3 Biggest Digital Marketing Trends for Summer 2017

Scott Dubois / July 31, 2017

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Platforms or tactics that were once all the rage become less desirable as algorithms change or segments of your intended audience move elsewhere. Marketers are always looking for the newest approach, or something different that might help move the needle a little more; this is the fun part of what we do!

The ways that people want brands to communicate change over time, and by platform. By watching the trends and adopting these tactics, you can continue to stay ahead of the marketplace. The top 3 trends we are watching this summer are:

1. Deployment of big data.

Big data has been big news (and big hype) for years. But now, we are seeing collected data deployed to personalize offerings and increase conversion rates. 

A recent survey of Smart Insights readers showed that one in five marketers consider big data one of the most important marketing trends of 2017. This is because the high volume of data that is available now gives us the tools for predictive analytics. Analysis of individuals’ past behavior that include affinity for ad views, the videos they watch, the emails they open and the products they buy, can tell us more about what they are likely to do in the future. Extending this user-level detail to group segments can drive powerful automation decisions.

Big data can also strengthen relationships. Forrester found that 44% of B2C companies that actively used big data and analytics saw significant gains in customer responsiveness. The result is a longer relationship that was more profitable over time. 

By using the wealth of data that is available, you can also eliminate less effective marketing efforts. This will lead to your campaigns will converting at higher rates and bettering cost per conversion metrics.

2. Increase in automation.

One of the largest areas where data is being applied is automation. With more information about your prospects and customers, you can drive a more personalized experience that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

Behavioral email marketing is one area where automation is offering a more personalized experience. In the most simple form, platforms such as eBay and Airbnb will start an interaction with a prospect looking at a listing. When they navigate away, an email touting that listing or similar ones is deployed. The same can be done with specific retargeted web ads. It can often take a number of touches before a prospect converts. By sending these personalized follow-ups automatically, these companies recapture the lead and improve their chances of getting the sale. 

Automation is being used more and more to remove friction from the sales process. The less your prospect has to do between showing interest and taking action, the more likely they are to convert. Customers researching insurance, investments and other products online now often find prefilled forms when they visit a site. At online brokerage Betterment, visitors are met with simple forms that already include personal information when they arrive. Using data that includes the prospect’s name, email and even age, businesses can reduce the number of fields their prospect has to fill to get to the next step. This reduction means a higher chance at a conversion.

3. Explosion of live video.

Video of all kinds has become a major force. At this point, people watch 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. 

Live video is not a novelty anymore. In June, Instagram added live video replays. This move makes live video a more valuable option than ever. 

Video is a way to show your authenticity, your responsiveness and other qualities that help build trust and rapport. Live video offers an immediacy that few other mediums can. The best news, we all have the required tech to do this in our pocket (see: iPhone). Live video offers you a chance to showcase a celebrity, a client or an expert in your field. By watching comments and responding to them, you can offer the answers that viewers are looking for on the spot. This helps cement your brand’s reputation and makes people more likely to think of you when they are ready to buy. 

And so…

Not every strategy and tactic is appropriate for every business. Each business will also have to deploy strategies that they choose in a way that is appropriate to their brand. This allows you to showcase the unique selling propositions that distinguish your brand while reaching your prospects in the way that is most effective. By continuing to monitor both consumer behavior and the latest technological advances, you can continue to market your products and services in the way that is most effective for your company. 

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