Digital Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2017

Digital marketing, as you definitely know, is ever-changing and rapidly adapts itself to new technology, new attitudes and new behaviors. As a marketer, you must always be aware of what’s on the horizon to make sure you’re prepared, with the best marketing strategy.

Technology will have the largest impact on marketing efforts in the coming year. Whether it’s video production (and consumption) or wearable gadgets, rapidly developing technology is set to break boundaries and push us all out of our comfort zones.

Don’t know what to prepare for? Here are some digital marketing trends that are likely to dominate the marketing space in the new year.

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Visual SEO

Optimizing your site for search engines is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. Google (and other search engines) are regularly tweaking their algorithms to ensure we  always find the best results.

There is no doubt that the way we consume content has changed drastically in the past couple of years. Our attention spans have become increasingly limited and we are much more attracted to visual content such as photos, infographics and video over traditional plain text.

While plain text will always be important, in 2016 it’s likely search engines will start to place even more importance on visual content, as that is what users want. According to this Demand Gen report, even the B2B audience is becoming increasingly interested in visual content when making purchase decisions.

Engaging visual content means a user is likely to spend more time on your website. This is a good signal for search engines. Additionally, a site with more visual content is likely to start ranking better in search engines. If your visual content starts to appear in search results and users click through, you will get additional brownie points from Google for relevance.



Video Domination

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth, oh, about 1.8 million.

OK, yes, we’re being a bit dramatic, but it helps to drive the point home: video is very relevant for the current marketing landscape.

Whether it’s Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, or even live streaming options such as Facebook Live and Periscope, video is going to dominate the visual content marketing and consumption space in 2016.

In a Nielsen global survey of 30,000 respondents from 60 countries, 55% of respondents asserted that video programming is an important part of their lives. Whether it’s on mobiles, desktops or smart TVs, video, in its many forms, is well loved by the average internet user.

It’s also important to note that mobile video plays a huge role in video consumption. For Millennials and Generation Z, mobile is very often the primary or the secondary device for video. For out-of-home video consumption, mobile is the primary device of choice for all generations. I’ll talk about mobile in more detail below.

For marketers, this growth in video consumption is a new opportunity to produce more video content themselves, but also to advertise where and when their audience is viewing this content.

According to this study, 71% of respondents plan to increase their video marketing budget in the coming year. B2B marketers are also likely to continue ramping up their video marketing and SEO efforts with 73% of them confirming that video has positively impacted their marketing results.


Live Streaming

With the boom in video production, it’s impossible to ignore the growth in the live streaming trend as well.

Whether it’s a sports event live-streaming on the Web, a music festival on YouTube or your favorite celebrity on Periscope/Meerkat/Snapchat/Facebook Live, we are all loving how easy it is watch live content now. The quality of videos and the ease of accessibility (via mobiles and tablets) also helps the live streaming cause.

Live streaming is having a huge impact on the way we view traditional TV, with sporting events leading the way. The 2014 Sochi Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil are the perfect examples. However, it’s not just limited to sports anymore, with TV hosts, CEOs, yoga teachers, makeup artists and other celebrities live streaming anything from a makeup lesson or keynote speech to random bits of their lives.

Brands are jumping on board too. In early 2015, Red Bull live streamed several of its Guest House events and built up interest for the events using Twitter and Snapchat. Mountain Dew is another brand doing great stuff with its live broadcasts on Periscope.

What does this mean for marketers? Put simply: Go where your audience is. For example, if your audience is live streaming events instead of watching traditional TV, this is where your marketing efforts need to be focused. Or, if your audience is hooked on Periscope, find a way to personalize and humanize your brand by creating interactive content. You need to be engaging with your audience more and more on these platforms.

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