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It’s that same time of year again: New year, New opportunities, New Plans and New Digital Marketing strategies you vow to use. Like every other Digital Marketing enthusiast, Every year I analyze the Digital Marketing trends and create a list of digital marketing strategies or technologies that I believe will play an important role in giving your digital marketing strategy a push up in the coming year. So here we are…
1. Video: Is that still Optional?
Let me ask you a question! Have you watched an online video today?
Well, if you did, then your customers probably did too. People just love video!
You must have seen a steep rise in Video Marketing during 2016. This year, Video will truly become an essential part of every business’s Digital Marketing strategy – or they’re going to miss out big time. Just look at these statistics that HubSpot has kindly pulled together for us:
- 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (Animoto, 2015)
- Almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016)
- 43 percent of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot, 2016)
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users. (Aberdeen, 2015)
These stats clearly show that Video is definitely one of the top Digital Marketing Trends for 2017.
Most people(Business owners & Digital Marketers) tend to freak out when they hear the word “video”. Their minds automatically go to a full-fledged video production company with a huge studio, fancy and expensive cameras, lights and backdrops. The cool thing these days is that videos don’t have to be expensive or highly technical anymore. (Have you checked out any of the most popular YouTube videos lately? Many are just shot using their Phones (no editing) and are often shaky and with poor lighting and people still devour them.)
Now if you want to be more professional with your videos, there are some affordable solutions that will make your company’s videos look even better:
- Get a good-quality microphone. You can get a huge range of microphones on Amazon or Flipkart
- Upgrade your webcam. Most laptops come with a webcam built in. If you want your videos to look even better, consider getting an external webcam that’s of higher quality and allows you to zoom and move the camera around easily while you’re recording or broadcasting.
- Step up your video even more. One product that made waves in 2016 is the Mevo live streaming video camera. This amazing little camera acts like multiple video recorders in one so you can show different shots, people, products or things using only one Mevo camera. Find out more at www.getmevo.com. You can also stream on Facebook Live using this handy gadget.
Which brings us to…
2. Facebook Live is the future
Yes, Facebook Live is a video platform, but I think it deserves a little extra special treatment being the most admired among all Digital Marketing Trends.
Though Facebook Live is limited to smartphones only which is a problem at times. But, if you have a right stand to keep your phone still, you can still make great videos.
However, Facebook is making few great changes constantly and are now coming up with Facebook Live as an option on some Facebook pages for computers too. 🙂
Before we start jumping up with joy, we need to remember that this feature is being added to personal Facebook pages only and you cannot use your personal Facebook page for Business purposes.
But still, we hope that Facebook will soon make this feature available to business pages. Until then, we do have some third party software that will make it easy for you to broadcast Facebook Live videos through your desktop/laptop computers.
- Wirecast: You can connect your Facebook Live page to Wirecast and stream live video of you, your screen or both. You can also live stream on other popular streaming channels like YouTube Live. You can find out more at www.telestream.net.
- ManyCam: This free or paid-for webcam software and video tool allows you to use your webcam on most applications while you’re live streaming or video chatting. Find out more at www.manycam.com.
Facebook has also just made scheduling Facebook Live “events” possible, so we expect more robust Facebook Live features to be released in 2017.
Are you overwhelmed with these Digital Marketing trends? Stay on, more of them are here.
3. Think Mobile-First
I am sure you are aware that more people use mobile devices to search more often than desktop devices. Google is already giving us “Digital Marketers” hints for quite some time now that we need to start moving in the mobile direction. It started first when Google started showing the “mobile friendly” words next to search results on the smartphone. This initiated business to get smart and they redesigned their sites to be Mobile friendly (Responsive). The businesses which have not upgraded or are not thinking to get upgraded to be “Mobile friendly”, will lose on business. This one among all other Digital Marketing Trends is not optional.
One tool that will be handy for you as you think about mobile is Screaming Frog. In their latest version, the software allows you to fetch and render crawled pages through Google Search Console. (Note: remember to set up Screaming Frog to emulate the Googlebot Smartphone Crawler.)
When Google introduced the idea of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in 2015, many developers and SEOs’ eyes glazed over. Now with the announcement of mobile-first indexing, it’s clear the direction we’re heading. Mobile MUST be in your plans for this year if it isn’t already!
4. Local SEO will become a cut-throat competition
When Google first launched the original version of “Google My Business”, we thought that Google wanted the local businesses to succeed. By giving them a “free” page on the Google platform, which increased the odds of a local business showing up in the Google “local pack,” small- to medium-sized businesses hoped for good business.
It was when the local pack went from seven local listings down to three (with the expectation that soon one of the three will be a paid-for spot) that the hope began to wither. Not only is competition for the local pack fierce but with more and more small businesses finally understanding that they need a digital marketing strategy, the space is getting more cluttered.
This year, SEOs who are helping small businesses, must keep a close watch on what’s changing on the Google local algorithm scene as well as do everything they can to give their local clients a boost. That means markup language, sitemaps (video sitemaps, too), a more organized, easier-to-crawl mobile site, specific local content that isn’t just fluff… you get the idea. It could get cutthroat out there, so be prepared for all SMBs in town to fight it out. Are you ready for the BATTLE?
5. Online Reputation marketing (ORM) will FINALLY be Mainstream
I have been talking, discussing and mentioning about the importance of Online Reputation Marketing from a long time now. But, it seems that only now the businesses are finally seeing the importance of customer-generated reviews and are emphasizing on that.
Those days are long gone when people used to buy anything online or offline without checking for reviews and options around their need. A consumer’s shopping experience now involves doing research online, watching product videos, talking with their friends on social media about which products or services they prefer and, you guessed it, checking out reviews.
Just look at some of the stats that came out in BrightLocal’s recent Consumer Review Survey:
- 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
- 54 percent of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
Not only do reviews help this new, advanced breed of shoppers make purchasing decisions, online reviews also impact your rankings on Google. (And at this stage in evolution we all need a little help there!)
When reputation marketing first came out, there were very few tools on the market that really did what needed to be done: make it easy for business owners to ask their customers for reviews, manage any negative reviews and promote the positive ones. Now there are many options for reputation software on the market that can make your job easier.
On to you for Digital Marketing Trends!
I am sure that you must have seen the change in Digital Marketing Trends and ways in which brands are marketing their products and services online. Share your feedback and innovations which you have come across in recent times, through the comment section below. Till then, Cheers!