We have said goodbye to 2016. It was a really busy year for Digital Marketing world. We can predict many obvious digital marketing trends of 2017 by just examining the pattern of Year 2016.
Facebook has almost stormed the space with 1 billion daily active users. They updated their algorithm many times, Marketers like you and me, who invested our-self in making community there, started whining because with every new update facebook reduced our organic reach.
The point Facebook reduced the organic reach, we start seeing the greater shift in FB advertisement and Zuck made us available more than 13 types of objective based optimization on FB ads.
So clearly Facebook is writing a rule that if you want to reach to your prospects or customers then you have to pay. See the revenue trends of Facebook.
An announcement of Facebook Messenger Chatbot during F8 conference in April 2016 accelerated the chatbot industry.
The instant article is another Facebook’s strategy, which is intended to keep you on Facebook.
Facebook doesn’t stop here, they further introduced live video broadcast for all.
What’s app (owned by FB) is dominating the messaging apps? Marketers are still figuring out to get results from this messaging app. Facebook messenger app has reached to 1 billion users.
Now come to Google, Google main source of revenue is AdWords and it is still growing. Google has introduced new micro-moment philosophy and working to make products around it.
They introduced in-shop ads and pin ads. Probably in 2017 we will see Google native advertising platform also.
Google have strict the rules for ranking in search results, we see many updates from Rank Brain to Penguin 4.0. You have to give up all black hat techniques. Google started taking care more about the experience than SEO tricks or techniques.
We see the growth of video and Image contents during 2016. Marketing Pundits are predicting that 2017 will be video marketing year.
Here my assumptions for Year 2017.
#1. Analytics and Data-Driven Optimisation
The hyper digitalisation and free or low-cost data recording devices have created the explosion of historical data. Another factor is the implementation of various analytical tools become easy.
However still, analytics is being used for MIS purpose mostly. As digital place becoming increasingly cluttered where getting results was not as easy as it was 5-10 years back.
So I can predict marketers will feel the pressure of ROI and this will lead them to data-driven optimization.
Big data has enabled the opportunity that you can do hyper focused segmentation. Eg: Scenario-based segmentation, moment based segmentation etc.
#2. In-store Marketing
Online shopping is new FAD but data shows offline shopping is still dominating the marketplace.
71% consumers actually prefer to shop in-store irrespective of the item available online.
Forrester research predicts that 11% of all transactions will be web sales by 2018 that is relatively 3% increase since 2013.
Google data shows 42% shoppers do online research about the product while shopping in-store.
I am expecting retailers will understand this trend in 2017.
They will invest in this opportunity.
Google has started showing the ads and search results both in completely keeping in-store experience in mind. You can see the real-time results in the carousel style on mobile search.
#3. Rise of Video Marketing
The fast data speed and multiple distribution platforms have created enormous demand for rich media. People love to discover videos and consume them on mobile.
Facebook announced that they are generating 8 billion video views per day. And according to Tubular Labs, 654.7 million videos have been uploaded by 66.7 million creators in the last 365 days to more than 30 video platforms.
In July 2015, YouTube announced that 400 hours of video were being uploaded to the site every minute. This is simply magnificent. YouTube is cluttered but still growing.
Growth in watch time on YouTube has accelerated and is up at least 50% year over year for three straight years.
More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
We will see, Video will be single most important part of content marketing strategy in 2017. The video consumption trend will go upward only.
#4. Cross-Device Advertising
Cross-device campaign allows marketers to reach users with consistent messaging across the screens (Desktop, Laptop, Mobile, Tablets etc.)
Your consumers engaging in frequent device switching is even more common. Google and Facebook both confirmed this fact in their research.
The Facebook study shows the more devices owned the more consumers are likely to switch between them: “53 percent of people who own two devices switch between them to complete tasks or activities, and 77 percent of people who have three devices do the same.”
Google’s research appeared with a more dramatic finding: 90 percent of consumers move “sequentially” between different screens during the same day.
So the conclusion is you can not design a campaign to tap complete consumer journey by keeping one device in mind.
Many marketers are doing this successfully and many will join the club in 2017.
