Can you believe we are nearing the end of 2016?! And what a year it has been! In the land of social media alone, a number of new and significant features and changes took place in 2016, including:
The launch of Facebook Live
Facebook’s new reactions
Facebook’s new Business Page layouts
Twitter changed its character count to no longer include images and videos (phew!)
The launch of Instagram Stories
The ability to now like comments on Instagram
New Instagram analytics
and the explosion of Snapchat (I mean, who doesn’t love the butterfly crown filter?)
Whoa! That’s a lot of changes. So what could 2017 possibly have in store for us? While we don’t claim to have a crystal ball to see clearly into the future, we do see some trends across social media, email marketing and content worth paying attention to in 2017:
Snapchat or Snap Inc., will be the ones to watch during the beginning of the year as their IPO is set for March.
Likewise, Snap’s new Spectacles could play a huge roll in live video creation allowing users to film from their perspective and post directly.
Live streaming using Instagram Stories or Facebook Live will continue to grow and play an important role for brands looking to connect with their customers. Live streaming allows for an authentic and personal connection and has a relatively low marketing cost associated.
Influencer marketing will continue to flourish as brands are able to connect with the right audience providing an elevated brand experience through creativity and innovation.
Instagram will be rolling out its new shopping feature which will allow customers to shop directly within the app.
Facebook still remains a pay-to-play environment. With organic reach being less than 2%, the advertising platform is critical for brands publishing content. However, the price to reach your target audience is relatively low. With the right goals, creative and targeting (see recent guest blog post on FB advertising here), it becomes much easier to connect with the nearly 500 million active daily users.
Branded content promotion on Facebook will become a more widespread tool. If a verified account or publisher mentions your business or products you can pay to promote that specific post.
Facebook’s Messenger will continue to dominate the world of customer service. There is still huge opportunity for businesses to expand and use this just as much as phone or email.
Twitter. Oh Twitter, will you still exist at the end of 2017? We sure hope so, but we see the need for them to pivot in order to keep their users engaged.
Social media regulations on bullying and hate speech has been a hot-button topic. How platforms plan to combat this will be a continued conversation in 2017. For example, Twitter just rolled out a new quality filter and Instagram has a comment keyword filter which allows you to monitor for inappropriate words within comments. (Access this by tapping the gear in the upper-right corner of your profile.)
Will continue to play a role in the form of blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc. What will make these forms of content the most effective is giving the readers or customers a key takeaway - something that solves their problems right away. Content that focuses on just selling the company will lose out on an opportunity to really showcase their expertise and ability to really connect with their audience.
Is not dead. In fact, it's thriving. What’s helping it succeed? Personalization and more personalization. The more you can segment and dial in on who your customers are and what they need or want, the more successful email marketing will be. List size no longer plays as much of a role. It's about quality over quantity.
Regardless of the form of digital marketing, visual storytelling will most likely be the theme of 2017. We’re looking forward to seeing how the digital marketing world continues to evolve in 2017!
PS - One of the biggest challenges for marketers is producing quality videos at a reasonable cost. If you’re looking to create short videos for a website or even social media, we recommend Adobe Spark which makes it easy to produce a clean and customized video. This is not a paid ad, just an awesome tool we love to use!