2016 will go down in history as a banner year for the digital marketing industry. Now it's time to regroup and look ahead at what's coming during 2017. The following trends are expected to lead the industry. Your business should take them into account when crafting this year's digital marketing campaigns and budgets.
Mobile Marketing Matures
As any good marketer knows, mobile is not a new concept. It's been growing for a number of years with the majority of businesses now on board with the concept. 2017 will mark the year that many of these companies will either launch their mobile-friendly sites, finalize their creation or expand on their existing presence.
There's a growing urgency about this task since Google announced that it will start penalizing sites that rely on pop-up ads this year. This means that marketers need to be creative in the methods they use to engage consumers instead of simply relying on the method they used to initiate contact.
More Precise Targeting for Digital Advertising
Google announced that, starting in January, they'll institute simpler methods of advertisement for display and video marketing campaigns. While the typical marketing campaign involved selecting the display keywords, placements and topics appropriate for the targeted audience, a lack thereof simply generated no impressions which didn't cost anything. This new Google policy pushes these target-free ad groups out to the search engine's entire Display Network. Since it serves more than 1 trillion impressions, the potential that ad groups will reach a larger audience is imminent. This could have dire consequences for a marketing budget that isn't designed for such a huge level of exposure.
Product Listing Ads (PLA) on Google Explode
With their Product Listing Ads (PLAs) gaining better traction on mobile devices, Google will continue to develop strategies that take advantage of them. Local retailers, in particular, saw increased clicks and sales in 2016, thanks to Google's redesigned Shopping vertical. One way this could change the landscape in 2017 are more persistent ads in places such as third-party sites or during an image search.
A distinctly localized push of PLAs is also likely. With Google's introduction of their Local Business Cards feature, the resulting carousel of results looks much like Google Shopping -- albeit with a decidedly local slant.
More Personalized Digital Advertising Experiences
Here's another trend that's been gathering steam for a few years, but has not been fully adopted by the masses -- that is until this year. In 2017, the most successful paid marketing strategies provide the user with a more holistic experience that bridges multiple devices. Rather than focusing on each aspect of the campaign individually, the end user's experience with each of them needs to be considered. Tying them all together provides a more cohesive experience that involves site links, callouts, location extensions and others that are applicable to your particular campaign.
A related aspect of this personalization is taking advantage of the additional tools and data that are available today. Rather than relying on search targeting tactics that use only keywords but also age and gender. Revamp your campaigns to focus less on keywords and more on the different life stages that your audience resides in. Understand the audience as they navigate the changes of their journey as a consumer and customize your strategies to address their behaviors.
Video Advertising Dominates in New Ways
Advertising campaigns with video content started gathering momentum in 2016, and this trend will only expand during 2017. Expect to see other video tactics become mainstream besides those that are simply downloaded to sites. Using videos for storytelling provides a relatable platform that reaches people across many channels and builds connections with consumer.
Livestreaming will take off in a huge way during 2017. In addition to YouTube, with its one billion+ regular users, Facebook Live provides an instant method of connecting and engaging with your core audiences that makes a lasting impression. While livestreaming enables consumers to experience events as they happen, the ability to access the videos at a later date ensures that no one misses out on crucial information.
These are the top five digital marketing trends that are poised to dominate 2017. Don't see your favorite trend? Need help implementing an effective digital marketing campaign? Contact Actuate Media today.
Actuate Media Staff
A piece developed with the help of multiple contributors at Actuate Media
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