86% of our 2016 digital marketing predictions came true. If you're the sort of person who likes to keep abreast of what's happening in this crazy world of digital marketing and technology then this is for you.
20 digital trends for 2017 that will change the marketing landscape
Why we predict these trends
We are a digital marketing and technology agency operating across 35
international territories. It’s our job to keep looking ahead for the benefit of
our clients, then applying this to their marketing strategies accordingly.
This document encompasses just 10% of the full story (there’s simply not
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Welcome to our inaugural digital
marketing predictions for 2017
Expect social chat bots to
look and feel human,
constantly reflecting the
brand’s image of course!
Rapid developments in A.I.
tech will see bots become
central to the marketing mix,
providing a huge value add
and competitive advantage.
Forward thinking brands will
wake up to integrating a Social
Chat Bot for the benefit of 24-
hour real time engagement with
consumers, especially in relation
to customer services and
product sales funnels.
Consumer reliance on bots
expands to; ordering
shopping, send breaking
news, train our brains and
get on a level with brands!
Expect other major social
platforms to follow suit.
Social Chat Bots will be embraced by
brands and online retailers
Trend 3Trend 2
Twitter continues to struggle with
maintaining its relevance as a
platform, user drop off, impatient
shareholders and big losses,
leaving Google to pick up a
bargain and firmly break into the
live data social market.
On completion of the
purchase, expect Tweets to
take more prominence on
Google search results!
Twitter has made recent strides
into the live video market, which
when combined with Google’s
YouTube, would provide a healthy
competitor to Facebook.
Google will beat the rest
And buy twitter
Workplace By Facebook, with its
premium ‘per seat’ pricing
model, will alter how colleagues
communicate with each other
and integrate with other online
management apps such as
Asana and Slack.
Facebook will ultimately dominate
this space because of its
familiarity to brands and users –
no need to keep logging in to
Advertising across Workplace By
Facebook will open a whole new
opportunity for brands to
directly target professionals,
potentially creating a worthy rival
to the largely unchallenged
"It's an app, but I think
about it more as a way
of running a company.”
Workplace By Facebook will
revolutionise the workplace
Trend 2Trend 4
Ad blocking software has lead to
a total loss of global revenue as
high as $21 billion, meaning a
scramble to resolve the issue.
This could lead to marketers offering incentives
to finish watching ads to encourage completion
This means some users may need to
endure up to 3 minutes of ads before
they get to content!
Google will start the rout by penalising ad
blockers, disabling the ‘skip option’ on
YouTube ads when ad-block is detected.
Ad Blockers will become redundant
Object Based Targeting will
present itself as a genius way of
targeting adverts at consumers,
based on what objects the
user’s camera has in front of
Object based targeting
Snapchat has filed for the patent to the technology, which will see their platform become a whole
lot more relevant to marketers in 2017 and beyond – imagine taking a picture of a car you like
and Snapchat serving you an ad for ‘Cheapest Car Insurance’!
Social media fully embraces Virtual Reality
Watch Twitter enter the
market with 360 Tweets.
Trend 6Social media fully embraces
The combo of more
affordable technology and
marketers’ desires to create
better consumer experience
have caused immersive 360
videos’ popularity to rocket.
Next level VR content won’t
come soon enough. Content
to date is extremely limited,
but new use-cases will start
to appear, particularly in
healthcare and education
that will have us hooked for
Expect to see Facebook’s
Oculus Rift integrate with the
platform for a truly immersive
experience, creating a unique
opportunity for early adopting
brands to differentiate.
Facebook integrates Facebook
Live to Facebook 360 and
Smartphones are ruling our lives, so brands
now need to be addressing their vertical
video strategies, even if that means
reshooting their best performing content to
Vertical video numbers will explode
Snapchat dominated the vertical
video market up until 2016, but
it’s a mystery why when you
think of how we’ve all been
consuming videos on our phones
for so long…
Instagram has quickly followed suit and
allowed its users to post portrait and
landscape movies - expect Facebook to
follow in 2017!
Expect new and improved search tools which will utilise advanced machine learning to index
more image and video content. This will only improve their ad serving technology, being able
to improve personalisation and offer you what you want, exactly when you want it!
Trend 8FACEBOOK SEARCH TO RIVAL GOOGLE,
BING AND YAHOO
As of June 2016 Facebook was
facilitating more than 2 billion
searches every single day,
increasing 33% in just 9 months.
Expect more emphasis on user
reliance from Facebook, who
arguably have the advantage of
faster news aggregation, over
We, as consumers, will rely
more on the clever
integration of crowd sourced
social advocacy (reviews) and
make faster buying decisions
through their favourite social
The Social MARKETPLACE BOOMS
Social platforms make it a
priority to integrate and improve
smart social commerce
functionality for the benefit of
drawing in more users, and
therefore advertisers. Many of
the larger social channels
already have integrated their
Pinterest trials its augmented
reality shopping where users
can place virtual objects
from Pins in their homes.
Instagram trials its ‘shopping
tags’ service where content
managers can tag items so
that when tapped / clicked
they can be immediately
The world’s first VR social network
gets early traction with die-hard
trendsetters and will be eyed by
PlayStation and Facebook for a
vTime impresses early on,
bidding war could occur
The world’s first VR social network gets
early traction with die-hard trendsetters
and will be eyed by PlayStation and
Facebook for a potential acquisition.
Graphics will improve by the end of the
year, allowing for greater personalisation
and humanisation of avatars.
Thought leading brands will explore
product placement within virtual
environments. E.g. Virtually ordering a
PlayStation will integrate vTime for the
benefit of their PSVR users as a value
add away from Xbox and Facebook.
