2017 Digital Marketing Trends Roundup

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2017 is going to be a phenomenal year in digital marketing. Why? Because we’re going to make it that way. Part of BOWEN’s mission is to constantly leap forward, staying ahead of the digital curve with both eyes focused on the next big opportunity.

It’s no stretch to say that our team is a little obsessed with new trends. Poised on the bleeding edge, we’re perpetually learning new skills, refining legacy talents, and drilling down to see what works.

The digital landscape is swirling with change this year, and we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting new advancements for your review. We’re ready. Are you?

Augmented Reality

While enthusiasm for Pokemon Go has died down, there’s no denying the numbers. The game earned $10 million a day in new revenue at the height of its popularity, and harnessed the attention of children and suit-sporting adults alike. Out of its colorful ashes have risen some very real effects on the marketing community. For one, widespread obsession with the game at its peak proved to everyone watching that users are, in fact, ready for augmented reality (AR) and hungry for more. Second, marketers have observed the game’s exceptional earning power, and crave methods of tapping into it for their own clients. This year, expect to see an increase in AR games and ads, as well as companies capitalizing on current AR apps.

Data Visualization Tools Take the Helm

Quantifiable information fuels our every marketing action. Through statistics, graphs, and trend lines, we track what is and is not working, and make tweaks as-necessary to come out on top. That said, even “data head” analysts who live and breathe numbers – we have quite a few on our team – benefit from visuals that aid in the understanding and processing of complex numerical information. Enter dozens of data visualization tools already on the market. This year, with more sophisticated technological upgrades and data needs increasing, businesses are going to focus heavily on using these tools, or fail to do so to their own detriment.

Live Video Streaming Takes the Cake

Social users, whether digitally native or new to the landscape, now demand in-the-moment content that grants them vicarious access to people and events otherwise out of reach. Enter live video streaming, made possible by speedier internet, mobile connections, and a boost in devices offering live streaming functionalities. While live video has slowly crept into the public eye, 2017 may be the year it fully enters the mainstream. If this year’s live-streamed presidential debate was any indication, it’s going to be huge, and brands of every size will be looking to cash in.

Native Advertising Gets a Facelift

While not a new trend, native advertising is a simple and classic way for brands to obtain visibility that appears natural and authentic. As consumers wisen to traditional marketing attempts, native advertising’s subtlety will make it king. Expect to see major publishers and advertisers who previously opted out now choosing to take advantage of this trend.

Content Marketing Goes Immersive

Once upon a time, your laptop screen was as real as the internet got. These days, users crave more it-feels-real developments, experiences like AR and VR that transport them to another place and time. Aside from the already mentioned AR experiences, 360 videos can help users feel like they’re “really there” in a live webinar or workshop. Interaction that enables users to feel part of something more than just a small window on a screen is key, and in 2017, this type of experience will spread like wildfire, with more and more brands offering the spellbinding service.

Niche Markets Are the New Black

Everyone’s got their fingers in the online marketing pot these days, and that includes millions of new businesses. Content and social media marketing spaces are saturated with businesses looking to share their brand and message. How do we marketers cope? Targeting specific niches is one way to narrow down your demographic and reap bountiful rewards. Look for more personal content and campaigns that go after specific groups rather than mass appeal.

Denser Content On the Rise

If you tend to skim web articles and filter out social media messages, honing in only on what’s really important, you’re far from alone. Attention spans are dropping to goldfish levels as technology develops and social media platforms parlay gobs of content to users at lightning speed. A generation of article-skimmers and post-skippers has influenced marketers, and now denser, highly specialized, laser-focused content is the name of the game. Prepare to read articles and social posts in which every word counts.

Finally, The Internet of Things

Connected devices are here to stay. From smart cars to thermostats, these intelligent, assisting Things will continue to infiltrate our daily lives, albeit in subtle and slow-moving ways. Wearables are on the rise, and prices for smartwatches and fitbits should drop this year, making them more accessible. Chatbots, or computer programs that use artificial intelligence to mimic conversation, will continue to pop up this year, although progress will likely be gradual. Marketers should start to consider what these connected devices offer us, and how we can begin to shift marketing strategies to make the most of evolving connectivity.

This year promises to expound upon the growing AR/VR landscape, giving marketers ample opportunity to provide new and thrilling experiences for their users and solidify brand loyalty.