The two biggest digital marketing trends in the year ahead will undoubtedly continue to be content marketing and Big Data.
Obviously, these two trends can’t be considered separately since Big Data – defined here to mean large data sets that demand new analytic approaches designed to yield richer customer insights – and content marketing are inexorably linked.
The two most successful areas in digital marketing recently – content marketing and Big Data – also happen to be the broadest.
In other words, without an adequate understanding of your customers through Big Data and on-point marketing through content marketing, your brand will be at a disadvantage when it comes to leads and conversions.
- CRO and SEO
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and search engine optimization (SEO) are more related than you might at first think. Conversion rate optimization is all about overhauling your website so that a higher percentage of your website visitors turn into returning customers.
User surveys, demographic studies and marketing data analysis all contribute to higher conversion rates.
User testing and A/B testing different aspects of your website also help improve the user experience and ensure cross-device compatibility for your website’s visitors.
Doing all of these things should also increase your organic search results and improve your traffic with respect to search engine optimization.
- Marketing Automation
Marketing, customer insights, and predictive analytics are all tied into how well digital marketers dissect and make sense of large data sets.
Every digital marketing offshoot from social media marketing and video marketing to search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising campaigns hinge on understanding your customers more deeply.
Email marketing, web personalization and customer relationship management (CRM) software all have their role to play in the year ahead.
- Social Media Marketing and Online PR
The year ahead will see subtle refinements of tried-and-true digital marketing processes (e.g., conversion rate optimization) as well as more direct-to-consumer outreach like online PR and social media marketing.
Online PR is very similar to traditional PR in that both rely on engaging potential customers and increasing brand awareness. The difference lies in the means of doing so.
Online and traditional PR are about storytelling, but online PR uses things like hashtags and strategically placed keywords to get the message across. Social media marketing with built-in tools for richer data analytics will also play a big part in the 2017 digital marketing picture.