Ten years back from now, marketing for brands meant television ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, and press campaigns. With the gradual evolution of the Internet, the marketing landscape has changed drastically and now it looks way too complicated than what it used to be before.
In the current scenario, marketing seems impossible without social media, videos, emails, SMSs, analytics, and the digital marketing tools. There are, however, more channels through which marketing is expected to change immensely.
Here are 7 Digital Marketing trends, on which marketers are expected to indulge in 2017 and beyond.
- Live Streaming Videos
- Personalization with Artificial Intelligence
- Social Media
- Mobile Marketing
- Ephemeral Content
- Influencer Marketing
- Auugmented Reality and Virtual Reality
1. Live Streaming Videos
A little pondering on the popular television shows will make you realize, reality shows still rule the world. One reason for this being the audience feels strongly connected to the show and even contributes to it.
This, clearly tells us, how effective live videos have become today and why it is being used for any promotion, be it any literature festival or a product launch. Auto giant Nissan live streamed the launch of its 2016 Maxima at the New York Auto Show and General Motors started the trend when it live-streamed the launch of Chevy Volt EV on the Facebook.
Spotify has continuously used its videos to stream live musical performances. The videos used for live streaming may include anything like live events, presentations, demos, and concerts. These streaming of videos allow the audience to participate and interact with the brand outside their corporate image, making them a part of it.
2. Personalization with Artificial Intelligence
According to a study in April 2015 by Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints, a vital element for the Internet users and shoppers is that their online experience must be easy and relevant. What the Internet users and the shoppers expressed is, they simply want the product they are looking for, go through the product reviews and recommendations and purchase it.
More than half the Internet users said that the information shared with them must be relevant to what they are looking for or something they are interested in buying, specific to their taste, style, and location.
In a world becoming more and more Artificial Intelligence reliant, personalization of product and services has greatly evolved in the last half decade. Their remains opportunities, however, to improve the customer experience.
According to Stacy DeBroff, CEO and Founder of Influence Central, “In the coming year, brands will become even more attuned to the needs and priorities of the consumer, and increasingly shape their product offerings around the latest lifestyle trends.”
3. Social Media
Interacting with the customers underwent a sea of change in the last few years, thanks to the phenomenon called social media. A few glimpse of it would be brands like BMW promoting their 1-Series Road Trip in the Facebook, Barak Obama using Twitter to spread his words, and PlayStation promoting itself through YouTube videos.
Social Media today is the most powerful tool of communicating for the marketer, allowing them to communicate with the customers, potential customers as well as the competitors. The biggest perk of using social media marketing is of course the direct connect with the customers as the customers can directly tell you what they feel about your brand and if there is actually anything that they do not like about it.
The social media creates an identity for your product and statistics says that social media and online interaction strongly influences the purchasing decisions of the customer- a trend which is expected to continue this year and much beyond.
4. Mobile Marketing
Smartphones and tablets account for 51% of Internet usage worldwide. With most e-commerce giants are offering apps for an easy mobile experience, consumers today are more at ease with mobile payments and mobile browsing.
These apps increase the engagement rate with the customers and also provides business data needed for the business. Mobile only social-media apps like Instagram and Snapchat is the new superhero of the social media. Taking these into account mobile marketing will continue to remain a key factor determining marketing strategy in 2017.
5. Ephemeral Content
Effective content still remains as important as before. However, a new trend is all set to take the lead with ephemeral content. In the current marketing landscape, ephemeral content or a content which stays on the page of a short time seems to be the new star with Snapchat and Instagram setting up a start.
The content appears and then disappears after a short time with the content being crisp, casual, bite-sized, and informal without lengthy hours of edits, designing, and filming. This helps the brands reflect the more human qualities.
For a brand new to this, gifs representing behind-the-scene stories and snippets from events would be a good thing to start with.
6. Influencer Marketing
Until a few years, brands focused mostly on popular bloggers and celebs to influence the potential buyers but things have greatly changed with the potent power shifting in favor of the everyday consumers. And, this is how influencer marketing works.
It is nothing but identifying target individuals who can influence the potential buyers. When a brand looking for influencer, they often look at the person’s followers, expertise, and credibility. Michelle Plan on YouTube started videos featuring make-up demonstration and tutorials.
Over the time she gathered a huge six million followers for her channel making her an authority in beauty and cosmetics and leading L’Oreal to co-brand a line of cosmetic with her. Another class of consumers exists who may not possess the bandwagon of followers but may have some good friends and colleague who pretty much trust their judgment. Providing more than expected consumer experience to these customers can often generate good organic and authentic reviews about your brand.
This can certainly help create an increasingly positive image of your brand which is leading more and more brands to switch to influencer marketing.
7. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
The ‘latest thing’ in marketing is the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) where the brands combine elements of print as well as online advertising. With consumers wanting for something more than just staring at their laptops or phones, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality provides a more immersive experience, making them feel that they are a part of it.
It is still at its early stages of development, however, with brands launching 360 videos, AR and VR look like the next future in marketing.
What other trend follows and which brand moves ahead of the other is something we will have to wait to know.
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