Happy New Year! The hustle and bustle of the holidays may be over, but we still have one more gift for you to unwrap.
All tied up in a big red bow, we’re gifting you six trends anticipated to drive digital marketing in 2017.
Some may look familiar as they were around in 2016, too. But this year, they’re expected to pick up even more steam. So, get a jumpstart on the new year, and start incorporating them into your marketing campaigns now.
1. The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Influencers wield a lot of power, which can result in big exposure for your brand. In 2016, we saw a rise in Instagram and YouTube influencers. The rise of influencers will continue into the coming year.
Related Post: 4 Easy Ways to Find Instagram Influencers
While you may be tempted to get a celebrity to vouch for your product, don’t. Coveted audiences like Millennials and Gen Z trust influencers like YouTube star more than celebrities.
For example, YouTube beauty blogger Stephanie Nicole is brutally honest in her product reviews. She may have less than 300,000 subscribers, which pales in comparison to other beauty bloggers, but she’s influencer gold.
Her experience in the beauty industry and thorough research means any review she gives, good or bad, is legit. If she says a $50 face cream sucks, consumers know not to waste their money.
For a beauty brand looking to bring awareness and credibility to a new product, Stephanie is the influencer they need. But finding the right influencer to vouch for your brand isn’t as easy as it seems.
There are a lot of influencers out there, and not all will be the right fit. When selecting an influencer, look for built-in fans of your products. An influencer who already likes you, will be more open to forging a relationship. Comb through your Instagram followers. You never know, an influencer or micro-influencer may already be following you.
2. Brands Moving Forward With Chatbots
Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay may have given marketers pause last year when she was corrupted and went on a racist tirade. But bad bot Tay isn’t deterring them from using chatbots to continue to evolve customer interaction.
Source: The Verge
When used correctly, chatbots can improve real-time engagement. They provide answers and perform actions. And if you’re a company who needs to offer 24/7 customer service, chatbots are a great solution.
As more companies move toward automation, (ahem Amazon Go), chatbots are the logical solution. And you don’t have to be married to just one type of bot. There are a variety out there to meet your automation needs.
This year, marketers will be using several types of bots including utility, character, shopping, content, and news/entertainment.
3. An Increase in Evergreen Content
When content continually remains relevant, it’s evergreen. Content that won’t be outdated in a week or two is perfect for social. You can share it more often because it will still be fresh. And evergreen content can generate longer-lasting results.
Sometimes content when first published doesn’t immediately resonate with an audience. Did you know the iconic holiday film A Christmas Story wasn’t a hit when it first opened in theatres? But now, starting every December 24th it runs for 24-hours straight. Why? Because it’s formula is evergreen: a dysfunctional family during the holidays.
With evergreen content, you have time to let it grow on your audience. With every social post, you’re increasing exposure. This year make it a goal to create more evergreen content to sustain your blog and social scheduling.
4. Serving Up More Personalization
Unlike their predecessors, Millennials and Gen Z aren’t fans of mass produced products. They don’t want cookie cutter. For them, personalization is key and brands like Coca-Cola are serving it up... literally.
During the holidays, Coca-Cola unveiled a limited-edition “Message in a Bottle.” Here, you press a button and record a 30-second message, which plays when the cap is twisted.
The more personalization your brand can offer, the more it will resonate with Millennials and Gen Z. Expect to see more marketers follow Coca-Cola’s lead.
5. Focus on Lifetime Customer Value
Piggybacking off of personalization, marketers are realizing keeping customers is more valuable than attracting new clients. Sure you want to build your customer base, but if you’re experiencing constant “turnover” are you really getting anywhere?
After all, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one. In 2017, brands will be looking for ways to delight their customers and keep them coming back for more. Tactics will of course include personalization and top notch customer service on social media.
6. Catering to Cord Cutters
By the end of 2016, it was anticipated 26.7 million homes would be cable-free. Cord cutting is only going to accelerate in 2017. For brands who rely on cable TV advertising, it’s imperative that they pivot.
Related Post: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Cutting the Cable Cord
To reach untethered consumers, brands will need to switch their campaigns to video-streaming services and platforms like Facebook Live.
Start the year off right and implement the industry trends that make sense for your brand. By planning now, you’ll not only be winning with potential consumers, you’ll be paving the way for hopefully a prosperous and successful 2017.