5 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

Digital marketing is constantly changing.  There always seems to be a new toy engineered to better connect brands with shoppers and customers.  Some of these programs have had long term success while others’ popularity and functionality was short-lived.  It is great to be aware of these shiny new products, as some can really improve sales; however, understanding the bigger marketing trends can ultimately better prepare a business for change and position it for continued growth.

Here are 5 major marketing trends to keep an eye on and take advantage of during the remainder of 2017 and beyond:

1. Live Streaming Video:  

With more and more social media platforms introducing the live video capabilities, expect more and more brands to take advantage of this technology.  Live streamed video allows for more personal and honest engagement with an infinitely sized audience that can ask questions about a store in real-time with increased accountability.  Video marketing can also report serious returns.  The average conversion rate for websites that use video is a full two percentage points higher than for websites that do not utilize video.  Additionally, video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.   Live streaming is a great way to get a brand’s message out and is highly cost effective, so why not give it a try?

2. Private Chat and Chat Bots:

Between the use of private chat and chat bots for advertising and customer service, this is certainly a trend to keep an eye on.  Because the use of messaging apps has now exceeded the use of social media platforms, marketers have begun to turn to chat apps to display more ads.  This was most notably highlighted by Facebook’s announcement that its Messenger app will soon be ad enabled.  One reason that marketers are turning to private messaging is that the average open rate for these types of messages is 98%.  Compare this figure to the average open rate of emails, 22%, and it is hard to imagine why marketers would not take advantage of this channel.  Marketers are also utilizing private messaging and chat bots for customer service purposes.  The number of support conversations started online has skyrocketed from 50 million in 2014 to 400 million in 2016.  Responsive customer service is an excellent way to retain customers.  For more on this, check out this article

3. Behavior-Based Email Marketing:  

Behavior-based email marketing may be the most underutilized digital marketing strategy out there with only 20% of marketers using it.  Yet, the revenue it can generate is hard to match.  Emails triggered by specific behaviors were responsible for 30% of revenues in 2014, up from 17% in 2013.  This upward trend makes sense; behavior-based emails are more personal, and shoppers are more likely to open personalized emails than generic ones.  Expect this currently underused strategy to become a major marketing trend.

4. “Micro-Influencer” Marketing:  

While influencer marketing has been part of many companies’ strategies, “micro-influencer” marketing is now a tactic more and more are taking advantage of.  “Micro-influencers” refer to bloggers, YouTube and Instagram personalities, as well as others with fewer than 100K followers.  There are a couple of reasons why they can be of huge value to marketers:  For one, micro-influencers will not charge the exorbitant fees for a post or campaign that big name celebrities can.  Micro-influencers will charge far less, and might not even charge at all.  Additionally, relative to major influencers, micro-influencers have a far more engaged set of followers, so an endorsement from one can carry a lot more weight.

5. Ephemeral Content Marketing:  

Ephemeral content refers to short-lived videos or images like Snapchat or Instagram Stories.  The scale of the audience, hundreds of millions of users on each platform, is without a doubt appealing to marketers for its capability to engage potential customers.  In addition to engaging people with brands, ephemeral content is becoming another means to drive traffic to websites, which is one of the most important stages of the marketing funnel.  


In staying ahead of the curve, being ready to adapt, and understanding which marketing strategies are most effective at the moment, a business will be in a great spot to continue to grow into the future. 

Any other trends you’ve noticed?  Feel free to comment below.