Technology has significantly changed the way we do business. 2016 has been an amazing year for online marketers and as we near its end, it is time to think about 2017.

The marketing industry is dominated by those who plan ahead, anticipate changes and implement strategies before their competitors do. According to standard Rogers Adoption Curve, early adopters of technology benefit the most from it and are more likely to experience better business outcomes.

Some marketers believe the online marketing landscape will become even more competitive with more businesses entering the digital world. In order to gain competitive advantage over your competitors, here are some trends from 2016 that you need to take more seriously in 2017:

1. Go Mobile

2017 is going to be huge in terms of mobile marketing. The Smart Insights Mobile Marketing Trends reveal that more than 50 percent of searches are performed on mobile devices. Moreover, about 71 percent marketers believe mobile marketing is crucial for their businesses.

An increasing number of consumers are using their mobile devices to research and purchase products online. In fact, many use multiple devices to interact with a brand.

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Almost 91 percent of Facebook usage and Facebook advertising revenue comes from mobile-exclusive marketing. So, mobile marketing needs to become an integral part of digital marketing and businesses that are not focusing on mobile marketing are set to lose a large portion of revenue. If you want to improve your bottom line, it is time to invest the required resources in improving mobile experience for customers.

Even eCommerce is predicted to be affected by the dominance of mobile. There will be more interaction and transactions on mobile devices. In fact, mobile commerce accounts for about one-third of all U.S. e-commerce sales. According to data from 2016 Mobile 500, the U.S. mobile commerce sales in 2015 totaled $104.05 billion, up by 38.7 percent from $75.03 billion in 2014. So, start considering mobile marketing as the main marketing strategy, if you haven’t already.

2. Video Is Here to Stay

With faster and better mobile Internet services, users can consume rich media content directly from their mobile devices. Live video streaming has become a trend and several platforms/apps are offering users this functionality. Live-streaming videos is a great way to improve brand awareness and boost engagement. Not many companies have started capitalized on this; so you can achieve the competitive advantage by live streaming videos for your business.

Live videos have been around for a while now and are predicted to become even bigger in 2017. Users can expect to see more video ads on different platforms in the coming year. Video ads were common on social media, but with Google announcing in-SERP video advertising, things are going to change on a massive level. Leading brands such as Nissan, Chevrolet and big media companies are leveraging live streaming videos to cover important events and launch new products. This indicates that users are now much more accepting of video ads.

3. Multi-Channel Marketing Is on a Roll

According to Pew Research, 66 percent of Americans own at least two digital devices among smartphone, desktop or laptop computer, or tablet and 36 percent own all three. This means businesses need to study and analyze user behavior across various devices to determine the kind of experience they need to offer.

In order to ensure success with multi-channel marketing, businesses must:

  • Define buyer personas
  • Be relevant to the customers and share helpful and consumer-first content
  • Avoid push messages that are promotional in nature
  • Create responsive websites and apps that offers high-quality experiences across all devices
  • Measure results to be able to fine-tune their campaigns

Conclusion

The online marketing landscape is set to become a lot more competitive in the coming year, so marketers must gear up to fine-tune their existing marketing campaigns as per emerging trends. With mobile devices taking over the desktop and wearables becoming increasingly popular among consumers, innovation will be at its peak in 2017.

The line between the real and virtual world is gradually blurring, so it is a must that businesses come up with new and innovative ways to allure and engage customers. The above online marketing trends are some of the many that will rule 2017, and marketers must incorporate them in their strategies.