Expect social advertising
costs to increase due to the
demand. This means even
less reach for more cash!
Digital Ads will usurp TV ad
dominance in 2017
Increasing numbers of viewers
spending considerably more
time watching online videos over
TV, means there’s no surprise
that the digital ad space will top
its TV rival in 2017.
Brands will start shifting
more of their advertising
budgets to social media
channels, which will continue
to prove their worth in terms
of reach over TV.
The TV ad industry will have
to start looking at new and
inventive ways of offering
greater value than their
social media and digital
Once we’re all hooked on watching Live
exclusives on Facebook, expect the network to
be eying up the opportunity to get on your
Smart TV! Facebook has already filed a patent
for their own dongle that would act as a duct
between your phone and the TV set.
Trend 12Facebook gives more focus
to live streaming
In 2016 Facebook started to put
promotional budget behind
getting us all to start live
streaming and reaping the
rewards for it too, notably
greater reach and engagement.
Expect Facebook to launch more live streaming
partnerships with big broadcasters, adopting
the Netflix model of streaming exclusive
content. This will lead the TV ad revolution,
bringing even greater profits to the social giant.
Expect brands to start broadcasting uses of
From Facebook’s perspective, expect organic
reach to be a big fat ZERO for the offending
publishers. What’s more, Facebook won’t display
ads in apps or sites containing content that is fake
news. More tools will also surface that will allow us
to report fake and hoax content across its network.
No more fake news… well, mostly!
In 2016, Facebook in particular
came under fire for how they
handled the US presidential
campaign’s mass of Fake News,
which was said to influence voters.
Well, Facebook and Google have
joined forces and are restricting
exposure to certain sites known for
publishing fake news.
From Google’s perspective, penalized
sites won’t be able to run ads from
AdSense, which will hit publishers hard,
and where it hurts.
Expect a new advertising product to spawn
across Instagram Stories in 2017.
Instagram Stories spawns
opportunity for brands
It’s no secret that Instagram
stole a page from Snapchat’s
book when they added their
Story feature, which lets the
user see what their favorite
Instagrammers are doing for 24
This is creating a big opportunity for
businesses to showcase their brands in a
prime location on the app.
Large brands like Starbucks, Taco Bell, and
JCrew have already been taking advantage,
as well as smaller brands like Justin’s PB
This in turn will force marketers who
embrace Pinterest to up their game and
focus more so on pinning videos over
Pinterest introduces video ads
Due to the fact we’re all
accessing more video these
days Pinterest will see an
increase in the amount of videos
pinned across the network from
sites such as YouTube,
DailyMotion and Vimeo.
This will lead to the introduction of
Pinterest video ads, which will be a big
earner for the network.
Tagging of friends on Facebook with facial
Deep learning technology that is woven
into Facebook’s suggestions, Newsfeed
algorithms and trending topics.
Artificial Intelligence – essential
to operation of social networks
In 2017, A.I. is BIG business and
is needed to control and manage
the increasing amount of
content we all create across
social media. Expect social
networks to focus their A.I.
technologies around some of the
Provide better job matching between
business and candidate.
Pinterest uses the intelligence of the robots
to boost image recognition and
Long tail blog articles continue to align with Google’s search
algorithms, therefore accounting for a higher percentage of
organic traffic each month.
Many of us are feeling ‘blogged out’, there is so much long and
epic content out there covering every topic physically
conceivable that as marketers we’ll ignore lengthy pieces and
simply try to provide as much information as possible in the
smallest possible space—dense content—to appeal to readers.
Blogs remain as marketers
weapon of choice
Surveys suggest that in 2016
38% of marketers agreed that
blogging is their most important
form of content for business,
followed closely by visual
marketing at 37% and videos at
Guest blogging is still very
cool and straight out of the
‘Good Digital Marketer’s
Handbook. It’s especially
efficient for reaching new
audiences and increasing
Marketers will need to move quickly and drastically to prepare
their tactics for this brave new world. This means addressing
more terms like ‘who, what, where, how’ etc.
Google will be relying more upon their Knowledge Graph as a
way to both answer and enable better results for voice search,
meaning that marketers really need to be focussing on
simplifying their site and making it easier to understand for
the search engine.
Trend 18Get ready for voice search
Personal Digital Assistants on our
mobile devices and desktops will
become more sophisticated, gain
our trust and therefore alter the
way many of us carry out
searches in 2017.
Especially start thinking about
the content and context of
your site as well as the
change in voice search
What’s more, Google announced they will no longer be
providing insight into the algorithm updates and changes,
leaving us to figure out the changes ourselves.
This news will leave SEO marketers with little more to go on
in 2017 than continue to focus on best practice: ensuring
websites are responsive, fast, mobile compatible and ensure
they contain great content.
Google algorithms go incognito
September and October 2016
saw some of the most
fluctuating changes to Google’s
search results ever.
Will this potentially increase
spending fees on SEO to allow
more time to ensure best
Yet, a staggering 91% of businesses still
don’t have a mobile responsive website.
So expect to see this figure come down to 80%
in 2017, which is still high, but leaves those
businesses willing to invest in a responsive site
with a huge opportunity to increase site
MOBILE IS STILL KING
It’ not surprising that over 60% of
Google searches are now taking
place on mobile over desktops
and 40% of us will choose
another result if the first one they
land on is not mobile friendly.
Tech Savvy marketers will
therefore continue to focus on
‘mobile first’ in relation to SEO.
It’s clear that marketers will need to focus
on ‘the mobile experience’, encompassing
mobile keyword optimisation and mobile
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Hayden Allen-Vercoe Director
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