Dear Doctor Digital, What can you tell me about digital trends in 2017?
This year, impressions count! You’ll want to look your best and be clear on your intentions concerning your business. Stick to practical and well-proven paths to ensure success, rather than risky ventures.
And what is more practical than the well proven path of social media and a well thought out digital strategy to ensure that when you are rocketing along - leading the pack and taking your customers with you!
Of course the real trend of 2017 is the Digital Ready Program bringing all of the news via the blogs, factsheets, live streams, case studies, podcasts plus the popular Digital Ready coaching + event program, so stay tuned to www.digitalready.tas.gov.au to keep up to speed.
Here are some of the other key trends appearing in the next 12 months.
Cross Channel Marketing: I’m not even going to mention that social media is here to stay, as the days of Facebook, Instagram and Snap being a fad are long gone. The reality is that now most business are seriously present on at least two social media channels, and their customers are using a combination of mobile and lap or desktop devices to access their portals to people and business. Pull out your digital comms and marketing strategy and make sure that your channels are aligned and your message articulates well to the devices it is being read on in 2017.
Influencers: There will be a blog dedicated to this very topic (so my crystal ball blog schedule tells me) coming soon, but for now the headline is INFLUENCERS MATTER. Real person, especially celebrity person endorsement of your product or service has serious star power when it comes to authenticity. Even if your business has a tiny marketing budget, small businesses can barter and build relationships with influencers that don’t necessarily require money as payment. Access to your followers and cross-promotion on your brand’s website can often suffice for smaller influencers. Check out who is going to be beneficial to promoting your brand and build on that relationship.
Engagement: Back in the day, you might have paid an anonymous online contact a measly amount to get 10000 followers to your Twitter or Facebook account overnight - however volumes of faceless disengaged numbers in your social media accounts are now a metric of the past. Today, what matters is engagement, and a quality following of raving fans to value add your digital community. Build followers in an organic and authentic way, and find people who are smack in your demographic to increase your sales and your brand engagement.
Right Here, Right Now: Scheduling posts is a handy tool for time poor businesses, but when an endless stream of memes and quotes plops like clockwork out of your social media channels, in the time it takes to post a snap #boring your customers will be out looking for a brand that cares. Immediacy is where its at, and live streaming and real time interactions are worth a thousand scheduled words. You don’t need to throw the scheduler out with the bathwater, but you do need to mix up your strategy and ensure that you are there on the journey with your customers: both yours and theirs, showing that you care and are not just an insensitive business bot.
Video: 2017 is all about the video. As Facebook famously announced in 2016, by 2020 it would be a totally video based medium. Snap has upped the ante and announced it is a ‘camera company’ and every channel is getting its live streaming, stories and clips on. Facebook claims that 100 million hours of video are being watched on their platform EVERY DAY, and this is proof enough that video is your key communication tool this year. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to do it either, smartphones and in-camera and in-app apps are making it super easy to tell your story with sound and movement.
Data is Boss: How many times have I chanted that mantra on the blog, but people still aren’t getting the message that data and metrics are like wish fulfilling gems when it comes to being able to accurately predict the future. Facebook, Twitter, Insta and Google all have some pretty fantastic metrics and dashboards now as they play into the hands of their business customers, so make 2017 your year of getting deep in the data and mapping out your year so you can see where your time and money is having an impact.