5 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2017
2016 was a hallmark year in the world of digital marketing and advertising. We saw the emergence of mobile as the dominant form of web use, in addition to significant changes in how brands use social media to increase recognition and reputation. And while only time will tell what 2017 will bring in terms of digital marketing trends, we've got a few predictions for trends worth keeping a close eye on in the coming year.
Decline in Organic Reach
In previous years, businesses of any size or caliber could effectively use social media and other digital platforms to achieve broad organic reach. Huge marketing and advertising budgets weren't necessary, especially on social media sites, because organic reach could be achieved through the use of follower engagement and publishing of unique content.
However, in 2016, social media platforms started to get overwhelmed with business pages competing for followers and organic reach. Simply put, there's currently too many business Facebook (and other social media) accounts and not enough news feed space. As a result, many social media platforms have begun implementing paid advertising options, resulting in a significant decline in organic reach. To put it into perspective, Facebook organic reach is now down to 2%, and it's only expected to decline in 2017.
Increased Use of Voice Search
Today's electronic devices thrive on voice recognition. From smartphones and tablets to personal assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri, it only makes sense that voice search is becoming increasingly common. This, in turn, is expected to have a major impact on search (and, specifically, SEO) in the coming year and beyond. Specifically, we anticipate that long-tail keywords will become increasingly relevant as longer, spoken search queries are used instead of "traditional" typed keyword phrases.
Highly Personalized Campaigns
With more customer/client data being collected than ever before, 2017 will also be the year of personalized marketing campaigns. You've probably already seen this for yourself if you're an Amazon user; after you've viewed an item you're thinking about purchasing, you automatically begin seeing ads for other similar items you may be interested in. Music streaming services collect your listening data to customize not only your music stations, but the advertisements you see as well. This trend will only increase in popularity in the coming years, especially as user data becomes more readily available.
Greater Use of Video Marketing
2016 was the year of video, and we expect 2017 to be the year that video marketing really takes off. Today's "average" consumers don't want to see text-based ads. They want engaging visuals. Video provides a highly functional medium for marketing, especially on social media. Specifically, we've already begun to see brilliant examples of video marketing through Facebook's "Live" feature and innovative 360 video features. Furthermore, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram make it easier than ever for brands to share exclusive video content and draw engagement.
Continuation of the "Mobile Shift"
The shift from desktop to mobile use isn't really news, but it's worth mentioning and including as a 2017 trend because it's definitely going to continue into the foreseeable future. Specifically, mobile devices now account for the majority of Internet use than desktop devices. And with Google having announced mobile-first indexing in late 2016, it is now more important than ever that digital marketing and advertising strategies be crafted with the mobile user in mind. This means taking the time to ensure that all business websites and content are mobile-friendly and responsive to be viewed using any mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.).
In 2017, we anticipate that this will become increasingly important from an SEO standpoint, as Google has already announced that mobile-friendly sites will be given priority indexing. In other words, if your site isn't mobile-friendly, there's a chance it could be de-indexed, effectively negating any on-site marketing/advertising efforts you may have been planning on.
These are just a few of what we're expecting to be the biggest digital marketing trends foe 2017. With this in mind, now is probably a good time to sit down and review your brand's own digital marketing strategy to ensure your business and brand will be in good shape for the coming year.