The digital market has become an arms race with all your favourite brands fighting to become the top pick for consumers. With that in mind, our digital marketing manager Graeme Knights looks at three major digital marketing trends that we believe will continue to reign supreme in 2017.
For the last few years we’ve been vocal on how “content is king” and it appears this is a statement that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Brands are seeing the benefits that regular content can bring to their digital marketing strategy, so expect to see growth in the amount of digital content that is being developed.
Content is essential to both SEO and the user journey, as it drives users around the website and into new areas, opening up horizons. Look out for a focus on case studies in the next few months as businesses respond to their users being now more interested in brand accomplishments than services. In line with this, testimonials will begin to play a bigger than before role in digital content and as a tool for conversion, too.
Also expect to see more rich media content being pumped into websites. A growing trend is the use of video, which is now often found on homepages in place of a header image. This instantly engages the user with the brand. Downloadable content such as digital brochures and PDFs will continue to play an important part in selling the brand to users. As mentioned we’ve long been advocates for content and using an integrated approach at OneAgency allows us to get the best results by combining digital strategy aided with professionally written content through our in-house PR team and content writers.
Of course, with an increase in content marketing, we can also expect to see improvements to how data is used to define results. Data has always played a massive role in digital marketing as, unlike in traditional marketing practices, it can give us definitive and quantitative results. In 2017 expect data to be focused on narrowing the gap between sales and marketing, providing us with greater insight into customer activity on websites. When there’s an increase in content, there will be a parallel increase in data so brands should be able to dissect what is working and what isn’t. It will make us wiser about how to use landing pages and call-to-actions, and will advise digital marketers if the website design needs tweaking too.
Tracking software will play a more dominant part in digital marketing for websites that look to convert online or generate leads. Again, supporting to narrow that sales/marketing gap, tracking software will allow marketers to know which company is on the site and what pages they’re visiting, what medium they arrived through and also link ups to social platforms to identify contacts – thus providing brands with the warm lead they need.
Finally, we expect to see an increase in marketing automation this year. Automated emails will help build rapport and raise brand awareness, from basket drop outs to contact us auto-respondents or the more traditional subscription lists. Expect e-shot campaigns continue to rise using marketing automation technology that reacts to customer behaviour. For instance, if a customer clicks on a certain button on the e-shot, then they will receive an instant text message in response, or it may trigger a follow up eshot or particular product promotion.
In the same way, websites will also use marketing automation. For instance, an e-shot may be automatically sent to a customer when a product related to a recent purchase is launched. Or, the website may send out specific promotional information based on what page has been visited. This all ties in with data too, so websites can get smarter and dynamically serve their organisation’s needs with each step being monitored for best results. The more time passes, the more we see all marketing techniques and disciplines blue lines. Digital marketing now can incorporate and aid all levels of marketing, so having a co-ordinated approach to best use these skills will, we believe, yield the best results.
Do you agree with our top three picks? Share your thoughts!