2017 has reached a flaming mid-point, while signaling the middle between 2015 and the new decade, and marking a clear uptick in several trends across all forms of marketing involving a few similar concepts such as instantaneous content and communication, automated data, and a general attraction towards white hat SEO services, instead of less effective dirty tricks.
- Small Business Transparency
Businesses that are transparent about how they function, who they represent and how they make their products and/or services work will attract more customers.
- Consumer-Involved Marketing
Similarly, there will be a marked shift towards involving consumers not just in marketing, but even in product design and other suggestions. Customers will want to have a part in running the business, and working that balance without devolving into chaos will be a challenge for businesses.
- A Shift to Instant
Consumers are beginning to get used to getting everything, always, and at any time – and the newer generations are going to be even more insistent on instant delivery of content and information, as well as (eventually) products. Focusing on speed as a perk and feature is important.
- More and More Visual
Text has always been a bit more boring than video and photo, but it’s also usually been king. This is markedly changing with visual content becoming quickly more important than words.
- Pairing Business with Content Creators
Influencers are already a part of bigger companies – but smaller local business will also have to leverage the popularity of local influencers and content creators to gain popularity online.
- Automation (Everywhere)
From AI to actual job automation, algorithms and robots will take over more work in 2017 than any previous year, and this includes data and analytics even in digital marketing. It’s cheap, efficient, and needs neither sleep nor a salary.
- Mostly Mobile
While many continue to browse on laptops and PCs, smartphone usage has exploded, with people using their phones to track their fitness, tell time, communicate, browse, play, and generally lead most of their digital lives.
- Less Hand-Holding
Intrusive advertising and marketing methods that take away the freedom a consumer must explore and find products on their own will irritate rather than aid customers in making decisions and getting to the checkout page.
- Effective Communication
Businesses will have to further invest in direct and near-instant communication with customers through social networks, especially on raw and more intimate forms of communication like Snapchat.
- Outsource Everything
In the future, businesses will have to look outside to stall a plateau in growth. Sometimes, beating the competition means hiring someone from the outside – even into a managerial position in digital marketing – to get things done. Partnering with an affordable internet advertising agency can be one way to help.
These are a couple concrete concepts that will gain more traction over the rest of the year, and the next few years to follow.