In 2016 I had the opportunity to connect with some pretty switched on marketers. I thought I would ask them what they see coming as the online marketing trends for 2017. There are some very interesting answers below.
In no particular order
Chris Ducker – ChrisDucker.com
1) Live video. It's going to change the way we market our businesses, and in stark reality, companies that avoid it (for whatever reason) will lose market share, regardless of what industry they're in.
2) Email. It's not going anywhere. The focus you put into building and engaging with a strong list of email subscribers will have a dramatic effect on the health of your business.
Kevin Rogers – CopyChief.com
Short video will continue to dominate as a way to engage your prospects hanging out in those “hard to reach spots”. The old method of creating one long video sales letter and expecting it to become the single destination for all your traffic is long gone.
You need campaigns that respond to where your prospect is when they first engage. For instance, if it's noon on a Thursday and they're on mobile, you have very low engagement and short video with captions is a must. If it's 7pm and they're on a laptop, you can count on a bit more attention, but still need to engage deeply and quickly. The short video approach to making a fast impact is the key to dominating in 2017.
Website Link: http://www.60secondsaleshook.com
Andre Chaperon – TinyLittleBusinesses
I've never been much into “future gazing”. None of us have a crystal ball that gives us 20/20 vision into the future. God knows if I did, I would be living in Las Vegas, not Gibraltar.
And if looking into the future was such a science, the pollsters certainly wouldn't have gotten both Brexit and the Trump victory completely wrong.
I prefer to focus on fundamental principles that are universal and evergreen and transcend whatever year or the next.
I would suggest you focus all your efforts on solving real interesting problems for the people you want to matter to. Care deeply about serving their needs by actively talking to them.
By talking to them you'll get a clearer understanding of their world view. Then empathize with their plight. Fall in love with solving the monetizable problems that matter to them.
When you do this, something magical will happen. Some will care back. You'll earn their trust and attention. And in a world that's becoming more distracted than ever, attention is fast becoming the most valuable resource we have. More valuable than betting on a future trend.
When you earn the trust and attention of your true fans, cherish and nurture it with all your life. That's how you'll win big in 2017 (and 2217). It's what I'm doing. Perhaps you should, too.
Website Link: tinylittlebusinesses.com
Shane Melaugh – ThriveThemes.com
“Big Data” has been a buzzword lately and I believe we'll see more demand from small and medium businesses for ways to collect and act upon data like the Internet giants do. This, combined with the need for automation could be a major trend in 2017.
However, I think this is something that will be talked about more than it will be acted upon. Analytics and marketing automation have been around for a long time – the main problem with them is implementation.
What we may see is that more marketing software and service providers go in the directions of data mining and automation – for marketers who are willing and capable to implement complex systems, this can be an opportunity to gain an edge. While the majority talks, writes and content markets about this stuff, you can be one of the few who actually take action on it.
Mike Rhodes – Websavvy.com.au
These have already been popular in 2016 but I think we’re going to see a LOT more of this type of content. Tools like LeadsHook.com are incredibly powerful ways to engage with & provide value to your prospects (or customers) before you demand that email address or phone number. Driving traffic to this type of interactive content via Google’s Display Network & Facebook will be important skills to learn & improve.
Facebook & Youtube will continue to increase ways to use video to market your business & reap the rewards. If you’re not using video yet, please start.
We couldn’t run Adwords accounts without Scripts & tools like PPCsamurai – I’m hoping Facebook will add similar features very soon.
Automation in all areas of business will continue to grow. Exponential is an over-used word, but it’s use is apt here.
Marketing automation will continue to become more common place, but business automation as a whole will be essential in the future. Artificial intelligence is part of this, but you can’t add AI & hope to automate crap! First you need to do the work to define your business (& marketing) processes, map them out, simplify them and then start to automate them.
Jason VandeBoom – ActiveCampaign.com
I believe that understanding greater insights into the entire customer marketing life cycle will be a focus.
An increasing number of companies have been upgrading off of rudimentary email marketing techniques and are interested in a more intelligent and connected way of conducting their marketing.
All-in-one platforms will feel pain as best of breed applications become integrated in a deeper and more useful manner.
Sean Kaye – CasualMarketer.com
I think 2017 is going to be one of those “bridging” years between big trends.
Facebook Groups were the big winner of 2016, but now Facebook is infiltrating those with more ads, so that will lose appeal. Plus everyone is now in so many groups it's become distracting.
Big product launches of higher ticket information products made a bit of a comeback in 2016 – not that they ever went away, but the frequency seemed to increase and some got more traction than expected.
For me, video has been disappointing in 2016 as well. I assumed FB Live would explode onto the scenes and everyone would be using it. It really hasn't happened in a useful way. There are people doing really well with FB Live, but it just has hit as well as I thought it would.
