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December 29, 2016

Top 10 digital marketing trends to look out for in 2017

Published: 29 December 2016 

Now that 2016 is nearly over, it’s time to look forward to 2017 and what trends we should expect to see in the digital marketing environment.

10 trends that will emerge in 2017 are:


1. Continued rise of mobile browsing


2016 was a huge year for mobile browsing. For the first time ever, mobile browsing overtook desktop. Google’s algorithm now takes into account mobile websites. Businesses without an optimised mobile website will see their ranking fall. 2017 is sure to see mobile browsing continue to rise, and an increase of mobile focused internet marketing.

2. Live platforms

Video is becoming increasingly popular, so it makes sense that the next step would be live streaming. There are already platforms taking advantage of this, such as Facebook Live, Pericope, Meerkat. Instagram even just launched its livestreaming service in Austrlia. While live streaming hasn’t quite taken off yet, it is gaining traction, and businesses are learning what to do and not to do. Live streaming is a great way to be able to broadcast your business, event, new product launch - whatever your business desires. It is extremely cost effective, and this is why live streaming is sure to grow as a digital marketing business tactic in 2017.

3. Immersive video

Videos are a great opportunity to engage the audience. They’re not just one dimensional anymore - 2016 saw the introduction of 360 degree videos. Real estate companies have already capitalised on this technology, and 2017 will be the year other industries follow. GoPro have already released videos of surfers in Tahiti (check the clip out on your mobile for the full experience).

360 degree videos helps to break the fourth wall and completely immerse viewers in the situation. While these type of videos are only available on certain platforms, such as YouTube 360 and shoppable video, 2017 could see new technology developed and 360 degree videos expand their range and be used by businesses.

4. Video advertising

While 360 degree video is taking off, one dimensional video advertising is still highly popular. According to a study by Cisco, video content will comprise 69% of all consumer traffic by 2017. Video not only satisfies a customer's information needs, it also gives them entertainment. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, 64% of responders indicate video content will dominate their strategies moving forward.  It can only be expected that video advertising will continue to rise throughout 2017.

5. Augmented reality


Pokemon Go has died down, but at its peak its success was impressive. It was installed over 100 million times, and earned over $10 million in daily revenue. The consumers enthusiasm for augmented reality, and the clear earning potential, may see more brands capitalise on it and produce more augmented reality games and ads.

6. Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) isn’t anything new, but now it’s time to introduce it to websites and landing pages in order to raise your return on investment (ROI).

CRO is all about tracking user behaviour to see what produces the highest number of conversions. Businesses can use this to tweak their website to achieve a higher number of conversions and direct this traffic into sales. Make sure you test your landing page and optimise appropriately.

7. Influx of content marketing

“Content is king” is the cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Content is still very much an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. Smart Insights undertook a survey and found content marketing is the top-rated digital marketing technique for 2017.

Source: Smart Insights

2017 is sure to see an influx of content writers to keep up with the demand for content. This will make content marketing more competitive. It will therefore be more challenging to make the produced content more interesting than the competitors. Writers will need to produce high quality content and consider interactive content. Make sure you collect data to know what your readers want to read and personalise your content to make it relevant.

8. The rise of apps

As mobile usage continues to increase, apps are following suit and also becoming increasingly popular. As of June 2016, there were 2.2 million apps for Android users, and 2 million in Apple’s App Store. But what benefit does that have to businesses? There are now more benefits than just the money made from the app being purchased and downloaded by users.

Google now has app indexing for both iOS and Android apps. App indexing is a system that allows mobile users to find your app on Google search results in the form of an install button. The listed result will redirect to either Google Play or the App Store. For example, when I searched “hotel in Brisbane”, the top result was not a list of hotels, but rather an app for


App indexing means an app will gain greater visibility, as it will be ranking on Google’s results page, and you can expect increased downloads. In 2015, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said “40% of searches now return app indexing results in the top five results.” This is definitely incentive for businesses to create an app to raise awareness of their company and increase sales.

9. Growth of social commerce

Conversionxl defines social commerce as “the ability to make a product purchase from a third-party company within the native social media experience.” This means, while you are browsing Facebook and want to make a purchase, you don’t even have to leave the social media platform. This saves the hassle of having to leave the social media website, browse through a store and complete your purchase. Currently, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the leading social media platforms for social commerce.

Social commerce has been growing in 2016, and can expect to continue to grow throughout 2017. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering embarking on social commerce, such as:

  • Reviews: Hubspot found if people are referred by social media, they are 71% more likely to make a purchase than if not referred. Word of mouth is powerful, so gaining positive reviews is vital.
  • Customer experience: social commerce is all about the customer. In any retail store, the customer expects to have a good experience, or they will simply take their money elsewhere. Same goes for online. Ensure your website is responsive, it has a mobile friendly design and it's a quick and easy process to checkout.
  • Consider all social media platforms: there is more than just Facebook! In fact, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Kaboodle all have a higher average order value than Facebook, with Twitter and Polyvore not far behind. Remember to also consider platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

10. Artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer like how it is depicted in the movies. Instead, it is something that can be incredibly helpful to digital marketers.  

Boomtrain spoke to Nils J Nilsson, a founding researcher in the AI field, who described AI as an “activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality that enables an entity to function appropriately and with foresight in its environment.”

AI can exist to help the lives of digital marketers easier. It can be used to understand human behaviour and analyse big sets of data. This means AI can generate emails to customers, and streamline data collection while business workers focus on growing other areas of their brand.

Think we’ve left something off the list? Let us know in the comments.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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