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2017 Digital Marketing Predictions from Carma Levene

Carma Levene // 11th January 2017
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Everyone’s doing a 2017 Digital Marketing Prediction post!

Which is fine because none of us can see into the future, we can only make guesses as to where Digital Marketing will grow (and where it won’t) so we can try to focus our attention in the right places to maximise returns.

Here’s my big three Digital Marketing predictions:

BOTS

Bots are only going to get bigger. More and more businesses will engage bots to take some of the heavy lifting from their digital customer service. If you’re not sure what a bot is you can check out this article from CNET. Chances are you’ve spoken to a bot before, you might have known it wasn’t a human, or you may not have. Bots will continue to improve and will be used by more companies world-wide.

LIVE

People love live. I think partly because we’re so sick of the falseness of Social Media, lies of politicians, and stagedness of infomercials – and partly our FOMO and our desire to be the first to know. We want to see something NOW and we want to see it how it REALLY IS. Live video gives us both of these. The way people used to flock to their Twitter feed when a news story broke, will now be the way people rush to find someone live on Facebook or Instagram (or perhaps Twitter – who knows, they did announce a new live feature)

VIDEO

Video and live go together, but there’s also another aspect I wanted to touch on. Explainer video is going to get bigger. Businesses that couldn’t afford video production will bite the bullet and get animated or stop motion videos on their websites and social channels. I must say I’m not the hugest fan of my Facebook newsfeed being full of video. But I have a weakness for those stop motion recipe videos. You know the ones…you see them on pages like Thrillist, like this handy cocktail recipe below.

Or the Nifty page (by Buzzfeed) that shows tips and home hacks. Like this one of present wrapping…

You can see by the views I’m not the only one who loves these.

As well as my top three Digital Marketing Predictions, here’s some other aspects of Digital Marketing that will stand the test of time:

Customer Journey Mapping

Basically this just means tracking your customers through their buying journey with you. Which pages of your website did they land on first? Next? How many visits before a purchase?  What prompted them to buy that final time? The more of this type of data you have the more streamlined you can make this buyer journey, essentially increasing your conversions.

Email Marketing

I sometimes cop shit about my views on Email Marketing – but it works and I stand by that. There’s a reason it’s the only service I offer outside Social, and not only is it effective, but it’s Social’s best friend. Businesses would be smart to continue to capture emails, and to improve their automation and segmentation to make sure the right people are seeing the right messages at the right times.

Authenticity

As mentioned above, people are a bit sick of “fakeness” and want to see the ‘real you’ of your business. You’ll stand out of you embrace what makes you different, rather than try to be like the others. Go live, post behind the scenes, people will appreciate the glimpse into your real world.

Platforms I think worth the investment in 2017:

LINKEDIN

I think LinkedIn is getting better. The app works better, and although there’s some glaringly obvious problems with LinkedIn I do think it’s a worthwhile use of your Social Media time allowance.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram will go from strength to strength, regardless of what people think about its copycatting of Snap. It’s easy to use, it’s growing it’s user base rapidly and for the most part it’s a very positive platform in terms of overall sentiment. In short people just enjoy being on Instagram, so it will develop in 2017, and it completely worth your time invested.

FACEBOOK

Facebook cops a lot of flack, but when you think about where it came from, and how it found an untapped need and embedded itself into our lives it’s actually quite remarkable. Facebook is not going anywhere in 2017. Sure, it’ll make some moves to clean up the “fake news” stories (or at least appear to) and hopefully there won’t be anymore ‘metrics fails’ we have to endure, but in general we’ll get more and more features trying to keep us happily spending time on the platform so they can sell more ads. And the ads will get better too.

Instagram and Facebook appear to be moving together – great news for marketers, and I think this will continue. With the combined inbox feature now rolling out, the upkeep on two platforms gets easier removing the need for people to choose between them.

SNAP (But only if your target market are under 30)

Snap (formerly Snapchat) is already a HUGE platform and I think it’s a great place to showcase your products on the following 2 conditions.

You GET it:

Don’t think that any normal ads you’ve done anywhere else are going to work here. They wont. Understand the platform and how it’s used. Make something that suits it, that speaks the language and it could be a great success.

Your target demo are young people:

Don’t get me wrong, I know people who are older than the main Snap demo who use and love it, but they are an exception. If your brand is not appealing to young users don’t even bother.

Things I think (hope) will decrease in popularity:

Vanity Metrics

Seriously, stop it. Your likes don’t mean anything (past a certain couple of set-up stages) A post that gets a lot of comments but contradicts what your brand is about is still a shitpost. So stop shitposting!

Marketing like it’s 2012

See above and add in all the tricks used to make people interact with content. They don’t work anymore. The only thing that works is knowing your market, having a strategy, and working on it consistently.

Booma-bounce

I don’t know what you call these so I gave them a name that’s as stupid as they are. Please stop doing a bounce on Boomerang! Fine if it’s your personal account (not really – but you do you) but I personally can’t stand them. Boomerang is awesome for certain things, jumping into a pool for example, anything that flows one way can look cool in reverse, but your cutesy bounce does not look cool. Sorry – it just doesn’t, and I like to think I’m that type of friend who tells you if there’s something in your teeth.

What will improve:

Customer Service

Customer service on Social is going to get better. Small businesses are doing a great job these days at getting back to you with helpful information about their products and services. The big end of town also does ok, since they can afford a team to handle the bulk. But there’s a big middle here. Improved technology like bots will definitely help the customer service aspect of Digital Marketing.

Not only that, but user journeys should improve too, becoming more personalised (again due to improved technology) and therefore reduce the need for people to reach out via Social channels.

Corporates “getting it”

There’s a growing number of businesses that are getting it. They know their Digital Marketing needs a strategy, metrics, time, effort and money to achieve their business goals. The more this is understood the better the marketers servicing these needs can be at their job, as they get back to the business of doing, rather than arguing about how to make your post “go viral” or some other cool thing my cousin’s friends’ sister did that made her totally Insta-famous.

Overall?

The early adopters are going great. They may need a refresher on their strategy – but these guys knew digital was here to stay and they got to build audiences back when it was easier (and free) Businesses like this will continue to go from strength to strength whether they outsource or have in-house digital teams.

The middle gets bigger. Just like all of us, the middle is expanding! Some of the previously mentioned early adopters may have dropped behind, being hoodwinked by a smooth-talking salesman, or simply not found reward for their efforts. Similarly there’s small businesses working really hard on their digital marketing and not yet reaping the rewards. This middle level of digital success is where most businesses will find themselves.

The newbies are either new businesses competing for a share of the spoils; or businesses that thought investing in digital marketing was a fad, a waste of money, not ‘right’ for their business, or were just too risk averse to put themselves out there. I think the second group are the ones to watch. The reluctant. The begrudging. The haters of change…I think we might be in for some surprises from some of these tortoises. He did beat the hare after all!

So? What did you think of my 2017 Digital Marketing Predictions?

Do you agree? Disagree? Have your own Digital Marketing predictions I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment?

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Carma Levene

Freelance Social Media Specialist at Carma The Social Chameleon
Carma is a Freelance Social Media Specialist, helping Perth businesses negotiate social media to achieve their goals. She is always reading, always learning and loves SMPerth events as a source of valuable information - with the added bonus of meeting cool people with common interests.

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