Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2017

Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2017 900 600 lodestar marketing group

Is it REALLY that time of year when industries start looking at what may lie ahead in the coming year? YES! It is, even though it seems like just last month it was 2015 and we were making predictions for 2016. WOW! Time flies; here we are in the fall of 2016 and we are starting to talk about digital marketing trends to watch for in 2017.  What are the digital marketing trends to watch for in 2017? We’ve been doing some research on this question and found that there are some interesting trends to watch on both the B2C front as well as the B2B front.

B2C Digital Marketing Trends

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Google has just announced its VR platform Daydream.  The platform is to be built into the Android operating system and includes both hardware and software specifications. Basically, Google wants to create the Android of Virtual Reality by encouraging phone makers to build their phones around this new platform.  So far, Google’s Daydream has been well received. Additionally, Pokemon Go was THE PHENOMENON of the Summer of 2016.  In fact, a report in HEAVY  stated that Pokemon Go had been downloaded at least 15 million times and the game was seeing about 21 million daily, active users. Considering the response that both of these have gotten, it’s safe to expect to see more going forward, which is good news for digital marketers because placing advertising in an altered or virtual reality is now a possibility.

Mobile Dominance

Mobile devices have emerged as the preferred device, which has had a significant impact on how businesses connect to customers. Consider mobile messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat. These have become primary ways to communicate outside of the normal mobile channels and digital marketers are beginning to see these platforms as a means of reaching consumers with their advertising message.

Video is King

In the past year several video based social media platforms have emerged. Platforms like Parachute and SnapChat began the live video revolution and since then, any businesses have found it a great way to engage with customers. Facebook took this and ran with it to launch their video platform, Facebook Live. How will this benefit the digital marketer trying to get their message in front of potential customers? For starters, video messaging has become multi channel meaning it is no longer restricted to television. In addition, innovations such as VR and AR, which provide interactive mobile engagements, are likely to become even more important in 2017.

Advertising Algorithms

Every digital marketer knows it by now: algorithms change frequently. This fact will have more of an impact on how brands generate their content in the fututre. Rather than relying on keywords to boost search rankings ,artificial intelligence algorithms will begin to include creative components such as colors, fonts and copy. Advertisements will evolve and be updated based on reactions from users. This will require brand to execute a full digital marketing strategy to boost their over a web presence, rather than picking and choosing select elements. Furthermore, they will likely find that they will need to have generous media budgets in order to get the reach and traction they need, unless, of course, their content “goes viral.”

Conversion Rate Optimization

CRO is a marketing strategy that is used to influence website visitors into customers. The strategy is made up of several components such as audience segment testing, response tracking and advertising testing. These tools will continue to be important for businesses to use in their digital marketing strategy for 2017.

B2B Digital Marketing Trends

Digital Marketing as the Star

Digital Marketing has moved from being seen as an “additional piece” of the overall strategy to a more “front and center,” integral part of any business’ marketing plan. As society norms continue to evolve, so will the role of digital marketing. As long as lifestyle platforms such as Facebook and Google remain everyday activities for the majority of the market, this industry will continue to sky rocket. In 2016, digital efforts proved to be beneficial. In 2017, they will prove to be imperative and will likely surpass other marketing avenues in results.


B2B businesses are seeing value of bringing a personalized experience to their customers from start to finish. Marketing channels such as trade shows and have made B2B communication formal, but, that’s slowly becoming a thing of the past. Behind the business, is people running that business. People spend much of their personal time online, across various platforms. In 2017, digital marketing will enable B2B marketers to reach their customers via a more personalized medium, such as their Facebook News Feeds.

Advocate Marketing

Also known as “word-of-mouth” advertising, this old-school tactic is still very powerful and effective. However, where “word-of-mouth” used to mean exactly that, now it looks slightly different thanks to advocate marketing software platforms that offer referral and engagement reviews. More and more B2B businesses are making use of these to drive business online.  Reviews and referrals from existing, happy customers adds tremendous value and brings in qualified leads from potential new customers.

E-mail Marketing

Although many have expected the value of E-mail marketing to decline; it hasn’t thanks to mobile devices that allow customers to read e-mails on any device.  E-mail marketing is still a great way for B2B businesses to stay connected to their customer base as well as connect with new potential customers. It has proven to be a great way to add the personalization, mentioned above, as well as a means of increasing awareness, acquisition and conversion.

Social Media

Initially, B2B businesses neglected social media however, LinkedIn and Twitter have proven to be great tools for B2B businesses to connect and grow their business. However, it is important that B2B businesses prioritize social media and use the channels that are most effective for their business.

Video Content

B2B businesses can reap extreme benefits from video-based content for their business. Periscope and Facebook Live are a great way to offer a quick and easy solution to live streams while YouTube and Vimeo are still popular ways to share general video content. This content can used across platforms in advertising on Google and social media. Videos enable B2B businesses to offer tutorials, demos and cover business events.

While we saw many of these trends begin to gain ground in 2016, we expect them to continue to gain ground exponentially in 2017.  Regardless of whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, it’s important to be on top of the trends so that your business will remain on the cutting edge and continue to see growth through 2017 and beyond.