digital marketing

Social And Digital Marketing Trends 2017

Social And Digital Marketing Trends 2017 700 411 Gravitate Digital

With 2016 now firmly behind us, we take a look at the top digital marketing trends for the year ahead. Whether you’re closely linked to the digital world or simply curious to find out how such advancements may affect your day to day life throughout the next 12 months, here are 10 trends we believe will define the social and digital markets this year.

1. Brands to become even more attuned to consumer needs

With the likes of social media now collecting data on our every click, monitoring our purchasing decisions and scanning our needs and priorities both through direct feedback and search behaviour, we all play a part – whether we like it or not – in contributing to targeted marketing approaches. This is only set to increase in 2017 as brands find more ways to compile consumer data and shape products and services accordingly.

2. Instant communication is now a baseline

Post millennials have grown up with the expectation of instant communication. Surrounded by social media and high powered technologies from an early age, anything less than instantaneous communication and entertainment is now deemed slow and redundant. What’s more, there’s every chance of multiple as yet unheard of platforms rising to the top to compete with the likes of SnapChat and Instagram in 2017.

3. The growth of Real-Time Social Media

Early 2016 saw the launch of Facebook Live across all platforms, allowing users to broadcast live to huge audiences with the click of a button. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has shown such confidence in this new content channel that he’s signed a deal with around 140 celebrities and media companies encouraging them to produce a huge number of live videos over the course of a year, with large financial incentives.

Results so far have shown that users spend three times as long watching live videos compared with their pre-recorded counterparts. Live streaming of social content is sure to take off in 2017, with brands quickly taking advantage of this new video format.

4. Influencer marketing will become a mainstay

To sway social media based consumers, brands will surrender some form of advertising control to high profile advocates who will work to push through products using their status alone. Although many businesses are jumping on this as their ‘go-to’ strategy, questions surrounding the best way to measure conversions brought about in this manner remain. Linkedin have already introduced a new video feature allowing 500 of the site’s top influencers to create a 30 second clip which will appear in member’s news feeds.

5. Resentment grows towards intrusive marketing strategies

Let’s face it, we’re all getting tired of pop-ups and banner ads which follow us around the web, not to mention brands that aggressively push their way into our social media feeds in the form of suggested Pins or Tweets. If the last twelve months are anything to go by, consumers will continue to step away from social platforms which flood them with brand marketing.

6. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence

A.I is big news. This year we should expect to see this revolutionary technology making a real difference to our lives, from increasingly sophisticated personal assistants to self driving cars, artificial intelligence is here to stay.  Advanced electronic applications and pinpoint analytics will predict customer needs as they arise.

7. Mobile dependency to increase

Smartphones have transformed how we communicate and share data, providing on-the-go access to music, film, books and social media, while replacing watches, alarm clocks, calculators and cameras. As dependency grows and our phones become our 24/7 companions, so too do the amount of uses for these pocket sized devices, with new apps and games forever in the making. Retailers who are not quick enough to adapt will lose out.

8. Time bound social content in digital marketing

Using expiring content as a marketing concept was an idea introduced by SnapChat in 2012. Before then, no one questioned that content should be accessible indefinitely, even after its relevance has long diminished. Putting a time limit on content, whether that be 24 hours or just a few seconds creates a sense of urgency which users react positively to – not wanting to miss out on a deal. Instagram recently followed suit with the launch of Stories, and we think it’s only a matter of time before this cleverly devised marketing strategy pops up on more traditional platforms.

9. Expectations of transparency gain momentum

In 2017, business ratings and reviews will continue to become a two way feedback channel. Websites such as AirBnB and companies like Uber have transformed customer rating systems by making it impossible for either party to see a review without first leaving one themselves, helping to encourage transparency from both sides. This year we can expect to see many more companies take on this review model, and who knows – maybe this will help to lessen the number of irate reviews left unanswered on social media sites.

10. Brands must diversify to overcome ad blockers

Due to the sheer amount of mobile web users (around 400 million) and desktop users (close to 200 million) now using Ad Blockers to avoid pop-ups and banner ads,  advertisers are quickly coming to terms with the fact that they need to diversify their online campaigns. Embedding content and links within text or using native ads (those disguised as relevant news articles) could help to avoid triggering Ad Blockers.