in knowing how you can ace these new emerging opportunities? Leave it to Flynaut to figure it out for you. At Flynaut, we have our finger on the pulse of everything to do with digital and content marketing.