Now that the holidays are over and 2017 is in full swing, it’s time to predict some game-changing marketing themes that we can look forward to this year.
The Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is upon us, and it has the potential to transform the entire marketing industry. We are living in an age where someone can talk to their Amazon Echo to have a pizza delivered to their front door, Chatbots can answer customer questions, and cars are self-driving. According to a study by Demandbase, 80% of people believe that AI technology will revolutionize the marketing industry within the next 5 years. Some of the top benefits from AI reported in the study included: better insights into accounts, more detailed analysis of campaigns, identifying prospective customers, and expediting daily tasks. Forrester Research predicts that investments in AI will triple in 2017 as firms work to convert customer data into higher customer engagement.
Influencers might not be considered celebrities, but their social media presence is significant enough for them to play a key role in digital marketing. A study by Google shows that YouTube stars are more influential to millennials than celebrities. Consumers trust authentic content from “real” people rather than brands themselves. Influencer marketing is not a new concept, but it is becoming more significant this year, as 48% of marketers plan to step up their influencer marketing budgets in 2017. Marketers spent $25,000- $50,000 per influencer marketing program in 2016, and is predicted to increase to $50,000- $100,000 in 2017. According to influencer platform, Linqia, the top benefits of influencer marketing include the creation of authentic brand content, driving brand engagement, and increasing website traffic.
Visual and Video
In 2016, we constantly talked about video and visual content being a major marketing trend, but it’s worth mentioning this year as well. Video content was indeed a major theme in 2016, and will become even more significant this year. According to eMarketer, US video ad spending will grow almost 21.8% in 2017, making it the fastest growing format this year. Videos and images have become a significant way that people gather information online. Visual storytelling will be key for marketers to stay ahead this year, whether it is though images or video platforms. More than 90% of the online population will regularly watch online videos in 2017, which will represent 74% of all internet traffic this year. A 2016 study by Hubspot reveals that video is among the top three content types that people want to see more of, along with social media posts and news articles.
A survey by Statista shows that 93% of millennials are spending time on social media, so it makes sense that brands are using it to leverage sales. It is no longer a thing of the past to see social media platforms merging with eCommerce. Social media platforms are a valuable aspect of the buyer journey that are becoming a bigger focus point for brands. Instagram is testing out a feature that will allow consumers to shop from the app, stating, “Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase.” Social commerce takes consumers from the “buy” button to the “order complete” page faster than ever, and we are excited to see how this plays out in 2017.
Podcasts have been around for over a decade, but we predict that they will gain a lot more popularity this year. Up to 57 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, which provides an immense opportunity for brands to target a niche audience. According to IAB-Edison Research, 70% of people agree that the products and services they learn about on podcasts are relevant to their interests, and 65% are more willing to consider products and services that they learned about on a podcast.