In this technological age, mobile gadgets and the internet have changed how people interact with each other, and, subsequently, how they conduct purchases and engage with brands. Without a doubt, social media has had a huge impact on marketing, communication, and business. Digital transformation is, therefore, no longer merely a passing trend, but a necessary component of a brand’s business and marketing strategy.
As the New Year approaches, however, businesses might need to know about some of the digital trends to come, so they can plan their next marketing moves carefully. So, what digital trends can businesses expect in 2017?
Conversational Experiences and the Chatbot Revolution
More and more consumers are using messaging apps. Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps at the moment, with over one million unique users. Initially created to help users privately chat with friends with ease, messaging apps have evolved to help users around the world connect with brands, browse merchandise, and consume more content. For marketers, it’s a perfect opportunity to engage with customers and create “conversational experiences.”
With the rise of messaging apps, marketers have cleverly utilized chatbots — a computer program that interacts with consumers via a chat interface — to help users personalize their customer experience and provide them with the information they need. Uber has its own chatbot service to help users find a ride, for instance, while Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza also use chatbots to assist customers who are ordering food.
Augmented Reality and Immersive Content
Virtual and augmented reality systems were some of the most popular technological breakthroughs of 2016, and this could be seen in the popularity of Niantic Labs’ Pokémon Go on Unity and Samsung’s 360 Dynamic Streaming VR. Experts claim that immersive content has the power to change user experiences because of its potential to create an intimate and emotional experience — in fact, virtual reality could reshape retail methods, change the way architects work, and lead to enhanced educational avenues. So, in 2017, businesses can expect a turning point in how consumers interact with video content.
Influencer Marketing is the Next Big Thing
As the world shifts towards the massive use of social media platforms, the ways that consumers find out about a brand are also changing. In some instances, users look to fellow users or influential thought leaders to inform their purchasing decisions. With the new kind of hold leaders have over consumer spending habits, markets are looking to work on improving their influencer marketing techniques.
Influencer marketing involves focusing on a thought leaders’ fan base to drive a brand’s message across the larger market. For example, a company could market their brand to Oprah Winfrey, who would, then, endorse the product to society at large and give the company’s sales a boost. While the approach is certainly not new, the influence of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram could have a huge impact on digital advertising and how far an ad’s reach could go.
2017 is certainly looking to be the year that will test the ability of companies to keep up with digital business trends. The challenge is for businesses to utilize the online platforms to let customers know that they have something that consumers need. As long as they can keep up with the chatbox revolution, generate innovative campaigns full of immersive content, and employ influencer marketing techniques, then they have a chance to stand out against the competition.