Five Marketing Trends for 2017

So long, 2016! I don't know about you but I feel like last year was a doozy of ups and downs. I'm thrilled to be getting a jump on a new year and thinking about what's next. It's an exciting time for marketing and 2017 is a year that will both bring us back to the basics and propel us into new territory. Here is a peek into five marketing trends I predict for 2017.

Live Video Explosion

All the major social media platforms are doing it! Live video has quickly become a power player on Facebook since Facebook Live's launch in spring 2016 and Instagram and Twitter are on its heels. And that's because it works. Facebook reports live video is watched three times longer than archived video.

When it comes to video, quality is certainly a factor but most importantly you need to have a good story to tell. My 3-year-old son is obsessed with "America's Funniest Home Videos." As we were watching it one evening I had a realization. Some of these videos are 20+ years old but they're still relevant and hilarious! That's because each of them takes us one a journey with suspense and classic humor. Whatever your story is, find an opportunity to tell it through live video. 

Employee Advocacy Resurgence

Drink the company water! I've always been a big believer that your brand's biggest advocates are the ones who live in it, day in and day out. I noticed employee advocacy coming up a lot in 2016 and it will be even truer in 2017, particularly as all the social media platforms continue to evolve their paid elements.

Encouraging your employees to talk about your brand and share your brand's content works in two ways:

  • Social media algorithms are constantly changing, making it more difficult to get your great content in front of eyeballs that matter. Every time an employee shares your content or something about your brand, their audience sees it, increasing organic impressions
  • Employee content shares are more likely to appear in feeds than your own content since Facebook gives higher authority to your Facebook friends than brands

Create and Curate Quality Content

For the past couple years, there has been an emphasis on churning out content at neck breaking speed! Blog posts, videos, white papers and social media galore, all for the sake of creation. Finally, marketers are realizing the error of their ways and going back to the point of content in the first place - provide what your customer needs when your customer needs it.

That said, it's important to feed your owned media channels with quality, relevant content. That means updating your website, blog and email regularly. Really thoughtful original content can do incredible things for your business:

  • It gets picked up by search engines, improving your odds of getting a good placement in search results
  • Gives you something to share and promote on social media
  • Keeps you top-of-mind with your audience

Get Smart About Paid Social

As I mentioned, social media platforms continue to emphasize their paid content streams, making it more difficult for brands to get in front of their audience, even those who follow them already. In 2017, it's no longer a question of, "Should I advertise on social media?" but, "How can I test advertising on social media to determine the right tactics and spend?" Paid support behind the content you worked so hard to create is a must, especially for small businesses. Even if your budget is small, test ads with clearly defined metrics.

Work With the Data Your Mama Gave Ya

The claim that marketers are not seeing a return on their content and social media investments is tired. 2017 is the year of no excuses. Whatever your business objectives are, there's a way to measure their success. Whether it's sales, lead generations, brand awareness or otherwise, the data is there for the taking. The trick is measuring what matters to your business and culling insights to learn from and inform future business decisions.

In a nutshell, 2017 is the year we need to create great live videos that matter to our customers, boost them with paid support, encourage our employees to share them, measure the hell out of 'em, draw insights and do it all over again.

How are you feeling about the new year? Do you already have or are you planning to put any of these into place?