2017 Digital Marketing Trends

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2016 – A Look Back at the Best 

Although 2016 was a pretty rocky year for most people we did get to see some great marketing campaigns, here are our favourites: 

Spotify ‘Thanks 2016, it’s been weird’ campaign

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http://creativity-online.com/work/spotify-thanks-2016/50063

 

Mars ‘Look on the light side’ –Malteasers 

https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/11/30/677643/

 

Pret ‘Little Veggie shop’

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https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/best-marketing-campaigns-2016/

 

Lidl ‘Lidl Surprises'

https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/11/29/2016-campaigns-year-part-1/

 

2017 Marketing Trends

Let’s be honest 2016 wasn’t great in general but 2017 is here and we reckon it’s going to be one hell of an exciting year! We’re keen to see what is going to be at the forefront digital marketing so here are some techniques we think will big on the 2017 marketing scene:

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http://www.smartinsights.com

 

You Have 8 Seconds...

Short-lived content is becoming more popular. Snapchat has rapid rise to popularity added more to social media than just another platform it changed the way in which users see content. It showed the world that short-lived or disappearing content is valuable and is hugely appealing to Millennials and Gen Z aka the people who have an 8 second attention span.

On the other side, interactive content is becoming hugely popular and Buzzfeed is a great example of this, their silly quizzes are strangely addictive and sometimes you just have to find out what type of pizza you would be ok?! These types of content are great at engaging consumers and getting them to interact with your brand, some examples include polls, surveys, quizzes, infographics and contests and the more addictive the better.

 

Put it on Autopilot

In a world where there never seems to be enough time, automation will become your best friend. As many of us tend to complete our own personal to do lists once we finish for the day e.g. order that really great colander Julie was banging on about, marketers look to extend their offering past trading hours. Automation is great and with tools like Hubspot and Marketo it’s become even easier to something once and then automate the process over and over again.

 

Be More Mobile

People touch their phones several times a day and you probably touch yours more than you’d think. More traffic is coming from mobile devices and you’re missing out on key customers if you don’t cater your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, you can’t just be mobile optimised the content needs to be integrated in consumer’s lives. Mobile video is also becoming a lot more prominent for example, mobile video grew six times faster than desktop in 2015 so pick up your mobile and get connecting.

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It’s ALL About Me

Personalisation is key for brands who want to make an impression. With many people feeling like there is too much content and too little time, personalised content instantly gains the attention of consumers. The ability to segment and drill down into consumer segments of preferences and demographics and then target the correct content at the correct consumers means it can only be successful.

 

“Big, Dirty, Stinking (data)Base”

Data-driven marketing is ever growing and is unlikely to stop anytime soon with estimates of the big data market increasing from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion by 2020. These types of data can be extremely useful for marketers for understanding their campaigns, audiences and more and was widely used in the most recent US presidential election campaign. Even when consumers don’t use branded hashtags, thoughts and opinions surrounding a brand or campaign can still be picked up and used as insights.

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Livestream is the New Mainstream

I’m sure many of you have seen those countless adverts showing you how to live stream your life on Facebook, well now it’s time to bite the bullet and jump on board as this trend is going nowhere. Social platforms have integrated live stream functionality in to their service and more people want to share more about their lives with the world (we just hope it’s not a 5 minute video about their Starbucks coffee!) Let’s face it live stream is HUGE. With companies like Twitter recently agreeing to live stream 10 NFL matches for free worldwide it shows live streaming isn’t just for consumers it’s for businesses too. Companies like Xbox are already seeing the benefits of using live stream video when they live streamed the trailer for their new game attracting over 300,000 viewers.

Just to give you an idea of how powerful this is:

  • Facebook video grew by 94% in 2014 with 50~% of U.S. Facebook users watching at least one video per day.
  • Mobile makes up for more than half of all YouTube video views
  • YouTube viewings went up by 60% over 2014

 

Out and About

On the flip side, out-of-home advertising made waves in 2016 by educating, informing or providing a complete experience for consumers rather than just raising brand awareness. Brands taking over public spaces like Sony and JCDecaux at London Waterloo stations for the launch of Ghostbusters have experienced an increase in the number of people who interact with the brand on their phone.

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Screen if You Want More

As we know content and experiences are key factors in achieving effective marketing the need for synchronisation across devices is resulting in creations that are transferable across all channels. Several brands make videos that work well as just a video or as a TV advert due to the associated low costs and the real people and situations involved. As a result of this brands are using digital outdoor campaigns to display content from their social feeds to encourage engagement, this is frequently seen during sporting events. 2017 is likely to become the year where brands develop ‘screen agnostic’ strategies that hit several platforms using one execution.

 

Faceless Friends

Although these trends are likely to be prominent throughout 2017, human behaviour is changing as a result of new home technologies like the Amazon Echo. These home hubs that take voice commands and can control other digitally enabled products/services has sparked the possibility of ‘zero user interface’ which may reduce consumer’s interactions with screens. By 2020 there are expected to 75 billion connected devices meaning there will be ten times as many devices talking to each other as there will be people on the planet. The level of data sharing is huge and will transform the way we live.

 

But Are You Even Instafamous Yet?

Social media is key in today’s world thanks to the levels of reach, options to engage audiences and chances to boost advocacy. Overall social media is on the rise however certain channels are starting to decline.  Although Twitter may be on the decline, networks like Pinterest and Instagram are on the rise. Pinterest has grown to over 150 million active monthly users and Instagram now has over 600 million users.  Additionally, the use of social media advertising has increased their popularity and enabled businesses to promote products and campaigns as well as grow they consumers base/following, this has led to businesses becoming more innovative in their targeting and remarketing options. 

 

An Experience Like No Other

Creating a better customer experience has long been a top priority for businesses but it is still a top of the pecking order for CMOs especially as consumers believe 21% of company’s marketing messages are just ‘usually relevant’. In order to have a deeper understanding of customers to deliver a better experience here are some top tips to utilise in 2017:

  • Look-alike audiences are great at developing social list growth
  • Retargeting reaches new levels of cross-channel sophistication
  • It’s critical for brands to deliver a connected customer experience
  • Social media and automation will come together in new ways to improve the customer journey
  • Video will become a focal point in the marketing mix
  • Loyalty programs will expand across touch points and channels –your customers are plugged in 24/7 on a variety of devices do you know if they look at your content from more than one device?

This shows us that 2017 is the year to challenge your current digital marketing strategy and be more collaborative and innovative. The best way to do this is to provide a consistent, authentic and relatable experience to consumers across platforms.

 

Goodbye 2016

2016 was a pretty bad year overall however, there are some things we are still yet to say goodbye to:

  • Big banner ads as marketers have seen a 53% increase in lead generation from native advertising.
  • Stock images are no longer grabbing people’s attention, a more authentic and personalised image is likely to resonate with an audience
  • With 88% of customers believing online reviews are as authentic as recommendations, fake reviews have increased however, companies are noticing this and filing lawsuits and customers are becoming more aware too.
  • Pop-up ads are annoying and Google knows it so it no longer ranks websites with pop-up sites as well as ones that don’t have them. Basically get rid of them.
  • Twitter (sad face), market shares have fallen and has been for a few year now but with small changes and improvements it doesn’t seem to be getting any better

 

2017 looks like it could shape up to be a great year for digital marketing, we’re already seeing these trends start to grow and we’re excited for where it could take us. Overall, the industry will see more personalised content being distributed in different formats and across specific channels, ensuring that consumers are effectively targeted in regards to the content, the format they receive and the device.

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