Which leads me back to my original comment that 2017 might be the kind of year where there are no monster trends. It might be that kind of year where people just focus on fundamentals like email marketing, generating traffic and converting leads in to customers. In the absence of bright shiny objects, maybe people will go back to thinking about simplifying what they do and getting more out of existing assets.
Website Link: https://casualmarketer.com
Social Links: https://www.facebook.com/groups/casualmarketeracademy/ https://twitter.com/skaye
James Klobasa – TheExpertsHandbook.com
Consulting and Coaching is still growing and I don't expect that to stop in 2017. There seems to be an influx of Experts popping up out of the woodwork in all areas. This is both good and bad for consumers as there is no real ‘regulation' around ‘results or deliverables'.
The unscrupulous exist, so buyer beware…and in saying that, there are many great coaches and consultants providing top level service. Best to do your homework, search results and longevity of the coach/consultant you're looking to invest in.
Chances are if they've only been in the business a short time (less than 3 yrs), they're selling someone's recycled knowledge. Drink from the source…not the donkey.
Wilco de Kreij – Upviral.com
In my mind, there are multiple “obvious” things to predict for 2017. Marketing automation going more mainstream, for starters. I also expect that content marketing is going to play a bigger role in the sales funnels of many business – instead of it just being “inbound marketing”. Don't forget “speech” as well – this will have an even bigger impact on search as it already does.
But hey – let's go for the less obvious prediction. I expect (read: hope) that artificial intelligence is going to play a much bigger role in online marketing. Why spend time going through Facebook Ads statistics, if an algorithm could do it 10 times more efficient and effective? AI in marketing could come in any shape or form, of course. Changing the content of your site based on search behaviour, variable pricing based on outside factors, etc. Will this be ready in 2017? Probably not – by I definitely hope so.
Dan DeWitte – ActiveRelay,com
Subscription products and or services will boom even more than 2016 and as full stack solutions are becoming more accessible from both price point, connectivity and simplicity now is the best time to start a digital business.
Website Link: activerelay.com
Social Link: facebook.com/activerelay/
Chris Davis – AutomationBridge.com
I am confident we will start seeing more personalization in marketing beyond merge fields in emails. As more people adapt marketing automation and experience it's true power they will want to push the limits. Personalized marketing is definitely the key so look for it taking place beyond the email inbox.
Mike Morrison – TheMembershipGuys.com
Everyone is signposting 2017 as the year live video will really explode, but with that it becomes more important than ever to have an actual purpose and a plan behind what you're doing rather than just firing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks. If you want to stand out from the crowd you can't just be yet another talking head on a shaky phone camera.
You need to think about things like running a quality, consistent scheduled “show”; simulcasting across multiple live platforms at once; actively involving your community, Facebook group, social followers etc in the content you create; and effectively repurposing the recordings of your streams.
And while there are other platforms, Facebook is pretty much the entire ballgame. You just need to look at how much they're putting into international ad campaigns specifically to promote Live video to see how important it is to them; so they should be the primary focus of your live streaming strategy.
Ian Brodie – IanBrodie.com
I'm sure that as ever we'll see a lot of innovation in online marketing. But two things in particular interest me.
Firstly, I think we'll see a backlash against the massively complex funnels a lot of gurus have been promoting in the last year or so. We've reached the stage where the gurus' desperation to push something new and tell us we're doing everything wrong has resulted in marketing systems that need a PhD in Astrophysics to understand. I'm predicting and hoping that in 2017 we'll see a realisation that what really gets people to buy isn't a complex funnel, it's a great product that customers actually want, with a story behind it, sold by someone they’ve come to trust. All that can be delivered through a simple marketing funnel.
Secondly, I think we'll see a lot more people doing “email marketing on Facebook” using messenger bots. Most messenger bots so far have been attempts to use basic AI so that users can chat to them and they can respond intelligently. But there are now tools available like Manychat that allow you to create Facebook messenger bots that work like simple email autoresponders. They allow you to get signups via Facebook and to send pre-programmed messages and images with a degree of interaction. They're simple to do and have open and click through rates us email marketers can only dream of. They'll become much more mainstream in 2017.
Well I guess that leaves me.
I certainly think marketing automation will continue to permeate more into the mainstream. I also think that the way messaging gets delivered by those platforms will branch out and become more more multi-channel.
For example, a campaign may start with an email, then follow someone across to FaceBook messenger or Whatsapp, then back to email and onto personalised content on your website. The days of the ‘minority report' style advertising that follows you around is not far off at all.
However for most people I think I will echo what Ian said, dump the complexity and focus on the simple things that work well and you will be hitting runs everyday.
What do you think the marketing trends for 2017 are going to be? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.