When it comes to digital marketing, content is still king. Content marketing comprised 20.3% of the digital marketing techniques implemented so far in 2017, although big data (crunching numbers to reveal buying patterns, for instance) is quickly gaining a foothold in online commerce.
The point is, businesses that still do not see the significance of digital marketing to boost their presence and revenue will end up being left behind by the competition.
According to a report from Statista, digital ad spending in the U.S. is expected to grow to $118 billion in 2020 from just a shade under $60 billion in 2015. That's more than double in just five years. In the global scale, the amount is expected to reach over $250 billion by 2018.
Here are just five of the digital marketing trends to watch for this year:
1. AR & VR Technology
The potential of augmented reality and virtual reality in business applications has never been more promising. After the gaming industry latched on to the new technology to enhance the user experience for gamers, developers have released apps that can help boost businesses. For instance, architects can make use of AR to give clients a virtual tour of what the finished product would be like. In digital marketing, businesses can exploit VR to help customers get a better picture of their vision more than any other type of messaging could.
2. Live Videos
Facebook Live and Snapchat Videos are just some of the platforms that can be exploited by digital marketers. Video content will dominate the scene in the next few years with Cisco predicting that 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2020 will be cornered by videos. Meanwhile, Facebook Live is growing 94% each year in the U.S. with eight billion views daily.
Facebook was embroiled in a scandal when its video platform was used to broadcast several violent attacks, which prompted founder Mark Zuckerberg to announce the hiring of 3,000 more people to police the platform of any offensive content.
3. Apps for Data Visualization
Applications like Data Hero, Tableau, Dygraphs, and Visual.ly have been helping digital marketers package big data for easy consumption not just for businesses but the consumers as well. This is not exactly a new trend. However, for this year, it's projected that businesses will make sure to exert more effort in using these tools to interpret the facts and figures at their disposal.
4. Viral Videos Won't Go Away Anytime Soon
Last year, Samsung was the big winner after three of its video ads went viral. By December 2016, they already had almost 500 million views total. Viral marketing will continue to be an effective tool for brand recall. Google's new updates, particularly on placing more importance on the social status for ranking, will really benefit businesses that invest in quality content. The downside is the short lifespan of viral video marketing. The trick is when to increase engagement, boost traffic, and convert them into income before interest wanes.
5. Content With Short Shelf Life
Businesses might dismiss expiring content as an effective means to build on the brand. After all, Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories only stay for about 24 hours before they are no longer seen again. Of course, this concept was copied from Snapchat, which has a similar feature. Digital marketers are basically exploiting the “fear of missing out,” which is human nature. Nobody likes to be the odd man out when everybody is talking about the latest video or when they grab the latest product, which is the reason why Kylie lip products sell like hotcakes even if they don't really offer anything new.