As we're well into the second quarter of 2017, let's pause, take a deep breath, and see where this ‘warp speed’ digital evolution and technological disruption from all corners, is hurling us into the future…
The annual report from We are Social estimates the world population has crossed the 7.4 billion mark, where over 50% of the population are connected to the internet.
Mobile phone users throughout the globe is almost 5 billion (4.917) and a staggering 2.539 billion of all 2.789 billion social media users, come from mobile.
And quite logically, there's a 20% decrease in the usage of desktops and laptops, bringing its share of the global web traffic down to 45%.
Come to think of it, it has been close to 25 years since the World Wide Web has been available for the public, and in this time the internet has become an integral part of the day to day lives for the majority of the world’s population.
For most of us, we cannot imagine leaving our house without the rectangular piece of hand held device we call ‘smart phones, because this digital gadget has been seamlessly woven into our everyday activities and facilitates us in nearly every step of the way.
The digital disruption is enabling us to now pay from our mobile phones, immerse into Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences, automate and personalise our marketing efforts, enhance customer experiences through AI and Machine Learning… and much more.
Today we’ll explore the Top 5 Digital Trends of 2017, which could pave new pathways for marketers and digital businesses looking to get ahead of the game:
1. The Chatbots
Customers are becoming increasingly impatient. They don’t want to get waited on when they call for customer service, they want the services fast and their queries answered immediately.
This has given rise to Chatbots in many messaging apps in Facebook or Slack, so that customers can work at their own pace, behind the screen, without needing human intervention, but rather through an intelligent chatbot.
2017 is definitely going to see a ‘Chatbot gold rush’ in every imaginable customer interface, where a personalised message ‘pop up’ will ask you if you need any help. This is a trend where very soon people will rely on bots to make online payments, ask them to produce reports on marketing campaigns, or even request bots to make bank transfers.
2. Livestreams on the rise
Four times as many customers are estimated to watch a video about a product than read about it. Also HubSpot says 43 percent of people want to see more video content from marketers.
Now the social giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Periscope, all seem to be putting their money in ‘real time’ videos or Livestream videos, as it seems to be the trend as to how people are exchanging their stories and how marketers promote and engage with audiences.
Facebook is already generating over 8 billion video views per day and it's estimated that people spend three times (3X) longer watching a video which is live, as compared to a video which is no longer live.
It's something that would clearly stand out in the overly saturated world of content, many brands are soon to join the trend to claim their piece of the pie. We've already seen examples of BuzzFeed live stream, where two employees try to explode a watermelon using rubberbands, the video clocked over 11 million views.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing has been a major trend since 2016 as 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in some capacity and 94% of them found it to be effective.
It's getting even bigger in 2017, as Influencer marketing content is estimated to deliver 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing!
The effectiveness of Influencer Marketing lies in the ‘authentic’ stories the influencers tell about a brand’s product or service. Brands will be looking more into placing the trust with the Influencers and catalyse their ideas, rather than controlling them.
Though 61% still measure their campaign success through ‘audience reach’, 78% say that determining ROI of Influencer Marketing will be their top challenge in 2017. This brings us to the conclusion that marketers in 2017 will take a much deeper look into how Influencer Marketing can nurture leads/prospects into customers and tap into every step of the buyers’ journey.
4. Wearable Devices
We've already seen the wearable watches from Apple and Samsung, or other wearables like the fitness bands from Fitbit, that help us answer our phones, track our kids or count the calories we burn.
In 2017 the wearable market is expected to cross over $4 billion. One out of 4 customers in the US is expected to use wearable device in 2017. Marketers, designers and content producers will be challenged to adapt their messages to the changing screens of these new wearable designs, which are soon predicted to take new spaces as wearable clothing and other accessories.
5. Immersive/Interactive Marketing
Market leaders are pushing their ‘innovative’ button to always stand out from the crowd and deliver their content in a unique manner. This has pushed the innovators to find ways to engage their audience via embedding technologies into existing platforms.
One such idea is Facebook and YouTube introducing 360 degree video, where the audience is engaged with the content and is able to interact with it, which provides an ‘out of this world’ experience.
For example, take this effort from GoPro, as it gives you a 360 degree view of ocean and surfing in Tahiti:
Similarly, the Art Institute of Chicago and Airbnb produced a unique immersive experience for the promotion of Van Gogh exhibition. They created a room with copies of Van Gogh famous paintings and listed it on Airbnb.
Other brands such as Snapchat, Pokémon Go and Pepsi, etc., have also put out their work with immersive/interactive marketing. Eventhough the trend is still in its experimental phase among the bigwigs, it's only a matter of time before it's picked up by other marketers in 2017.
Let’s keep our eyes on the trends above and see how we can adapt our messages and engage our prospects through these innovative ideas.
If you'd like further assistance, or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is element7digital.com.au