It’s the -ber months once again. Here in the Philippines, malls are already bedecked with with Christmas decors and lights; the same goes for villages, where the proverbial parol illuminates our surroundings. The Yuletide season truly is in the air, heralding the coming of Christmas and the New Year.
For marketers everywhere, this means the authorities are coming out with predictions for the following year. Below are our own predictions on the digital trends to watch in 2017:
As the internet becomes saturated with content, marketers will turn their focus on writing content with a human touch. This is content that takes its time, and lets readers savor every word from it. Playful, yet considerate, the marketer will become an expert wordsmith; he or she will dedicate effort to crafting compelling articles that are informative, raw and honest. Think Medium-type blog posts and journalistic pieces.
The past two years have been all about content curation, and the same is true for the upcoming year. Not that resources are scarce, but marketers will find curation even more crucial to their success. Curated content in essence is a “one-stop” shop for all your readers’ needs. Thus, when they come across an article that curates whatever serves them, expect it to be shared fervently. This means more views, traffic, mentions and potential followers.
2017 will see more companies relying on graphics created by their own team, instead of stock images or videos. This is bringing DIY to another level, and only goes to show that marketers and online professionals are seeing more value in their work. In an age where everyone simply copies what others are doing, it is all the more important to create unique content that will set you apart from others.
Localization is one of the trends this year that have driven marketers and publishers completely nuts and jumping on the bandwagon. Nobody knew that it will morph into a trend, and those who did were the ones reaping its benefits early on. Localization means offering a product or content to a specific market in their own language.
Cybersecurity and stealth apps
Hacking has become quite commonplace this year. While small businesses are common preys to hackers, even big conglomerates such as Yahoo! and LinkedIn are not safe from hacking incidents. As a result, businesses are expected to ramp up their efforts on securing their online assets, particularly their websites. Lioness Media predicts that the use of VPNs, and authentication software will climb next year, pushing the profits of providers up.
If you have recently downloaded an app or signed up for an account on a website, chances are you’ve already encountered a micro interaction. Micro interactions are those functions that occur within a specific call-to-action that you’re fulfilling. Your Facebook feed is one example of micro-interactions. As you browse your feed you probably have noticed encountering video “memories” that Facebook encourages you to share. That’s classified as a micro-interaction. The idea with micro-interactions is to keep you within a loop, and engage you continuously. In other words, keep you interacting with a specific product or page.
Smooth-scrolling pertains to a function of one-page or parallax websites that reflects a smooth gliding “mechanism” or delay. This happens when the user clicks on an anchor link and a page scrolls to the part referred to by that link on the same page. Smooth-scrolling eliminates the “speed bump” when you’re scrolling down a webpage that affects user experience.
Flat design, a form of minimalist design that capitalizes on the use of one-dimensional graphics, is here to stay. The design gained tremendous fame two years ago, and will continue to grace many a websites that will be birthed next year. Uber-neat to the point of being clinical, flat design will remain to be attractive to people who like simple, fast but eye-catching user interfaces that work fast. Our team, in particular, is in love with flat design and white spaces (more on the latter below).
Videos will be more prevalent on everyone’s social media feed, as Facebook rolled out its Facebook Live feature and Instagram’s video taking capabilities become more popular. The same can be said about videos on websites. More and more websites will have video backgrounds above the fold.
Adver games (advertising games) will be more popular this year as the culture of gaming spill over to the non-gaming public. They increase engagement within social media apps, and could be a great way to promote new campaigns, or websites such as what TV series and new movie productions have done in the past. There are many applications for the gamification in marketing, and more professionals in the field will start to take notice.
If you haven’t noticed already, Facebook has forced us more than ever to abandon its built-in messaging feature to download its Messenger app. This is so that it can have more access to our activities when we’re online, and find out what services they can further recommend to us. With Snapchat exploding into the niche, we believe that chat apps will continue to grow incrementally over the following months and they could be a tremendously helpful tool for marketers to reach their audience in a unique way.
White spaces are nothing new in the world of design, but it’s getting some deserved love recently. With minimalistic design taking the center stage, it’s no surprise that the use of white spaces in websites and ads have become more prominent. Also called negative space, white spaces can subdue an otherwise busy surrounding of a photograph or website due to so many elements. It can also help bring out call-to-actions more, or highlight specific areas of the site that could lead to conversions.
Some experts argue that display advertising, which basically involves those ads that you see on social media or the websites you visit, are not worth it. Yet brands think otherwise, and there’s data out there to prove it. According to a prediction by Forrester Research in 2014, ad budgets in the U.S. will “reach $37.6 billion in 2019, up 90% from $19.8 billion in 2014.”
Display ads are very powerful in remarketing. Remarketing through ads helps businesses complete a sale for a shopping cart you’ve abandoned. for example.
There’s a lot of talk about conversion optimization lately and for good reason. Conversion optimization is a fancy term for increasing your leads or sale, by optimizing parts of your website. This could be accomplished by tweaking the design and colors of your site, the placement of “buy now” or subscribe buttons on your landing pages, or your content itself. Marketers will look inward this year and focus on their clients’ websites, and examine what can be improved.
There you have it. These are the digital trends to watch in 2017. Did your predictions make it to the list? What are the trends that you believe will become more prevalent next year? Let our readers know in the comments’ section.