I love looking ahead to see what the next year has in store. It’s an exciting thing to do, don’t you think? I also have to point out that when we look forward it’s exciting, but I think it’s when we look back that when things get really cool.
I mean, think about it – yours, my and everyone else’s first phone was a Nokia 3210. Where once we had the ultra clunky video layout for YouTube and dial up modem, every single one of us now carries in his or her pocket a highly technical device which can capture video, images, and content and share that at the push of a button. How exciting is that for your business!
A trend I was really excited to share a few years back was the virtual office and serviced office trend. Clever companies like Servcorp (check them out here: http://www.servcorp.com.hk/en/virtual-offices/) got on to the remote working trend in a flash – and are now one of the biggest companies out there supplying incredibly high quality serviced offices to savvy business owners. Some naysayers out there weren’t sure about how virtual offices would go – stating that people wanted security for an office. Well as I pointed out back then and as I’ll say again – the benefits of a virtual office are far too many to ignore. With costs low and a prestigious central address… Where’s the downside I say!
So now that I’ve established myself as a bit of a seer as far as business and trends goes, hopefully you’ll sit up and take notice of these predictions for 2017.
Trend One – Live streaming video
YouTube was a sensation in 2004. All of a sudden we could record, upload and view information. Fast forward 12 years later and your mobile phone is a broadcasting device that allows you to capture the live moment. Facebook “Live” is changing how we share our stories, live events and education. As a tool for your business, video content can be a way to build trust and credibility online with authentic unfiltered content. Just as an insight, Cisco Visual Networking Index (2015) predicts by 2019 video will account for 80% of global internet traffic. That is some pretty heady stuff to digest and makes me think that video is the future.
Trend Two – Expiring social content
Attracting attention online is a battle between brands with big budgets, and savvy marketers with little cash but who know how to hack business growth with technology. The result? A lot of online noise and clutter. The challenge is standing out and gaining attention. That’s why Snapchat decided on a different tactic: Make content expire. Now, every day, Snapchat has over 10 billion daily views on its content. When you bring a sense of urgency to things people know they have limited time to read or view content before it goes. Expiring content is a trend you may want to use in your future digital marketing campaigns.
Trend Three – Organic traffic gets more ingenious
Earning attention online was simple once. Remember? You earned it by getting Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter. But that is changing. Now you’re all but invisible unless you pull out the credit card. Social media is just another paid media. The reason? Too little space and too much content. So what are you going to be doing?
- You’re going to be working on optimising for search engines so you rank on the first page of Google
- You’re going to be building and expanding your email lists so you can reach your own audience without a Google or Facebook algorithm blocking or filtering your content and updates.
It also means, don’t put all your marketing eggs in the social media basket. If you don’t already, you need to pursue a multi-channel strategy. This might include an app, a phone number to call, Snapchat stories, Facebook Live and a partnership with influencers.
Trend Four – The rise of the social influencer
Blogger and social media mavens created content on fashion, food and thousands of other niche passions, building loyal tribes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They constructed credibility and trust built on authentic content. Now they control who sees what. Powerful stuff, indeed.
Trend Five – Personalisation will be a priority
We all hate to be sold to.Our BS radars are highly tuned. To reach people we need personalised and relevant content. This could be a thank you note, a phone call, a special mention or just using people’s names to remind them you care.
Trend Six – A shift in how trust is built
Where once getting a complaint or making a mistake was something we all did behind closed doors, social media has thrust complaints and mistakes into the forefront of people’s worlds. You can use this to your advantage though. Take Optus for example. A customer complained, and thanks to the efforts of a chap named Dan it was handled with aplomb. By doing this, Optus established themselves as human, caring and considerate. No mean feat for a business with thousands of employees and no real face.
Well, I hope these trends can help you out this year! Enjoy the growth and don’t forget to blaze your own trail.