6 Top marketing trends for 2017

Stick with us here. These up and coming “trends” may not be new to you, but they’re still worth a look.

Apparently internet marketing has been a thing for a while. We’re not saying you have to change what marketing you do, but when was the last time you checked up on how you do it?

1. Content marketing

This is what we’re talking about. No, it’s not new, but it should still be the backbone of many a marketing campaign. Creating stuff that people want, instead of just trying to force your messages in their faces, is still the way to go. We can’t see that changing anytime soon. Naturally the new year brings with it a wave of fresh opportunities, theories and practices and here are where we find the latest trends.

2. Mobile first

In 2016 web traffic from mobile devices overtook desktop. This is the continuation of a very established trend for which there is no evidence that even hints at reversal. As mobile devices become utterly ubiquitous, and networks are getting better at feeding the demand for data, this is no surprise. This has certainly been helped along by the fact that the user experience on mobiles is finally starting to catch up with the capabilities of the technology. We haven’t seen such ground breaking leaps forward in terms of hardware, but if you look back just a couple of years, the way in which we interact with information on mobiles has radically changed. With Google now indexing mobile first, this isn’t just an opinion, it’s a cold hard fact of SEO and marketing that people need to focus their efforts on how mobile users interact with their business.

3. Facebook gets friendly with businesses

Social media sites may not be expanding quite as quickly as they once were, but this may be because they’ve achieved close to full planet saturation. Many social media sites are now turning their focus inwards. How can they get existing social media users to be more active and more engaged? Facebook alone is becoming the primary source of news for many younger people and it’s also becoming a weighty commercial platform. With a raft of recent changes to business pages allowing for more information, customisation and engagement, Facebook are trying to help businesses make more money on Facebook. Why? Because ultimately this means more money for Facebook. On top of the constant upgrades to how ads can be targeted, Facebook has (re)launched their Marketplace, a stripped down version of eBay. It remains to be seen if this takes off, but Facebook is clearly trying to orientate itself as an online retail giant, akin to Amazon or even Gumtree.

What does this mean for your business? It’s still a little early to chuck in the towel on your eCommerce website and start flogging your wares entirely through Facebook. But it is important to keep on top of your social presence. As more social media users become accustomed to the amount of information available on social media this information is likely to have more sway. Already, most people search online for reviews before making a purchase, so there is already plenty of reason to keep an eye on your profile and ensure it’s making the right impression.

4. Google changes how it works. Again.

The global leader in online search has never been known for standing still. But if anything, it seems to be picking up the pace. Algorithm updates seem to be smaller and more frequent, with experts picking up on all kinds of unannounced and unreleased split testing being secretly carried out at all times. Google is a constantly expanding corporation and it’s constantly changing how it combines its various explorative and revenue generating activities. With more and more entities now operating in the digital sphere, Google is being pushed hard to stay ahead of the game and it shows in their rapid development of a number of areas.

As an SEO focussed agency, we are always on the lookout for changes made by Google. It’s kind of a full time job keeping up to date. In most cases, there is no direct action you should, or even can, make to respond to these changes. We find that a company that has consistently invested in high quality, white hat SEO is unlikely to be negatively affected by an algorithm change. If your site already has a squeaky clean back-link profile you won’t be hurt by the Penguin update and if you have a mobile responsive website Google’s shift to mobile first indexing won’t be a bad thing either. The reason we mention this is that doing things properly from the start will certainly help you in the long run. Cutting corners may (occasionally) bring short term benefits, but in our experience you can’t stay ahead of Google for long. In general, Google is looking for great websites and great content. By working towards both of those goals you have the best possible chance of making real, long term progress.

5. Small business digital security

Something we’ve become aware of much more over the last 12 months is an increase in digital attacks on small businesses. This isn’t just us hearing word on the grapevine, it’s very personal experience. Fortunately, not all attacks are successful and there’s plenty that can be done to batten down the hatches, digitally speaking. For many, online security was a bit of an afterthought. This is possibly what has made so many businesses easy and profitable targets, attracting a horde of digital vultures. Unless you’ve done something to really annoy someone, it’s very straightforward to put in place some solid protection and keep your investment in your online presence safe.

6. Multi channel marketing is everything

This is just the continuation of the theme of this article, as well as the last few years of evidence based marketing. There is no single thing that provides a marketing solution for your business. You need to keep on top of your website, your social media, your offline branding, your link profile, SEO, your business’s reviews and everything else that’s going on. By making sure that your existing or potential customers have a great experience every time they come into contact with your business, and increasing the odds of that happening as much as possible, you are in the best possible position for growth.

If you want to keep track of all of the above with a single team that understands you and your business, then get in touch with Alloy today. We’ll break down what you actually need and then make sure it gets done with a simple, all inclusive marketing retainer.

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