With summer approaching swiftly, you might be thinking to yourself, “2017 is already halfway over!” The days are getting longer, and so are your to-do lists. If you’re anything of a Type A personality, you might have already started planning this year’s Halloween costume or even drafting next year’s New Year’s resolutions. In your defense, you can never be too early. However, it’s also never too late to get informed about the latest trends and forecasts for your business’ digital marketing strategy. Make the time to incorporate the following six trends in your marketing endeavors to remain agile in the dynamic digital world.
No. 1: Visual content is king (or queen!). These days, 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product or brand rather than reading about it. Written content will hold its place with search engine optimization (SEO) and help you retain your audience. However, it is visual content that will initially bewitch consumers. This will include utilizing high-res photos, infographics, webinars, and videos. Currently, Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than their text-only counterparts. Additionally, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any other content. Start to think of creative ways you can portray your brand and communicate with your audience using visual imagery.
No. 2: Behavior-based email marketing that engages your subscribers will follow in the burgeoning tradition of customization. Similar to how Google ads target consumers based on their online behavior, your email marketing campaign can offer content that is relevant to each customer or sub-group of your target audience. Generic emails and spamming will be a detriment to your marketing campaign and are even illegal in some countries (like Canada). Using a basic CRM system that allows you to assign tags to each contact or client will ensure that you are emailing your various audiences information they will find useful.
No. 3: Quality content that encourages viral marketing will help your business stand out to consumers. No matter the media (photo, video, article, status, meme), companies large and small want their content to go viral. Remember Beyonce’s Instagram pregnancy announcement? Establishing your brand and increasing the probability of this phenomenon means your business has to compete by creating catchy, lasting content rather than churning out generic material. Google’s algorithm has started to use the social status of content to determine search engine ranking. Finding ways to increase likes, shares, and engagement with your posts will only help boost your SEO and brand visibility.
No. 4: Use live video streaming to give your customers the inside scoop on your brand and business. This year, Facebook and Instagram have launched live video streaming on their platforms with much success. Live streaming taps in to people’s desire to witness something firsthand--from the Oscars to local news stories and personal experiences. With other social media platforms expected to adopt live streaming capabilities, it will be essential for your business to think of ways you can utilize this tool. Not only will it offer your business the opportunity to improve and expand brand awareness, but it will also help establish or sustain customer loyalty.
No. 5: Taking advantage of augmented reality technology will give your business the opportunity to craft a unique consumer experience. Flashback to July 2016 when Pokemon Go was the latest craze. The appeal of this game showed marketers that people are eager to experience and indulge in AR. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are currently working (more like battling) to develop AR software and bring this technology into the mainstream. In order to use AR’s allure to capture your audience, start thinking of creative ways you can include it in your business’ outreach. This can be in the form of advertisements, games, or smartphone apps.
No. 6: Similar to AR, virtual reality is anticipated to dramatically change the industry of marketing. While AR warps or adds to existing reality, VR transports consumers into an entirely different world. Tools like Google Cardboard are making VR more affordable for individuals to experience and thus widening the audience this technology can reach. Well-known companies such as Toms, Oreo, and NASCAR are starting to explore the possibilities of virtual reality within their marketing campaigns. In order to create an immersive quality experience, businesses should always identify their purpose for VR. Are you trying to entertain, evoke an emotional connection, share a message, or tell a story? Though technology continues to make rapid leaps, some things stand the test of time.