How to Pivot Your 2017 Marketing Plan to Fit Changing Technology

marketingWelcome to the new year! While every year brings about changes, 2017 has some new marketing trends and technology advances that will throw off your strategy if you don’t pay attention. As you know, marketers are known to plan ahead but also need to be nimble enough to jump on popular trends before competitors do. Taking note of the changing front that marketing faces will only help your business be more competitive in your niche, making 2017 your most successful year yet.

CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing has been at the top of every marketer’s “To Improve” lists year after year. 2017 isn’t any different. According to SmartInsights, 20.3 percent of marketers polled had this at the top of their strategic plans for next year, while 40 percent of businesses plan to take a more strategic approach to content. Plain, old-fashioned content isn’t going to cut it in the future. We’re seeing a multitude of approaches to keep a leg up in the coming year.

Interactive Content Content that you actually interact with, such as quizzes or questionnaires, are becoming increasingly popular – especially thanks to sites like Buzzfeed. Your job in 2017 is to think of ways to get your prospects to participate with your content rather than read it leisurely. Interactive content can come in the form of assessments (think of the classic Cosmo Quiz setup), polls, surveys, infographics, brackets, and contests, explains Forbes Magazine.

Virtual Reality (Augmented Reality) This type of content goes hand in hand with interactive content. Users don’t want to simply just read a blog post anymore; they want to feel involved with the content. This is where augmented and virtual reality come into play. These two technologies offer an immersive experience, where consumers feel like they’re doing more than staring at a screen.

“You can offer 360 videos to make your users feel like they’re living in a moment, or host live webinars and workshops to get people to engage with you,” explains Jayson DeMers, contributor at Forbes Magazine. “The key is to provide some level of interaction in a way that makes people feel like they’re a part of something bigger.”

“In 2017, we anticipate significant improvements in immersive devices as well as software,” adds Kevin King from Adweek. “Also, look for efforts from brands with skin in the game to make using a headset culturally acceptable.”

Mobile Video and Livestreaming Using video for content has been on the rise for the past few years because of it’s high engagement stats. This trend continues to grow in 2017 with more mobile video, and the introduction of livestreaming on social media platforms. It’s a good reason to jump on the video bandwagon, since statistics show that marketers who use video in their content strategy grow their revenue 49 percent faster than non-video businesses.

Livestreaming was essentially introduced in 2016 and has gained popularity in the past few months with the introduction of Facebook Live.

“Social media users are beginning to demand more in-the-moment content, giving them a vicarious view into a world (or event) they’d previously been unable to access,” explains Jayson DeMers. “Thanks to faster Internet and the ubiquity of mobile devices, live video had become something of a trend on its own, with more and more apps and platforms some kind of ‘live streaming’ functionality.”

Short-Lived Content You can thank Snapchat’s popularity for this one. Why do users love this platform? Because the content disappears so quickly and has an ultimate expiration date. Snapchat’s features showed the value of disappearing or short-lived content. With people’s attention spans dropping dramatically year by year, short-lived content is great for experimenting with new ideas and important to include in your 2017 content strategy.

Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing isn’t a new idea, but in 2017 it will grow in popularity for B2C brands across digital advertising. What’s also growing in popularity? Social media personalities. Put these two together for a highly influential ad campaign. Consumers tend to trust recommendations from people they see as leaders, or that they follow on, say, Instagram. The right influencers will create credibility for your social media posts and advertisements.

“Consider the challenges marketers face with bot fraud, ad blocking, social algorithms and general skepticism,”  says Kevin King of Adweek. “Influencer marketing will play a renewed and central role in the marketing mix for 2017.”

The Chatbot Revolution

Think of all the messaging app platforms that are out there right now—there’s a lot. Chatbots have been incorporated by Facebook, Google, Microsoft Skype, Salesforce, Slack, Twitter, WeChat, Kik, and Line.

“Now that there are billions of daily users of messaging platforms who are accustomed to engaging with brands in the feeds, the platforms hope they will enable marketers with the ability to scale creative 1-to-1 engagement opportunities called ‘conversational experiences,’” explains King. “These conversational experiences will bring together past revolutions in e-commerce and text services while highlighting the potential of artificial intelligence.”

Data for Days

Marketers have had the ability to dive into data for years now but in 2017 it’s just as crucial as ever before. In a simple definition, data tells you what’s working, and what’s not in your marketing strategy. If you want to move the needle in 2017, pay close attention to those vital statistics. To help you understand data on a better level, interpretive data is gaining popularity because of how easy it is to understand exactly what the data being presented is saying.

“There are dozens of data visualization tools on the market already, but in 2017, every business is going to want to start using them,” states DeMers. “The ones that don’t will be left at a significant disadvantage.”

The marketing landscape of 2017 has incredible opportunities – if you jump on board quick enough. By investigating these rising trends, you can pivot your marketing plan to fit the changing technology and trends. Doing some pre-planning will help you combat your competition, it will also help you stay ahead of the game and make 2017 your best year yet!

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