2016 was a big year in digital marketing. Mobile use continued to grow. We now have more data about what types of customers are using what platforms, and when. Social and mobile messaging apps offered new and different ways for businesses to reach customers. And search engine optimization, directory listings and online reviews played a larger role in getting businesses to show up in search results.
As the ways businesses can reach customers, analyze data and target results continue to evolve, marketers must constantly keep up with trends to stay in-the-know and get the most out of their marketing efforts.
If 2016 was any indication of the fast-paced world of digital marketing, 2017 is sure to be another wild ride. To help businesses of all sizes keep up with the constantly changing technology, Vivial has put together our top five digital marketing trends and predictions for the new year.
- Cross-device marketing optimization
Cross-device marketing optimization comes down to knowing your customers and how they are using different devices. While mobile use continues to grow, that doesn’t mean businesses can or should forget about laptops, desktops or tablets.
Younger customers, and people looking for immediate information (“near-me” searches) are likely searching from a mobile device, while older demographics and those doing more in-depth research about a product, service or company may be accessing information from a laptop, desktop or tablet. Businesses should use customer demographics, analytics and insights about the customer journey to get the most out of cross-device optimization.
Vivial recently updated our own website to help us better leverage our understanding of this trend. Visitors accessing www.Vivial.net on a laptop or desktop computer will experience a much different look and feel than visitors coming from a mobile device. By doing this, we are able to give laptop/desktop users access to more detailed information about our products, services and resources, while our mobile-friendly site provides clickable links to what people are looking for most, such as how to contact us and how to get started using our tools.
- Darwinian advertising
This may sound like something straight out of science fiction, but it’s actually nothing new. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms have been used by Google AdWords to associate the user search query with advertiser keywords.
What marketers can expect to see from this trend in 2017 is AI algorithms being used beyond words to optimize other creative components like colors, fonts and copy. Reactions and real-time feedback from customers will play a huge role in this “survival of the fittest” digital advertising concept.
- Facebook Live video
Much has been written about Facebook Live since it was introduced earlier this year. And with good reason: Facebook knows that users watch 100 million hours of video every single day. Now Facebook gives users a way both watch and stream live video on their own social media platform.
Facebook Live is an easy-to-use tool for businesses of all sizes to increase engagement with their followers. These videos can be a great compliment to an existing social media strategy by putting a face with the brand and giving users a better understanding of products and services. Businesses can use Facebook Live to broadcast events in real time, demonstrate how-tos, and give a “behind the scenes” look at the people behind their company.
- Mobile messaging apps
Mobile messaging apps like Facebook Mobile Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat are seeing huge growth. And mobile messaging, just like mobile use overall, is especially high with the 18-34 age demographic.
While mobile messenger apps at this time don’t have the opportunity for paid media opportunities, businesses are starting to catch on to this emerging channel and coming up with creative ideas to incorporate mobile messaging into their marketing strategies. Examples of this include retailers providing product recommendations and taking orders directly through the app, and service providers allowing customers to use mobile messaging apps to schedule and check-in to appointments.
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Many companies are already doing a form of conversion rate optimization (CRO)—a fancy term for tracking how many visitors to a site convert to customers. As businesses continue to try and get the most out of their marketing budgets, CRO will become increasingly important to generate more sales without investing money on “fluff.”
Each year, digital marketing continues to emerge, grow and shift as customer behaviors change in response to new technologies. These are just a few trends we expect to see in 2017. To learn more about these trends and others for the coming year, download the 2017 Digital Marketing Trends report or visit www.vivial.net.
Laura Cole serves as Vivial’s Vice President, Marketing and is responsible for go-to-market product strategy, brand management and corporate sponsorship. Ms. Cole joined the company in 2001 as a Sales Representative and has held numerous roles in Sales, Operations and Marketing. She is a social media and content marketing guest blogger and frequent contributor for Forbes.com. Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.