Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, many businesses evaluate what went right in 2016 and what can be done to improve their marketing strategy moving forward. Now that we’re turning the page on a new year and starting with a clean slate, here are some marketing trends to consider in your 2017 plans:

A Demand for “Behind the Scenes”

Live streaming will take a more prominent role in both social media marketing and content creation this year. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope all offer an easy method for brands to give audiences a unique behind the scenes glance and encourage interaction.


Visual Communication is Expected

Audiences are increasingly expecting brands to share more visual content, such as videos, images and data visualization (or infographics) to help connect with a message. According to inc.com, it’s estimated that 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018 so this is a trend that’s only expected to be on the rise for many years to come.

 

More Teaching, Less Selling

If your brand is only selling to your audience, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Many consumers wish to becoming more educated about a topic or skill and are now turning to brands as a knowledge source. For example, a knitting store may post a how-to video for beginning knitters rather than post only about sales and promotions for yarn.

“This consumer learning trend really emerged with the creation of Pinterest back in 2011,” said Megan Wagner, Paperkite marketing strategist. “It really empowered users to embrace DIY and self-initiated education. That same curiosity element has eventually trickled down to other visual platforms such as YouTube and Snapchat.”

Social media users have a thirst for knowledge and are expecting brands to provide this online education.

 

“The consumer learning trend really empowers users to embrace DIY and self-initiated education.”  – Megan Wagner, Paperkite marketing strategist

 

Inbound Marketing Strategies Will Become Mainstream

Traditional push-pull marketing methods will continue to become less effective, as audiences are becoming smarter and expect more humanized and customized content from brands. Brands will increasingly turn to lead magnets, such as checklists, ebooks, white papers, blog posts, webinars and other tactics to capture leads and build relationships with potential consumers. A report published by Kapost, reported that companies that offer buyer persona driven content see a 45% increase in the volume of Sales Accepted Leads (SALs).

Increased Focus on Instagram Marketing

While Facebook’s advertising platform has been a mainstay for brands over the last five years, Instagram, who has been quietly making a rise, will have a stellar year in 2017.  Estimates from eMarketer tells us that Instagram is used by 48.8% of brands—a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017. Brands are now seeing the value in this highly-visual social media platform.

The truth of the matter is that no one has a crystal ball to predict what 2017 will bring to the marketing world. But if research and statistics tell us anything, the methods that businesses use to connect with audiences is continuing to drastically change. If your marketing strategy needs a reboot for the new year, then give us a call and our team of digital marketing and visual content pros will help put you on the right track for 2017!