Digital marketing is moving quicker than ever - the online world is changing even as we speak. The complex strategies we see as perfect this year may well become obsolete by the time we start seeing their results. Social media platforms have risen and fallen, and with them, far too many newly-minted social media celebrities to name.
Change is real, whether we like it or not, but there are some basic core ideas and principles which will never become obsolete, regardless of what social media platforms, algorithms or big data strategies appear. High-quality, value-added content, building strong relationships with your audience, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape will always be critical to the success of your marketing efforts.
But what does that mean for us in 2017? Let's take a look at a few of the strongest undercurrents in today's marketing landscape:
This is the age of live video
Live video saw its modest beginning in earnest back in 2015 when Facebook first launched their live streaming service. According to their initial statement, any of their 1.6 billion users could create their own live video content and share it with their friends and family. Although the idea was developed by Twitter, Facebook made it better, easier to use, turning it into a usable tool. In a matter of months, live-streamed video channels gave rise to a new marketing channel for both individuals and companies worldwide beyond what social media marketing offered at the time.
Other social media platforms hopped on the live streaming bandwagon, and the age of live video started a firestorm of social shares, likes, and comments from millions of followers and the rise of the social media influencer.
Brands know that people love the in-the-moment type of content, and the widespread accessibility of truly functional live-streamed video offers exactly that. It connects with potential customers instantly and showcases the service or product directly in people's homes. Live debates, workshops, conferences, reviews, and walkthroughs are only some of the things which can change the way we see online marketing.
This is the age of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is already big, and it's only expected to get bigger over the next few years. Simply put, we love to make our purchases based on the opinions of real people, and the influencer offers brands the ability to speak through a relatable voice.
Studies suggest that, in certain niches, up to 70 percent of purchases are made after being “influenced” by an authority in the field. Brands know this, customers know this, and influencers know this, so it's no surprise influencer marketing has taken off the way that it has.
Also, influencer marketing is particularly effective because it can use virtually every social media platform as an interaction medium – and, in fact, influencer-generated media is already a primary form of mainstream entertainment for many consumers.
This is the age of data visualisation and infographics
Statistics, data, and reports are all part of the marketer's job. We use this information every day to measure our audience, market, reach, etc. This information tells us who is buying what, when, why, and how.
But data, in its raw form, is not easily digestible and Big Data is worthless if it cannot be interpreted efficiently. As people, we can't naturally read it efficiently, and consumers don't have the patience to understand and interpret a tables, values, and numbers we would offer them. Data visualization helps us see data better, understand it and, most importantly, use it.
As of 2017, there are dozens of specialized data visualization tools to choose from, and we only expect them to become even more sophisticated and efficient in the coming years.
This is still the age of SEO
Last but not least, search engine optimization is still at the core of modern content marketing. It is relatively impossible to have strong success in online business without quality backlinks and a properly optimised online establishment. You want to be sure that you consider this since many new businesses rely too much on new age media and marketing methods as opposed to the tried and proven strategies that are now available.
Online marketing is evolving, and things are changing swiftly. Old strategies are replaced by new ones as we speak, and we need to find ways to adapt to the ever-changing marketing world. Sure, there will always be new trends, new tools, new strategies, but the basic cores remain the same: quality, a meaningful relationship with clients and consistency. We only have to know how to bring these new concepts, like influencer marketing, live video streaming, and data visualization together and make them work seamlessly.