The rate of change in technology, social media and online marketing trends is staggering. From year to year ideas may be thrown on their head and concepts may develop rapidly; what worked to attract and convert customers last year may not the next.
Top 5 online marketing trends that will lead to inbound marketing strategies
According to Forbes SEO and online marketing contributor, Jayson DeMers, there are several online marketing trends that began in 2016 that will likely grow or become even more important in 2017.
1. Live video streaming will become an online marketing staple
Companies have been using live video streaming more and more each year but the concept is ripe to be fully realized in 2017. With increased internet speeds and easy access to the internet provided by mobile devices and “live-streaming” apps such as Periscope, social media users are increasingly turning to live video streams to learn more about brands and purchase products. When Facebook made live video streaming available on both iOS and Android Facebook last year, the company began promoting its use by giving priority to live feed videos in news feeds over other content. With the move Facebook noted that “…on average people watch a video three times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live.” Advertising videos have the highest click-through rate of any form of online advertising at 1.84 percent – the percentage could be even higher for live video advertisements. Expect more and more online marketing agencies to take advantage of this opportunity.
2. Niche markets will become increasingly important
While the number of online customers has remained fairly flat for some years, more and more businesses have begun selling products online. This means smaller markets available for each business, particularly in the content and social media marketing spaces. One way that companies can compensate for this is to be very specific in their targeting by meeting the needs of a small and specific niche market. To make this work in 2017, companies are likely to choose targeted content and online marketing campaigns that feel almost personalized.
3. Native advertising will be used more than ever
Native advertising is paid content meant to inform and engage the company’s target audience in a trustworthy way in order to convert the reader into a customer. While native advertising has been used for years in print publications, its use for online advertising will grow in 2017 as people become ever more cynical and prejudiced against overt forms of advertising. Seeing the trend, major online publishers and brands may become more open or encouraging of this type of adverting than they have been in the past.
4. Content marketing will be used to create more “immersive experiences”
Modern society has become known for people burying their faces into mobile devices instead of communicating in person. Perhaps inevitably, many are looking for immersive rather than passive experiences through the internet. Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are growing trends for 2017. Real estate agents are using 360 degree videos of their listings to make the potential buyer feel like they are viewing the house in person. Other businesses are using webinars or workshops to explain how to use their products and get customers or potential customers actively engaging about the brand or product; potentially increasing their connection and loyalty to the brand.
5. “Dense content” will be used to cut through the barrage
The rise of the internet has served to decrease our attention spans. People want information that keeps their attention and gets to the point or they will click on something else. This means that online marketers need to make their content count. Every word and sentence matters; dense content ensures that you get your point across before the reader gets bored and leaves.
The relevance of inbound marketing
The concept of “inbound marketing” was first presented in the 1999 book “Permission Marketing” written by Seth Godin. The term was created by HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan. Inbound marketing is an online marketing approach used to attract customers to products and services by using a combination of relevant and engaging content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization. Inbound marketing aims to attract customers, build trust and improve the buying experience. Content is provided through blogs, company newsletters and other social media platforms such as Twitter. Buyer personas are identified and developed in order to personalize relevant content for niche markets.
The principles behind inbound marketing are highly relevant to several 2017 online marketing trends including dense content, immersive online experiences, native advertising and niche markets. Contact an inbound marketing specialist today to see how they can help you attract and convert browsers into customers in an authentic and effective way.