Is it already that time again? The digital world is waiting for us digital marketing experts to predict the big industry trends of 2017. As a digital consultant, it’s my job to stay on top of the hot and popular topic in all aspects including SEO, Web Design, Social Media, and Advertising (just to name a few).

Predictions from a Digital Consultant

So, I’m here to tell you all the things your company should be focusing their efforts on as you prepare your budgets for the upcoming year.

Keep in the mind, the digital world is ALWAYS changing. Honestly, no know really knows what’s going to change and what’s going to stick around.

That said, keeping an eye on trends and data helps, and can position you for your best year yet.

That’s why we work in the digital marketing industry, though, right? It surely never leaves us bored.

Prediction 1: Mobile Prevails

Mobile is only going to continue to gain more popularity. Although most of the industry is pre-occupied with software and application development, we will see a shift towards more content focused messaging.

Look at Snapchat’s use of content marketing with their news feature implemented right into their app. That’s content people actually want to read and it’s going to continue to get more tailored and affective as users operate on mobile every day.

Prediction 2: Messaging

Snapchat, Facebook, Whats App, We Chat — these sound familiar, right? That’s because they have taken off extremely fast right beside our social channels that we use every day.

There is something fascinating and convenient about using messaging apps through our media channels.

As users continue to adapt to this, media channels will fight to get their content and advertising seen. This may be a uphill battle with users, however.

Prediction 3: Cross-Device Marketing

It’s exactly what it sounds like. The 2015 technology device usage numbers say it best, 92% of U.S. adults own a cellphone, 73% own a desktop or laptop, 68% own a smartphone, and 45% own a tablet. That’s a lot of devices being used and keep in mind, these numbers are growing.

The new trend is that people are using these devices simultaneously. Digital consultants now have to be aware of tracking these users on every device they are using.

Data alignment across these devices and recognizing what actions a user is taking is going to crucial.

Prediction 4: Videos

Videos are catching the attention of our consumers and we really can’t blame them. 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

More effort should be put into making compelling and relevant video content rather than textual content. Your company should be putting a video making strategy as a top priority.

Videos have more of an opportunity than any other content to go viral. Use that as motivation.

Prediction 5: Artificial Intelligence

No longer are humans responsible for every marketing task. Computers are taking over that role for us. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is popping up everywhere and it’s only going to grow into unthinkable places.

The fact that Artificial Intelligence is performed by computer and algorithm rather than human makes it even more appealing.

We could see this is all different fields but some AI examples include; product recommendation, speech recognition, ad targeting, chat bots, and more.

Prediction 6: Increased Emphasis on Content

Like current times, we will continue to see content marketing at the top of the game. In current years, we have seen content marketing take big leaps and come a long way.

Since most companies have updated and are writing the content, the focus will turn to refining their strategy. This will be through focusing on writing shorter content vs. longer content, frequency, and distribution.

Ultimately, figuring out what users want to see and read is going to drive everything.

Prediction 7: Experiential Marketing

Giving the user the opportunity to interact with your product or service face-to-face is becoming increasingly popular — also known as experiential marketing.

This type of marketing accounts for interactive, even 3D design efforts. Since we are connected to everything through our smart phones, brands will take advantage of these two things to bring us the ultimate experience.

Experiential Marketing works. 72% percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide great experiences and this is what digital consultants will work towards in 2017.

Prediction 8: In-Store Marketing

Just as it sounds, the act of marketing to the consumer inside the actual store is a growing field. With the addition of smart phones being on us 24-7, digital consultants now have the ability to send us promotions while we are in the store. Pretty crazy, right?

It will not only affect the shopper’s mindset, but this marketing allows companies to track the user’s behavior.

Working alongside Artificial Intelligence, in-store marketing will send personalized promotions and alerts through messaging.

Prediction 9: Changing the Infrastructure

A huge part to all of this new emerging digital technology is that you need to have employees that know how to use it. You also need to have employees that can create and compete with technologies like this.

This is where company reorganizations and infrastructure will come into play. Web designers, UX designers, and Application Developers are all going to be very abundant in the job market.

Companies need these types of employees that have the skills to market to their consumers through the data and technologies in the market place.

Prediction 10: Analytics & ROI

All of these new technologies and ways of marketing are being introduced yet many companies don’t even analyze their results to see if the work being put in is paying off.

Increased emphasis on analytics and measuring ROI is needed. Especially in big areas like social media and content marketing.

Companies need these tools to first tell how their content marketing is doing and then to figure out their budget going forward.

See you in 2017

From studying current market trends and analyzing the success of campaigns in 2016, this is what’s expected to come in 2017.

Good news for you: digital consultants are here to help. We will be with you every step of the way this upcoming year in finding out what this innovative industry will bring next.

Stay tuned.