As we round out the end of 2016, many business owners are putting pen to paper and firming up their budgets for the new year. When it comes to marketing, engagement and experience are going to play a huge role. So, let’s take a look at the 2017 marketing trends we are already starting to see.
Native advertising will boom in 2017! It’s estimated spending on these ads will reach $7.9 billion dollars in the new year and $21 billion by 2018. Not so sure what we’re talking about? Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience. Native ads don’t really “feel” like ads and you can check out some examples here. Marketers love this type of paid media because the content is interesting, usually useful and almost always targets a specific audience.
Content marketing is creating content relevant to your brand and distributing it to your existing and potential audience. It’s a great way to boost brand awareness, traffic and most importantly—sales. Through blog posts, articles, videos and more, marketers use content to drive people to a website, where they can make the sales pitch. There are three key items to keep in mind:
- The content should be relevant to your brand. Think about what’s important to your audience and why they should feel compelled to read or watch what you’re offering.
- The content has to be good. Make sure the message provides value to your audience. Not sure how to go about it? Just search for your brand, competitors and keywords related to your industry and you’ll discover a world of relevant content.
- Stick to your commitment. If you’re going to generate content, and subsequently an audience, don’t let it down. Your fans will come to expect your industry insights and will wonder where you are if you drop out for a few weeks. Not only that, but Google will reward you with better ranking on search terms if you’re consistent in postings.
Everybody is under the influence of marketing these days—but finding a target influencer to help deliver your message can really do the trick. Word-of-mouth has always held a lot of clout in terms of growing business. Today, that concept is booming because of social media. How do you find the perfect influencer? Here are some tips:
- Once you identify someone who would be perfect to boost your brand, start amplifying their content by sharing it on your own social media networks (and be sure to tag them so they know you’re doing it!)
- Some influencers might need an extra nudge. That nudge could come in the form of a charitable contribution in their name, or by inviting them to be interviewed for your company’s blog.
- Build your relationship early, before you even think about asking them for help.
Thousands of companies are currently using chatbots on Facebook, Twitter and through texts. A chatbot is essentially software that simulates online conversations with humans—helping customers with their questions, orders, deliveries and more. Techies have long been talking about them, and with the recent announcement from Facebook that brands can create their own bots for Facebook Messenger, expect to see it really catch on in 2017.
Marketing automation is exactly what it sounds like—automated marketing. With all the different avenues of online marketing, it can be a daunting task to keep up with the day-to-day activities that are essential to build a loyal audience. That’s why so many companies are turning to software that automates repetitive tasks such as email blasts, social media posts and other website actions. Done well, it allows companies to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers.
When we hear something, we listen. When we watch something, we not only see it, but we feel it. Video connects immediately with the audience, conveying an emotion and a message that is much more memorable than any words in an ad. 2017 will see many more brands sharing their stories through video. There are 1.3 billion active YouTube watchers in the world…and those watchers are consumers. You still don’t think video is right for your business? Keep in mind, each generation of consumers crave video more than last. Here’s the breakdown by percentage of each generation’s use of YouTube:
- Baby Boomers: 43% use YouTube
- Gen Xers: 58% use YouTube
- Millennials: 72% use YouTube
- Teens (14-17): 81.9% use YouTube
These younger generations, by the way, are also a powerhouse when it comes to ecommerce. A recent study shows millennials want to be marketed to with video and, if you want to capture that 72% of the audience (which is growing steadily), YouTube is one of the places you’ll need to be.
We are in content overload these days—bombarded with messaging everywhere we look. The more personal and relevant the content, the more likely you will be to capture a distracted customer’s attention. It’s all about creating the right tactics that speak to the target audiences’ habits, interests and browsing histories. Don’t get shut down by going the route of the obvious sales pitch!
Find this helpful? Want more insight into how to launch effective marketing strategies for your own business? We can help!
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