What will be the key elements of online marketing in 2017? And which developments should you take into account when planning your online strategy? Here’s a summary of five major trend forecasts:
Augmented and Virtual Reality
This year, the importance of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) will continue to grow. AR already proved its potential with Pokémon GO. Those who set up a Poké Stop attracted a lot of new customers as a result.
One of the key advantages of augmented and virtual reality is that it is not limited to the passive consumption of content. Users are involved in the creation of the content. They actively perceive and experience the content through interaction and animation. A series of different AR and VR apps enable customers to try out new products and services. Thus, L’Oréal uses AR to commercialize beauty products. With the AR app “Make up Genius”, lipstick, eyeliner, etc. can be applied to one’s one face in a virtual mirror. Mercedes Benz, Audi and Smart provide examples of the implementation of VR: these carmakers offer virtual test drives in their vehicles and in some cases the opportunity for virtual configuration of the cars. These campaigns show the potential of AR and VR technologies: They help to create exciting new brand experiences.
Automation in Customer Relationship Management
The integration and development of artificial intelligence is advancing at a rapid pace and will enrich and improve customer communication in marketing. Thanks to new services such as chatbots, a multitude of customer requests can be managed in real time. In addition, shopping and service processes can be simplified and accelerated, which ultimately leads to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The enormous potential of chatbots resides in their ability to communicate not only on an individual level but also in accordance with the respective context, as well as their ability to learn from customer behavior and preferences. This means that users almost instantly receive answers and the desired support. Facebook is already rewarding business pages for responding quickly and comprehensively to requests from interested parties and customers.
Bots will become crucial touch points of customer relationship management in 2017.
Recent studies confirm that display advertising is perceived as annoying and therefore increasingly ignored. This has led to a decline in click-through-rates and reputation. Since users are increasingly critical of digital advertising, marketing strategists should be creative with native ads to persuade potential customers. Native advertising can be described as a combination of content and advertising, which results in viral and highly entertaining content with added value designed to generate reach. Good native ads are characterized by high-quality content. The advantage of this strategy is that users generally don’t perceive native ads as advertising. The content can be found in the networks of users (such as blogs or portals). Nevertheless, native ads must be clearly distinguished as advertising, otherwise companies will lose credibility.
Native ads have another advantage compared to ads and banner ads: They generally cannot be detected by adblockers and they also work on mobile devices. In addition, native ads target users specifically, i.e. the content is adapted to each medium, network, and type of advertising.
Increased Customization of Marketing
Users will receive more and more customized content and personalized advertising this year. The focus is on the individual and emotional experience of a brand, because most users are no longer receptive to click bait headlines and uninspired, predictable content. They want to be inspired and vowed. To offer their customers a perfect experience, companies need to know exactly what they want. In future, marketing strategists will increasingly filter and assess customer data to get to know customers better and to assess their needs. With intelligent customer and behavior analyses, i.e. the evaluation of the Social Media Engagement Rate, marketing campaigns and content strategies can be better adapted, thus generating positive user experiences.
Search engines also place a stronger emphasis on user satisfaction and responses. To achieve good rankings, websites must become even more accessible to users and offer user-focused content with added value.
Live content in the form of videos will become an established part of online marketing this year. Whether it’s events, a guided tour around the company, interviews, market launches or Q&As – live videos are the perfect tool for a broad range of subjects. And they have an important advantage: Live videos are rewarded with additional reach by many social media networks and they are available for a limited time only. The latter is an important factor when it comes to their popularity, because many users will delay watching videos that are permanently available. By contrast, a live video has an ephemeral character; it gives the user the impression of being a direct witness, of being the first, especially when it’s an event or the first glimpse at a new product. Moreover, live videos help users to associate a face with the company in question, which in turn leads to authenticity. During live transmissions, questions from the audience can be answered immediately and the person asking the question can be addressed instantly and in a personal fashion. This has a positive impact on customer loyalty and helps to establish a feeling of community.
Let us know what you think about these trends. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Anja Kloster, Marketing Manager at pressrelations GmbH
Anja Kloster works as a social media and marketing manager and developer of social media monitoring solutions for pressrelations GmbH in Berlin. She writes about social media, online marketing and SEO. Prior to joining pressrelations, she worked as a social media content manager and research & program planning manager for international media groups.
Translation by Anna-Maria Hollain, Translator & Media Analyst at pressrelations GmbH
Since 2011 Anna-Maria Hollain has been working as a translator and media analyst. Before that, she was an intern at the Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS in Madrid, where she wrote for the newspaper’s global edition. Her research interests include aspects of linguistic and cultural transfer across media channels and the interplay of journalism and media monitoring.
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