You’ve probably read a lot of 2017 predictions lately. That shouldn’t be a surprise – experts have predictions on politics, sports, the economy, and even which movies win awards in the coming months. But, while a lot of these forecasts will be hit-and-miss, we have a few online marketing trends that are virtually certain to make an impact in your business this year.
How can we be so confident? It’s easy, these are industry-defining movements that are already underway. In other words, they are affecting your business right now, whether you are aware of them are not.
Smart marketers are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the curve. To help you do the same, here are five big trends that will continue to shape the internet marketing landscape in 2017 and beyond…
#1 Mobile Computing
The growth of mobile computing has been the online marketing story for the last few years. Whereas mobile web connections used to be slow and unpredictable, your customers now carry broadband-strength signals everywhere they go. If you don’t have a mobile-phone responsive website with local search terms to help buyers find you on the go, you’re missing out on the most important thing to happen to the web in a long time.
#2 AI and Advanced Logic Algorithms
Being found in Google isn’t just about keywords and links anymore. That’s because the search engine (and its competitors) are using artificial intelligence and advanced logic algorithms to “read” websites and figure out their topical relevance. So, a searcher might find your site even if they don’t look for any text that can be found on your pages. That’s going to revolutionize SEO even more than the Penguin and Panda algorithm updates did.
#3 Video Marketing
Text is great and images create an instant impression. If you really want buyers to tune in and follow your marketing message, though, nothing beats the power of video. A short, well-designed clip can help you explain product features, answer FAQs, and spread customer testimonials. Best of all, advances in editing software mean you can shoot professional-grade video from a phone, tablet, or webcam.
#4 Inbound Sales Funnels
The old model of internet marketing went something like this: drive as many people as you can to your website and hope they do something. Now, businesses are getting smarter. They’re using sales funnels that guide visitors from one research step or contact point to the next, with the natural end result being a completed sale. This is great for marketers, of course, but it’s helpful for buyers as well since it allows them to get the answers they need at a pace that feels comfortable.
#5 All-in-One CRMs
Along with the growth of sales funnels, we’ve gotten all-in-one customer relationship management systems. These web-based platforms let business owners and their creative teams manage lots of activities from one convenient portal. That means you can add to your blog, send an email newsletter, or manage your tweets together, with one tool. Doing so takes the tedious and complex work of internet marketing and turns it into a much simpler bundle of tasks.