When developing your marketing strategy, it’s always important to stay abreast of trends and developments. What’s new? What’s popular? It can all play a key role in helping to improve your performance and grow your brand.
Here are the top 10 marketing trends for 2017:
1. Mobile video
With everyone wanting the next ‘viral hit’, video has surged in popularity. This has been aided by platforms such as Facebook, which automatically starts playing a video as you scroll over it on your news feed. In 2015, mobile video views accelerated six times faster than the number of desktop views. In addition to this, by Q4 of 2015, mobile views were the most popular way of engaging with video.
2. Interactive content
Getting your audience to engage with your content not only helps in spreading your brand message and building loyalty, but it can also help you capture very valuable information about your customers. For example, if you’re offering quizzes or polls, it’s possible to learn how they feel about key issues that could affect the way you market your brand to them. Even something as simple as a quiz about their personality type or where they live can help you understand how to target them and build up a customer profile for your marketing strategy. Ultimately this allows your clients and potential customers to enage with your brand before they have even thougjht about becoming a customer.
3. Promotional merchandise
Promotional products are continuing to grow in popularity thanks to their ability to spread your message effectively while also remaining affordable. They’re a key way of sharing your branding with potential customers. Research suggests that, after receiving promotional merchandise, 85% of people will go on to interact or do business with the advertiser. Additionally, it holds longevity as a means of marketing your business – more than half of consumers will keep a promotional product for anything between a year and four years.
4. Influencer marketing
With everyone building their own brand on social media, blogging about their favourite products and experiences, and sharing all this with their ever-growing network, marketing is moving away from the traditional avenues. Rather than focusing solely on reaching magazines and print publications, paying for expensive advertising, brands are now getting influencers to share their products. Not only are they seen as thought leaders, but people who follow them also trust them. They have an intimacy with their audience as though it was a friend recommending a product to them. Typically, influencers will only work with brands that they genuinely believe in, which adds credibility.
5. Virtual reality
Virtual reality headsets have truly hit the market in recent years, and can now be picked up costing anything from £14.99 (at ALDI), £119 (from Samsung), or £499 (from John Lewis). Given how accessible and popular they are, virtual reality offers a whole new way to share your brand message, and invite people into your ‘world’.
6. Artificial intelligence
Algorithms truly are running the world – a lot more than we realise. They are learning patterns and behaviours that can mathematically compute the best way for a business to react. They predict powerful insights that can be used for analysis and strategy. Through AI you can help to make better, faster and more informed business decisions that will benefit your marketing, e-commerce and product development.
7. Native advertising
This is when content relating to your brand is featured by a publication or blogger and resembles standard editorial content but is actually paid for, essentially giving you full control over where your content is seen and who by, online or offline. This blurs the line between advertising and content, but many people prefer this style of advertising as it feels more authentic, less intrusive and less aggressive. It gives more credibility and approval from the publisher to your brand than just a standard advertisement. It’s less intrusive, can be more informative about your brand, and has better returns than traditional banner or interstitial advertising.
Facebook Live has changed the way we look at livestreaming. It has made it far more accessible and recognised than ever before. It’s a great way to connect with audiences in real-time and offers unique interactions and content for your brand. It also helps to show a face to your business, even if that face is an influential blogger or influencer wearing your promotional merchandise and talking about your brand or product.
Whether it’s Instagram stories, Snapchat, Facebook stories, they’re essentially all about creating digital stories for your follower that tracks the movements of your brand. This helps to give behind-the-scenes insight to everything you’re doing and make it feel more personal. Customers can connect with you, and feel as though they’re seeing a side to your work that is exclusive.
10. Targeted Data Driven Marketing
With so much data available to us, it is easier than ever to make your marketing more targeted and personalised. Whether this is through adding customer’s names to your e-mails, putting names on products to help market them, or segmenting your audience in your mail-outs to target by age group, gender or geographical location, it’s time to reach people more directly. Customers are bombarded with information from hundreds of brands, so the more you stand out in your communications and connect with them, the better. In addition you gain analytical insight into where your content works and who it is best received by.