2016 was a rich year for digital marketing. Great shifts of paradigms (from desktop to mobile) and the rise of social media channels as the strongest platforms for digital campaigns have set a promising 2017 for digital marketers. The year may have only started but several trends are already carving their mark in the digital marketing scene.
Below are ten of 2017’s biggest stats and the takeaways you can get from them.
#1 Digital Marketing is THE marketing to go.
Data from the Pew Research Center show that 69% of U.S. adults are using social media. 86% of millennials, specifically those between 18-29 years old use social media channels like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest; while 80% of users between 30-49 years old use the same social platforms. The number slips to 34% for people aged 65 years and older.
The takeaway: Vary the social platform you use based on your product and the age group of your target market. Look at where your target audience are most active, and develop a social media strategy that complements the platform you’ll be using.
#2 Quality content is priority.
High-quality content can be challenging to produce, but prioritizing it can reap rewarding results.
High-quality content can be challenging to produce, but prioritizing it can reap rewarding results. It is not just about being out there; the game is about churning out engaging and compelling content. DigitalMarketingMagazine.co.uk suggests that successful content marketers get 7.8% more website growth than those who put content in the back burner.
The takeaway: Understand what readers find valuable. Tickle their curiosity and provide answers to build your brand as a key opinion leader in your niche. Use Google trends or Buzzsumo to get ideas on trending and most shared topics, so you can write content that engaging, relevant content for your target audience.
#3 Visual blog posts resonate with readers.
In a survey that covers the length of typical blog posts, numbers show that the average number of words in blogs have steadily increased from 2014 to 2016. Content marketing statistics show that the average blog post is now around 1,050 words in length, and that most of them are also packing on the visuals for readers that are scanning through your content.
The takeaway: Create detailed, comprehensive blog posts that can provide more information to your readers. Do a case study that shows reliable data, or attach an infographic to a blog post and explain the key takeaways they can get from the stats.
#4 Readers have a longer attention span now.
Thirty-seven seconds to be exact. That is more than half a minute, which is a length that can definitely grab a potential loyal customer given the right content. Though readers still skim through pages, numbers show that they are also more likely to finish than scan high-quality content.
The takeaway: Grab your readers’ attention with a compelling opening. Put all the facts where they can easily see them — use that 37 seconds to your advantage. Make your content more scannable by cutting off paragraphs properly and using bullet points to enumerate important facts or steps.
#5 Put your money on Facebook.
Facebook remains the top dog among social media platforms. The Facebook Audience Network (FAN) is now reported to have more than 1 billion people visiting its cross-web advertising monthly.
The takeaway: Segment your target audience to different sets for better ad targeting. List down your target groups and categorize them into their corresponding interests, so you can create a Facebook campaign for the appropriate ad set.
#6 LinkedIn is the place for pros.
According to survey, 92% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a major part of their content marketing strategy. The platform is currently the leading network for professionals, and is the most commonly used channel for distributing content of those in this field.
The takeaway: Focus on your industry before venturing to other niches — your marketing strategy should be geared towards highly-targeted customers and LinkedIn connections. Be more active in groups to interact with other LinkedIn users and establish your authority in your industry.
#7 Think mobile.
People are opening their emails using their mobile phones more frequently — around 55% open their email on their phones before checking it on desktop. Email marketing, when married to a well-designed content marketing strategy, should focus on being as mobile responsive as possible.
The takeaway: Make sure to optimize your emails to be mobile-friendly this 2017. This means using the right templates, design, and even content structure to make sure content can be read on any device used by your target audience.
#8 Choose your ads.
A survey shows that 90% of users skip pre-roll video ads; these ads only get less than 10 viewers when they play. Users see these ads as a disruption to the experience. Some even choose to use ad blockers instead of skipping through the ads.
The takeaway: Use Youtube ads sparingly. Unless you have a strong and unique campaign which can compel your audience to stay — think of how Coca-Cola uses emotions to entice their audience to keep watching their ads. Otherwise, keep your ads short and sweet.
#9 Make things interesting with visuals.
The use of infographics for digital marketing campaigns is said to have increased; 60% of marketers in the UK use infographics as one of their content marketing formats.
As a good alternative to long form content, infographics make it easy understand complex information and statistics. They can also help establish brand awareness because you can share them or use them in a blog post. According to Mass Planner, infographics are shared thrice as much than other content in social media.
The takeaway: Integrate infographics on your digital marketing campaigns. Write a blog post with an infographic and submit it to a guest posting site with a high Domain Authority. Make sure you create a visualization in line with your branding that your readers can recognize you with.
#10 Outsource, outsource, outsource.
Creating in-depth, quality content can be taxing, especially without the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to produce it. Outsourcing talent is the way to go now, with about 64% of B2B marketers enlisting the help of freelancers.
The takeaway: Instead of piling more work on your in-house team, outsource some of the work. Writing can be complicated, and you need pros with the right skill set to create content that can be engaging to your readers.
The digital world is expanding fast, and trends are developing as quickly as ever.
The digital world is expanding fast, and trends are developing as quickly as ever. In effect, competition is also steadily growing for brands looking to sell themselves and make their mark. To keep afloat, keep one eye open to the trends shaping up the digital scene.