#5. Hyper Personalisation
Digital Marketing is growing so fast because of its ability to personalisation. We are receiving personalized emails since more that 10 years.
You have many types of distribution platforms and all have the ability to serve your customers in highly personalize manner.
You will see Email marking will go beyond the Dear [First Name ] things. Marketers will start merging available information like Geography and weather reports.
As you see Facebook is serving personalized videos to its user. This trend will spread further.
Personalized dynamic ads on the search engine will grow further. The content marketer will produce contents for very niche audience by keeping the track on their consumer journey stage.
#6. Native Content
There is lots of hype about native content but still, the marketers have to explore its potential at fullest. Many marketers mistaking it as a sponsorship.
There is tons of research available online which shows that people like to consume in-depth content. Simultaneously data also shows that the CTR of banners ads is decreasing day by day. People have been wired now to ignore it.
Here the solution is native content, it stitched with original content and hard to differentiate from the actual one.
Many people criticizing the way it is being served but it altogether separate matter.
See some example of native ads.
Almost all kind of social advertising also is native ads. So here my prediction is, content marketing will have the larger share in the budget and native contextual and video ads will be used to distribute it in 2017.
#7. Mobile Marketing
Back in The year, 2015 Mobile surpassed the Desktop. Smartphone screen has become the primary screen. the growth smartphone device was so sudden and still market is not ready for it.
The mobile phone is not only a media platform, it leads fundamental change in the behavior of the user.
The Marketers will try to understand it more. We will see more mobile base marketing in 2017.
#8. Chat Bots
The messaging App (Whats App, Messenger, We Chat, Telegram etc.) traffic has surpassed the social media traffic. This created an opportunity for the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and NLP (Natural Language Programming) enabled chatbots to do basic human conversation.
Facebook has speeded up the Chatbot industry by opening its messenger API for Bot developers. Bots have immense potential and in coming times, we will see it.
We will see many conversational, commerce and service bots in 2017.
#9. Growth of VR, AR and 360 degree Video
Total revenue for VR is projected to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020. The software will be a notable revenue source, growing more than 200% year-over-year in 2016. Hardware shipments of VR devices alone will increase from 2.2 million in 2015 to 20 million in 2018. Furthermore, there is an excessively high demand for VR headsets, gaming, and video entertainment platforms.
According to a new market research report “Augmented Reality Market by Component (Sensor, Display, & Software), Display Type (Head Mounted, Head-Up, Handheld, & Spatial), Application (Aerospace & Defense, Consumer, Commercial), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2020″, the total augmented reality market is expected to reach USD 56.8 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 79.6% between 2015 and 2020. The growing demand for augmented reality technology in consumer, commercial and aerospace & defense segments would drive the growth of the augmented reality market.
the 360-degree video is a critical first step in virtual reality’s growth into a mainstream marketing channel. iPhone enabled the capability to capture it.
We can expect gaming, real estate, and tourism industry will utilize this opportunity more in 2017 and others will follow & test the possibility to capture attention through it.
#10. Spike in Digital Media Budget
The Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey report shows that Marketing leaders spent more on their websites, digital commerce, and digital advertising than on other categories in 2016. These top three categories of 2016 spend illustrate that, while digital has become integral to all marketing activities, pure digital marketing investments remain a top priority.
This trend will continue in 2017 also.
The year 2016 was a phenomenon and it will be written in the history of digital disruption for many reasons. The trend which started during 2016 will grow and mature in coming years. Facebook has emerged as a powerhouse and challenging Google on every front.
Google has its own strength to play, they are quite pro-active for future. Facebook and Google both are taking Bots very seriously.
Bots are the future.
Video content will lead the content marketing and it will be mostly consumed on mobile.
Marketers will loose faith on organic scaling on social, this will create the gold rush for social advertising. The major beneficiary of this change will be facebook.
You may find these all rapid changes a bit confusing, but actually you don’t have to be panic of these changes. You have to just focus on your customers for adding value to their life. Whatever platform help you in doing so, just adopt that.
If you ask me a simple formula to trade attention in 2017 then adopt the following theme in your marketing planning.
Mobile + Social + Video = Success
All the best for 2017 !