The year 2016 has been an exciting year in the world of digital marketing. The two fields of social media and search have evolved immensely, with plenty of changes that prompt shifts in consumer and marketer behaviour. There has been growth in the number of large and medium-sized businesses creating their online presence as well.

The question triggering in most people’s mind by now is what they should expect in digital marketing for the year 2017. Hence listed below are some of the most reliable digital marketing trends that will be the focus in order to formulate effective digital marketing strategies and online campaigns in 2017.

  1. Mobile-focused Internet Marketing

Increased dependency on mobile phones is no big shock these days but the below statistics are an eye opener as we probably don’t realise how smartphones are slowly becoming an inevitable part of people’s lives leading to great amount of development and innovations in the sector.

  • More than 50% of searches are on mobile
  • 91% of Facebook usage  (Daily Active users) is on mobile
  • 80% of  Facebook advertising revenue is on mobile
  • 90% of mobile media time is spent in apps (Source: Smart Insights Mobile Marketing Trends statistics compilation)

Fading away of desktop traffic clearly indicates that Mobile-focused Internet Marketing is going to be the attraction for the year 2017.  

  1. A/B testing

An undervalued marketing trend that will see growth in 2017 is A/B testing. Marketers research, develop strategies and finally execute them but there are still lots of decisions that are made to optimize the plan based on what marketers know and think. But, with A/B Testing, optimizations can continually be made to maximize the investment and the results. A/B testing if performed on digital ads, landing pages, website user experience, content and will be the reason behind optimized digital campaigns in 2017.

  1. Data Usage

With advances in technology, most websites and social media platforms today have the ability to capture data from visitors, including their age, their education level, their job position, and the device they’re using. 2017 will see efficient usage of this data as savvy marketers will study this information and use it to create customer profiles, write content, come up with slogans, determining social network to market on, and figuring out how to promote their products in general. And of course, data usage will benefit customers just as much it will help businesses. The focus for 2017 will be on creating helpful content for a more specific audience. Customers will feel that marketers actually know what they need and that’s how they will eagerly consume the content being put out.

  1. Videos

Videos have proven to be the most thoroughly consumed piece of content by customers and prospects and it is also considered to be a top vehicle for driving ROI as well.  Online users are now increasingly skimming content more than they ever have before. In the coming year content that has the best chance to keep the audience’s attention are videos, because of its interactive nature. Personalized, knowledge-based relevant content will go a long way.  Hence the catch lies in engaging the customers by delivering compelling and convenient content/visuals. Like Explainer Videos are short, fun, animated yet informative and Onters is a great example of a Digital Marketing firm that makes light, entertaining and fun to watch videos that captures and retains viewers more effectively than simple text.

  1. Live Streaming Videos

Live Streaming Videos will have a great impact on Digital Marketing in the year 2017 as they offer a chance to interact with the audience in a much more authentic and relatable way. It allows creation of content with a click of button, with no additional costs associated with video production. Its popularity can be credited to the unique ability of the content being unfiltered and unedited. The benefits drawn from live-streaming in the coming years are higher conversion, engagement and awareness among the viewers as seeing the content in the form of a live video enables brands to iterate their message based on the viewer engagement.

  1. SEO and other Digital Marketing tools

In the recent past there has been an immense growth in usage and dependence on SEO and other Digital Marketing tools that each has its own specialization like Hootsuite is a social media management platform that manages social media channels. It is also used to delegate tasks with other users, making it a great option for a team platform. Whereas Buffer is content publishing platform that publishes and schedules content to social networks. SEMrush is a tool for competitor & keyword research as well as backlink analysis and finding link building opportunities. And Moz Analytics covers paid search, display and video advertising. Increasing reliance on these tools in the coming year is going to take the SEO game up a notch and come out with truly astounding results for blogs, businesses, and clients.

  1. Wearable Technology

According to facts, 4 out of 5 people today use their smartphone daily, and experts predict that 1 out of 4 will even be using a wearable device by next year. In 2017 marketers need to be ready to create content that looks good and works well on any device regardless of screen size, whether it’s a smartphone, iPhone or an Apple Watch. The year 2017 will see more of such smart devices and innovations in Wearable Technology or similar smart devices that can be worn on-the-go and keep people connected with the digital world. This should change the entire landscape of local marketing. Hence Digital marketers must focus on the potential of wearable technology that can diminish the difference between ‘online’ marketing and ‘real’ marketing.

  1. Inbound Marketing

These days’ consumers are bombarded by constant information from marketers, which makes it difficult to stand out from the competition and gain significant recognition. Hence there is a need for strategic, well-planned inbound campaigns that build and execute effective marketing campaign in today’s times. Inbound marketing offers a plethora of new, effective techniques that enable marketers to see unprecedented growth. The customers these days expect that marketers create useful content and are knowledgeable. Building rapport with the customer is the key for closing the deal and establishing a relationship. Hence in 2017 Inbound Marketing is the way to gain momentum by creating content specifically designed to appeal the target customers and attract qualified prospects to the business that keep coming back for more.

  1. Advocate Marketing

Advocate marketing also known as “word-of-mouth” advertising, is an old-school tactic that is still very powerful and effective. However, this trend will see a boom in 2017 as it looks slightly different now because of the advocate marketing software platforms that offer referral and engagement reviews. More and more B2B businesses are making use of these to drive business online.  Reviews and referrals from existing, happy customers add tremendous value and bring in qualified leads from potential new customers.

  1. Virtual Reality

Top companies have already begun to implement Virtual Reality into their marketing structures with a good reason as there are incredible opportunities available for virtual reality and marketing in the current business generation. Virtual reality represents the most complete immersion into an experience that consumers have ever had. When it comes to marketing digitally, it gives marketers a platform to completely surround their potential clients with the experience of the product, providing them with a much more realistic view of what the product can do for them. And therefore Virtual Reality will more widely used in the year 2017 as it has the potential to completely replace many forms of digital marketing that are waning in influence today.

Hence, the world of digital marketing in the year 2017 will create some new trends but also hold on to some of the existing ones that have proven to be effective in achieving their target. In the coming times, digital marketing shall become more content driven, customer- specific and user-friendly regardless of the device it is being used on.