Whoa!! What a year 2016 was for digital marketing enthusiasts like you and us. We saw a mobile gaming app ‘Pokemon Go’ garnering over 720,000 downloads and 650 million installs within 80 days of launch. We also witnessed highly talked about trends such as Augmented reality, Internet of Things, Live Video Streaming, 360° video and more becoming a part of everyday life. The bygone year has surely set the stage for new digital trends to flourish in 2017. And now, to give you an insight into what will dominate the digital world this new year, we have listed out the following trends that we think can bring about a huge change in the way digital marketing is looked at.
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1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Pokemon Go truly took the world by storm and brought us an experience combining virtual gaming with real life locations. The gaming app has been used by marketers to lure customers in innovative ways. This gaming app has set a great example for others to follow and we expect to see more marketers, app development companies experiment with Augmented Reality in coming future.
We also see a growing competition in the Virtual Reality market as brands like Sony, Samsung, and many others are coming up with superior virtual reality headsets that can enable marketers to offer real-life experiences for video and content marketing.
Image Source: Amy Webb
2. Live Video Streaming
The year 2016 saw an increasing demand for ‘in the moment’ video content. Live videos have now become one of the Internet’s most favorite sensations. Marketers can explore live video streaming for product launches, live interactions with the audience, and to tell interesting stories and facts related or unrelated to their brands and create the right kind of buzz around their brands. 360° Video has also emerged as an effective media by marketers these days, with real estate being the early adopter.
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3. Data Visualization
There is an abundance of data being generated every day which can be used to extract significant business insights by data analysts, marketers, and researchers. However, the main challenge is to interpret data to understand customer behavior and determine what kind of messaging works best for them. As human brains cannot process vast amounts of data, newly emerged data analysis tools and technologies can make this an easy affair and provide useful insights in real time.
For digital marketers, data visualization is going to be immensely significant in the years to come and they must invest into it to obtain greater insights into customer orientations, their preferences, and many other factors.
4. Intuitive Websites
Intuitive websites are the need of the day. If your website is too cluttered, confusing and difficult, your visitor will immediately look for another site. This will adversely affect your conversion rates too. This is why marketers must be able to build user-friendly websites that are responsive, easy to navigate and functional.
People’s attention span is decreasing and they should be made available with whatever they are looking for in front of their eyes. The call to action buttons should be placed in such a way that it is easier for them to quickly process their requests.
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5. The Internet of Things (IoT)
The way technology is converging is fascinating. Internet of Things is expected to change the face of marketing in the years to come. An organization recently experimented with a vending machine that would release products only when the user interacts with it on twitter. In future, IoT will be very instrumental in access management using our social identity and will enable us to communicate freely with the physical world.
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6. Concise Content
Last five years witnessed an unimaginable rise in newsfeeds on social media and streams of content from millions of brands and local businesses. The majority of this content is too noisy that people are losing interest in it. With rapid technological advancements and drastic changes taking place in the way people consume information, the attention spans of people are dropping at a fast pace. Content marketers must understand that lengthy content will not bring them great results and it is important to create content which is to the point and concise.
7. Mobile Marketing
About 50 percent of the Internet searches take place on mobile devices and about 80 percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile devices. This clearly shows that having a mobile strategy today is not an option, but a necessity. Marketers need to chalk out a solid mobile strategy for social media ads, mobile search optimization, mobile apps, in-app advertising opportunities and more. Though marketers have been proactive in adopting a mobile strategy, there is no end to possibilities in this area.
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8. E-mail Marketing
When it comes to B2B Marketing, Email marketing surely outperforms all other media and will continue to do so. Thanks to mobile devices that enables digital consumers to access emails anywhere, anytime. It has emerged as a time-tested method for personalization, raising brand consciousness, increasing interactions, conversions and returns on investments. Also, the advent of automatic email campaign management tools will further boost its capabilities as a B2B marketing channel.
The trends projected by us do not include social media, machine learning, and a few others because some of them have already been very popular and others will take a few more years to emerge as mainstream. Whether you are a B2B marketer or a B2C marketer, keeping up with the latest trends will surely give you a competitive edge if you meticulously plan your efforts.
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager and Spokesperson of Blue Mail Media.