What’s Hot and What’s Not in Digital Marketing in 2017

27 Jan What’s Hot and What’s Not in Digital Marketing in 2017

This week, I was lucky enough to hear from some of DC’s top creatives at AAF DC’s AM AdBuzz event (2017 Trendspotting: What to Look for in Digital Marketing), where panelists shared their predictions on digital marketing trends for 2017. The panel consisted of:


Here’s some of what I learned:

  • Interactivity (????): Interaction and engagement have been hot topics for a few years, and they’ll continue to be trendy in 2017. More brands will be making their websites more interactive and will utilize platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories to engage with customers at a personal level. Amanda Nguyen noted that “what is sticky is content that interacts [with] people,” which means when brands grab customers by soliciting specific actions, they’ll have a higher chance of earning conversions and customer loyalty.


  • Chatbots and virtual assistance (????): Chatbots and virtual assistance are two great tools for brands to engage with customers. At the end of the day, companies want to make the user experience as easy as possible. Brands that adopt technologies that integrate with multiple systems become most powerful. For instance, this might mean having a system that allows a customer to seamlessly switch to a different device while in the middle of a transaction.


  • Video and live streaming (????): As you likely know, live streaming blew up in 2016 with the rollout of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. Panelists agree that video and live streaming will continue to be hot trends in 2017. Video is a powerful storytelling tool for brands that provides an opportunity to offer a behind-the-scenes look at company life. It also allows customers to engage with brands in real time. For example, Instagram Stories has been a great tool for brands because it provides a two-way experience. Platforms like Vine died because they were single-use. Additionally, Amanda suggests that video platforms like Snapchat are no longer just for B2C brands. In fact, she’s seen federal agencies like the EPA use the channel to successfully advance its causes. For B2B companies, Snapchat is a particularly valuable tool to use while attending a big conference or when recruiting new employees.


  • Security (????): As we’ve seen with companies like Target, bad security practices can have big negative impacts on brands, Thomas Sanchez says. Therefore, companies with healthy digital hygiene have a huge competitive advantage. Every day, more and more data breaches and hacks are happening, and companies will need to adopt secure DevOps practices to ensure that their applications remain safe for customers.


  • Virtual reality (????????): Virtual reality has been on the rise, but in order for it to fully take off, it will need to be more accessible and cheaper for consumers. Virtual reality right now is just a novelty. (Joe Gizzi believes a big step forward would be for YouTube and Facebook to integrate virtual reality into their platforms.) So while there’s certainly potential for virtual reality to become a hot trend, a good amount of training and education is still needed.


The digital world changes everyday, and one of the keys to marketing and branding success is paying attention to new technologies and finding ways to integrate them into your content strategy. Share with us your digital marketing predictions for 2017 by commenting below.

Jennifer R. Sherman
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