As we head into Autumn and the final quarter of this year, our thoughts turn to how we will be approaching our digital marketing strategies moving into 2017. We have seen many digital changes and developments over the course of 2016 and are now discovering how they will impact on our work moving forward.
One of our current projects is focusing on Digital Marketing trends in 2017 and therefore we have been researching what will be foremost in marketers minds over the next 12 months. Here are some of the top trends for next year – how will you integrate these into your digital strategy?
Customers want a more personalised experience through their online activity, and so businesses and brands are spending more time focusing their content efforts on a narrower persona. Understanding your audience through data measurement will help tailor your content message. Your customers want to say ‘this message is meant for me’ to make them feel you really understand their needs, engage them in your message and build the trust that you have with them. Spending time really getting to know your customer persona will help your digital marketing efforts enormously.
Data driven content marketing is another trend that will shape your digital marketing efforts in 2017. As we have described above, personalisation is so important to your strategy, and data measurement will make this easy for you. Spend more time looking at your analytics to find out what your audience are engaging with. What content do they react to? What do they read? What do they share? Understand what content they are interested in as well as who they are. By measuring the demographics of your audience alongside the content they are most engaged with will give you the knowledge to really target those most interested.
We have spoken in depth on previous blog posts of the rise of live video and this will continue to dominate in 2017 – we are only scratching the surface with what will be possible with regards to engaging with your audience. Social Video will only continue to grow – with the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Live, think about how you can use social video within your digital strategy. Show your audience behind the scenes, a new product or service being developed or live stream an event you are speaking at. Returning back to our first trend, this is a perfect way to personalise your content as you can speak direct to your customer. This is also a very inexpensive way of marketing as it can be done for free on your smartphone, making it so much more accessible for you.
Quality over quantity content
Content marketing will still lead the way in your digital strategy but rather than churning out lots and lots of content on a daily basis, the emphasis will lean towards longer, quality posts rather than shorter, more regular posts. The thought process at the moment is that the more you produce the more possibility you have to engage someone, but again, reverting back to our first trend of personalisation if you are spending more time and effort on a longer post, your audience feels it is tailored more to them. So concentrate on building your content plan and write blog posts that are relevant to that plan, and suited to your audience. Also try to engage your audience with your content such as articles, e-books and guides which will also help retain them.
User generated content
This links a number of our trends together and is something we’ve been keeping our eye on for a while. We wrote about it in a previous blog post – UGC can really help deliver your digital strategy to the right people. By asking your audience to contribute to your content and then share that content you are both getting something out of it. You have quality content generated by a customer. In turn, your potential customers see how well your product fits within ‘real’ life and are more likely to buy. Your content you are delivering is quality, is personalised and will be measured. UGC comes in all shapes and sizes – images, video, blogs or podcasts – the opportunities are huge.
As we move into a new year it is important to understand that above all, your potential audience are looking for something new, something engaging and something that is perfect for them. Customers want to be able to find you throughout all the noise, and you want to give them exactly what they are after. Research is key – make sure you really understand your audience, and keep measuring how your strategy is working.
We would love to hear your thoughts about how you plan to move into 2017 with your digital marketing strategy. Tweet us @Cosmic_UK and let us know!
Further reading can be found here.