“Good things come to those who plan ahead!”
 
Or maybe we should have gone for this quote instead: “Those who plan ahead stay ahead of plan!”?
 
What do you think? Have we managed to select the 2 most suggestive sayings for the topic announced in this post's headline or... not quite? We can take a brutally honest answer, you know.
 
What we'll strive to point out in today's post is that digital marketing is a permanently evolving industry!
 
You can never ever afford to rest on your oars (not even if you've successfully managed to anticipate all the major trends which have shaped the digital marketing “realm” in 2016).
 
New powerful trends will emerge and new shifts will shake this industry on a regular basis; your competitors might seize them before you do and you risk to be left behind, at considerable disadvantage.
 
And you definitely don't want that!
 
There's no need to panic either! Even if we all know that the “addressees” are more or less the same (from a numerical point of view) and (yet) that more and more brands are making their debut in the digital marketing landscape, all of them wanting (at least) a “piece of the pie”. 
 
For if you keep your cool and you remain vigilant, you can “track” the brand new influencing trends and the already emerged trends which will grow a lot more powerful in 2017.
 
As you run your own researches that will help you predict the digital marketing trends in 2017 with the biggest impact on your business, we'd love to share with you some of our own forecasts, too. 
 
Ready?
 

1. VR and AR Will Be The New Marketing Channels

 
Future-oriented marketers have had a lot to learn from the whole Pokemon Go “hysteria” in 2016.
 
How about you? What insights into the industry's future development and into the online users' preferences and new expectations have you developed from the Pokemon Go “madness”?
 
Here is what we, the team working in this Toronto web design company, have learned:
 
  1.  that this year, after all the “Pokemon frenzy” which dominated 2016, users will expect to be engaged in even more augmented reality experiences
     
  2.  that, implicitly, AR becomes one of the newest/surest source of revenue for agile marketers in 2017
 
Whether you implement AR ads or maybe AR games into your digital marketing strategy this year, one thing is certain: augmented reality is here to stay and rule the day!
 
It's up to you how you'll be turning it from (just) a trend into a “cause” for your overall online marketing success in 2017!
 

2. Brands Will Start Targeting Niche Communities 

 
It will continue to get more and more crowded in the digital marketing arena in 2017!
 
You'll need to deal with it and to adapt to the given context: more brands will emerge in the online landscape while the number of available users won't grow exponentially.
 
Get the point? Competition is going to get fiercer!
 
What do you do then? You find your “tribe”, so to say.
 
You appeal to your on niche market instead of wasting valuable resources of time and money trying to reach out to a mass market.
 
This means that you should start (if you haven' already) or to continue to personalize your content, your overall marketing campaigns in order to appeal to your niche audience.
 
Resist temptation of getting recklessly greedy and thus delivering “one-size-fits-all content” to a larger audience and steer your efforts to fine-tune the user experiences that you're crafting for your own loyal, dedicated community of users instead.
 
Food for the thought: niche communities (GoodReads for “voracious” readers, Fantasy Life App for sports addicts etc.) are perfect for you to “recruit” your future dedicated users from. 
 

3. Immersive Content Will Be Almighty King in 2017

 
Make your users feel that they're doing so much more than just staring at their devices' screens!
 
This is the rather “rudimentary” goal that you should have in mind each time you'll “experiment” in the field of immersive content creation!
 
It will surely be exciting to discover where all these experiments will lead to in 2017! 
 
For now, what we know for sure that marketers like you have at their disposal, in terms of technology, for crafting emmersive user experience is:
 
  • 360-degree video
  • live video 
  • AR and VR technologies
 
From webinars, to augmented reality ads, to workshops and 360 videos, your marketing “toolbox” is already more than tempting.
 
Just pick the type of technology that will help you create and deliver emmersive content and get ready to “wow”  and to engage your users. 
 
Provide them those highly interactive experiences that will instill in them the feeling that they're being challenged to participate to something bigger, that they're “actors” in the story that you're telling and not just some addressees.
 

4. Native Advertising Will Become an Engaging Factor 

 
What is there left to do for a marketer “stuck” in the age of ad blockers, of the decline of banner ads, of less and less social media organic reach?
 
Well, a savvy marketer, like you, should “exploit” the native advertising's potential!
 
Instead of longing for the good old days, when one could get away with “annoying” users with ads, lots of ads, and thus to increase his (short-term) profits, how about embracing the future of online advertising?
 
Native ads, with their higher level of personalization, are more likely to engage users and to get shared.
 
And these already are 2 way too significant goals that you can't ignore in the “age of engagement”, right?
 

5. Live Video Will Dramatically Impact Digital Marketing

 
And it won't be a “shock” for any savvy marketer!
 
Live video streaming has been a “ticking time bomb” last year and it was expected to “explode” in 2017.
 
Users love live videos! They crave and demand “in-the-moment” type of content, so you can't but comply with your users' expectations and deliver it to them.
 
Think this powerful trend through, gather around your team of web development “gurus” and find out how you could integrate a “live streaming” functionality to your Drupal website/app if you still want to remain competitive in you marketplace.
 
Users have slowly got bored with “just” content. They now enjoy faster internet and own mobile devices of the latest technology, so their expectations, too, are continuously redefining.
 
Not only that they want to be challenged to interact, but they want to “be there”, to actually enjoy the ongoing event, even if psychically they can't participate.
 
Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other big “players” which are using live streaming and then think of last year's live streamed Presidential debate. 
 

6. Longer-Form Content Will Rival “White Noise”

 
Counteract the effects that the “white noise” type of content has on your users (making them skim, skip and filter through the articles/posts they're invaded by online) with denser, high-quality content.
 
If we've already “warned” you, in our 2016 posts, that long-form content would gradually take over short, superficial content, now it's a powerful trend you can't afford to underestimate: you either invest in your research, in crafting your pieces of content and personalizing them, in investing them with added value, or you'll get swept by your competition.
 

7. The Usage of Data Visualization Tools Will Be a Must

 
That's right, this year it will no longer be a matter of “should” or of “the size of the company” when it comes to using data visualization tools for collecting and efficiently “deciphering” big data.
 
Everything can be measured in digital marketing, remember?
 
Well, it's no excuse any longer no to efficiently interpret your data, especially since 2017 will witness an “explosion” of data visualization tools. Pick the one that better responds to your business's specific needs, the one that you find easier to implement and to handle and start getting the most out of your data!
 
You'll have no excuse, whether you're an entrepreneur or a small business owner, not to be efficiently interpret your data, claiming that the process is way too challenging for the human brain.
 
Now the online delivers you the right tools (and there will be much more emerging along the year) to help you collect and learn what your data “is telling you” (valuable information about your campaign performance, about your target audience etc.).
 
It's this data that will help you craft your personalized, targeted user experiences this year. For yes, this is our last prediction regarding the 2017's digital marketing “arena”: personalization will definitely take off this year!
 
 
What do you think?
 
Is it likely for these predictions to turn into some truly influencing trends this year? Which one(s) of them will have the greatest impact on your own future marketing campaigns?

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