2016 was a crazy year, but as we look to the year ahead, there are some important lessons we can learn from it, especially in regards to the growing importance of mobile devices in the digital landscape, shifting trends in social media and the absolute dominance of streaming video content. Here's everything you need to know as you prepare for marketing in 2017.
Mobile Search: It's Not Just for E-Retailers Anymore
Back in the early 2010s, many viewed mobile devices as the enemy of physical retailers, as the trend of "showrooming" (looking at something in a store and then buying it cheaply online) gained notoriety. However, it increasingly looks like mobile devices are driving more customers to physical retailers, not just to window shop, but to make purchases as well. According to data released by Google back in May, mobile search is driving consumers to stores in physical, trackable ways. Moving into 2017, it has never been more important for marketers to ensure that they are using the power of mobile search advertising to drive consumers to their storefronts. The mobile-first world is definitely here, and using the power of mobile search will give marketers their best shot at reaching consumers who continue to use their smartphones to find the local products and services they are interested in.
Facebook: Take a Deeper Dive Into This Platform Giant
While you may have patted yourself on the back in 2009 for getting a Facebook page and updating it regularly with links to content, special deals and more, in 2017 it won't be enough to simply maintain your page anymore. With approximately 1.7 billion active monthly users, it's getting increasingly difficult for businesses to cut through the noise on this platform—especially since, according to Marketing Land, 2016 brought another news feed change that made organic reach from Pages even more dependent on shares. In order to combat this, marketers will need to use Facebook's post boost feature as well as the Facebook Ads platform to ensure their posts are reaching their intended audience in 2017.
Streaming Video: Why You (Yes, You) Should Care
It's easy for small and midsize businesses to dismiss streaming video as a tool only for large businesses, but whether you have five employees or 500, the fact is that you can't ignore video. Consider the following statistics:
- Marketing Land reports that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that 68 percent of marketers believe digital video will become as important as TV in the next few years.
- Google found that, during the course of a single month in 2015, 65 percent of Google Preferred ads on YouTube saw a brand awareness lift of around 17 percent.
- According to Nielsen data, YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds in the US during prime time than the top 10 TV programs combined.
Video is growing exponentially, and that trend is expected to continue in 2017. Marketers who don't take advantage of this fertile platform risk getting left behind.
Though every year brings surprises, based on what we've seen in the past 12 months, marketers wanting to get ready for marketing in 2017 will need to focus their efforts in three areas—mobile, Facebook and streaming video—if they want to ensure that they have the best possible start to the new year!