Top Marketing Trends for 2017, and What Should be Left in 2016…

Social School blog - marketing trends 2017

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

Some marketing practices should be left in the dust, but have no fear, 2017 has better trends in store:

1. Influencer Marketing

Sorry bloggers, suggested users and online personalities, we don’t mean you. We mean influential people within your businesses demographic. Spend your marketing dollars to engage those leaders within your community. Get connected with those who are actually connected – as in, IRL (In Real Life) connected. Invite leaders of your target audience to enjoy your product and they will naturally share with their friends and circles of influence. Word-of-mouth remains the most effective form of marketing with 84% of people saying they trust – and often rely solely on – the recommendation of friends, family and colleagues.

SO LAST YEAR: Paying bloggers to write about your business. Aren’t we all tired of “I just love this drill from _____ and what would I do without my favourite makeup brush from ____”? We are not suggesting ditching this type of influencer marketing altogether, simply redefining it. But perhaps it’s time to reconsider paying big personalities who don’t appeal to your demographic to talk about your product. It’s disingenuous and your audience can see right through it.

2. Live Content

Consider this – all of the top social media platforms launched a live feature this year. Businesses who can tap into the opportunity and wrap their heads around what ‘going live’ can do for their business and brand – and do it well – are all but guaranteed to increase their unpaid reach and expand their audience of customers and prospects as a result. Put your fears aside, get schooled on the subject and dive in! With a little strategy, planning and knowledge on your side, your live social content may quickly become your most valuable marketing channel.

SO LAST YEAR: Hard selling, overly promotional content and push marketing. Savvy businesses who are winning online and converting their social efforts to sales are the ones providing massive value to their audience, and committed to the idea that quality (free) content and knowledge sharing leads to sales. Show what makes you different and create written, photo and video content they actually care about, and leave the BUY BUY BUY mentality back in 2016.

3. Virtual and Augmented Reality

From Google Cardboard to the Pokemon Go craze, many of us experienced virtual reality (VR) in 2016, and this trend will continue to be normalized in 2017.

“New technology follows a familiar adoption curve, and it’s easier to attract your first customers, innovators and early adopters. It’s very hard to cross the chasm and attract the early majority and beyond.” – Tom Bedecarre

It is safe to say that VR is crossing the chasm. This year the question of whether or not VR will be viable for mainstream businesses to adopt and invest in will be answered. Because as VR continues to prove itself as the future of storytelling, marketing and social media, companies who invest in developing content specifically for VR will be ahead of the curve.

SO LAST YEAR: Thinking that VR is a way-too-distant reality. It is here to stay, and businesses must start considering how they can tap in.

4. Content

Have you heard that content is king? Content still reigns but creating content that a) reaches your audience and b) your audiences engages with will be the focus of successful marketing strategies in 2017.

SO LAST YEAR: Create, create, create and publish, without considering strategic, targeted distribution and properly measuring engagement and reach. Do not waste your time creating content if it is not partnered with a paid digital advertising and content amplification strategy. Furthering the reach of your brand’s Facebook and Instagram posts with a few strategically placed dollars behind them is the name of the game now, either by boosting them from the page, or creating paid and promoted campaigns out of your posts. The latest statistics report that 70-90% of the organic content of any given business will go completely unseen. Give it a bump and get it appearing in the newsfeeds of both fans and non-fans alike!

5. Data

We were inundated with numbers in 2016, but fine tuning which numbers matter to your business and then adjusting your strategy accordingly will be the focus in 2017.

SO LAST YEAR: Basing your strategy solely on what’s popular at the moment, and focusing on vanity metrics to further increase your followers and reach. Instead, base your marketing plan on what content your audience engages with and adjust accordingly from there. Not all data is relevant to you, and nor does all of it lead to sales. As in, 50,000 Instagram followers is going to get you nowhere if it leads to 0$ in sales. It is far better to have 5,000 loyal and engaged followers who salivate at your content, stick with you like glue, and repeatedly purchase your products and services.

We look forward to what else 2017 has in store and are right there with you in resolving to leave a few practices in the dust (and snow) of 2016!
Digital. Marketing. Education.

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