Happy New Year!
What are your marketing plans and goals for 2017? Before the start of any new year, you should take some time and prepare a plan of action. If you start strong with your marketing efforts, you can hopefully sustain that success all year long.
Proper preparation is key. If you know what trends are likely to emerge in 2017, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success.
While we certainly don’t have a crystal ball, there are a few predictions we feel comfortable making. Check out our list of Internet Marketing Trends to Prepare for in 2017:
User Intent Will Continue to Increase in Importance
Keywords will always be important. But user intent is going to be an increasingly bigger deal in search engine optimization. This practice is called optimizing for intent.
The average user isn’t searching with simple words. Instead, they’re entering full phrases and complex queries. Crafting content to rank for this type of search is a three-step process:
- Identify the specific answers searchers are inputting into search engines.
- Alter content to appeal towards those specific needs.
- Analyze results and make adjustments based on data.
Cross-Channel Marketing Will Become a Necessity
First, some quick definitions. Multi-channel marketing is when a brand has a presence across multiple platforms. Cross-channel marketing means using several different channels to promote your brand in an integrated way.
Say a user browses your products using a mobile app but doesn’t make a purchase. You can then follow up with targeted ads. These ads are specially designed based on the user’s social media activity. Cross-channel marketing lets you target your marketing efforts directly towards your customer’s needs.
Multi-channel marketing is not a new technique. But in 2017 it’s likely to become a necessary one.
Marketing research firm Econsultancy released their fourth annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report. Almost three-quarters of respondents said cross-channel marketing had a “significant impact” on increased conversion rates.
So even if you’re not planning for cross-channel marketing, your competition is. In order to not fall behind, you’ll need to understand:
- The right message to send to your potential customers
- The right time to send that message
- The right channel to send that message
In 2017, potential audiences will likely have even more platforms to use. You’ll want to stay on top how you can market to your potential customers successfully.
Mobile Will be Mandatory
There are no two ways about it: Mobile can’t be ignored any longer. Mobile search is now mandatory for every type of business.
Mobile has always played an important role in SEO for local businesses. After all, mobile searchers are often already out in the community looking for a product or service nearby.
In 2017, mobile optimization will be necessary for all businesses, even entirely virtual ones. May, 2015, marked the first time mobile searches were more popular than desktop searches. People are searching for all types of goods and services with their mobile devices.
You’ll need to devote at least 50% of your marketing efforts to mobile in 2017.
Influencer Marketing Will be, Well, Influential
People don’t necessarily trust brands. People do trust other people. Specifically, people really trust brand influencers.
A brand influencer is an impartial market expert. Most of the time, these are popular bloggers or other industry commenters. They’re trusted by their audience to always tell the truth in their reviews or analysis.
In 2016, influencer marketing had a big impact on brands. In 2017, this trend is almost certain to continue. You’ll want to brush up on your ability to connect with influencers as the New Year begins.
Connecting with potential influencers requires both personal and technical skills. You’ll need to identify the influencer in your industry. Then you’ll need to need to reach out in a professional way. Prepare to offer the influencer something useful, such as a free blog post for them to publish or a free product for them to review.
Promoting your own product will always have a place in marketing. But connecting with an influencer is going to have a big impact on your ability to reach new customers in 2017.
Your Marketing Efforts Will Need to Get Personal
Reaching the largest group of potential customers is the old way or marketing. In 2017, you should be focusing your efforts on marketing towards a smaller group of potential customers who are highly motivated to buy your products or services.
As you identify a smaller group of potential customers, you can zero in on their unique characteristics. The more you know about your audience, the better you’re able to personalize your message.
Creating accurate customer profiles is key here. You’ll learn about your customer’s interests, fears and other factors which will help you craft a marketing message designed for the most effective impact.
Video Will be Everywhere Online
2016 was arguably the year of the video. Facebook introduced live video, which grew increasingly popular with each passing month.
Additionally, 2016 is the year Snapchat introduced vertical videos, which look good on mobile screens and have an increased completion rate.
Both social media users and marketers have shown a strong interest in video content. You’ll want to focus on increasing your video creation for 2017. Effective video content includes re-purposing existing content, such as blogs, as well as creating totally original video productions.
Voice Search Will Be Better Than Ever
Voice search has been the “next big thing” for a few years now but 2017 looks to be the year it’ll really take off. Fast, hand-free and fun, there’s a lot to like about voice search.
So, why is this year the year? The error rate has plummeted. At SMX 2016, Google’s director of conversational speech, Behshad Behzadi, explained the details. Speech recognition now has an eight percent error rate. Previously, the error rate was 25%.
Watch for voice search to enter the realm of voice understanding. This means search results based on location, previous search history and other personal information.
While we don’t have a crystal ball, the above trends are certainly worth keeping an eye on as the new year begins. The more you can prepare for the future, the more successful your internet marketing efforts will be! Here’s to a great 2017!