A new year is coming up, and 2017 promises in many ways to be similar to this year. One important similarity is that online marketing will continue to grow in importance, as online shopping continues to grow at the expense of brick and mortar stores.

This means that online marketing will be more important than ever before, and marketing is an ever evolving battle as businesses look for new ways to attract customers. New changes in technology will affect how business approach their customers.

Here are some online marketing techniques which will be particularly important in 2017, and how businesses can take advantage of them.

  1. Importance of Video advertising

Video advertising has continued to grow over the past year, with projections estimating that U.S. digital video ad spending will reach over $28 billion in 2020 compared to less than $10 billion in 2016. Video advertising has proven to be more effective at engaging consumers than mere text or images.

Note that video advertising does not just refer to silly “viral videos.” Businesses can make advertisements or videos which talk about their business, their history, and show the advantages they have over their competitors. Video’s advantage over text or images is that it can convey so much information, and businesses should use it to its full potential beyond getting a viral hit.

  1. The Rise of Snapchat and the Fall of Twitter

If video advertising continues to grow in importance, then social media websites which cater towards videos will thrive. While websites such as Facebook and Instagram have thrived, 2016 is notable for the rise of Snap. Snap’s app Snapchat surpassed Facebook in terms of total video views earlier this year. Snapchat is preparing a massive IPO in 2017, released its new Snap sunglasses recently, and is a rising social media star that every company must examine.

While Snapchat thrives, Twitter continues to struggle. While I personally prefer Twitter to other social media sources, the fact is that Twitter as a company is unprofitable and has no serious ideas for how to turn itself around. People are not interested in the sort of snappy tweets that they were a few years ago and instead want information. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been the big social media giants which companies have looked at for years, it is time for marketers to figure out how to appeal to the younger Snapchat demographic as opposed to Twitter.

  1. The growth of chatbots

We may not have full-fledged AI yet, but chatbots are becoming progressively better at imitating human conversation. In April, Facebook announced that companies could use Facebook’s messaging platforms to make chatbots.

Chatbots are critical from a business and marketing standpoint because they can speed up the process of customer interaction. When a customer heads to a business’s website, a chatbot can instantly start communicating and assist him with whatever he needs. In the process, the AI can also pick up information which will be useful for crafting future marketing strategies.

  1. Personalization

A marketer always face difficulties trying to tailor a company’s message to hit as many people as possible, and creating the right message may seem to be more challenging as customers demand more advertising or products catered towards them specifically. This was the thought behind citation building, which is still an effective strategy.

But this demand is created precisely because the advent of Big Data has made personalization easier. Companies do not have to be limited to knowing customers’ contact information. Instead, they can use social media and technology to find more useful information such as hobbies and interests and then cater their business towards them. Even knowing what time zone they live in can improve a company’s marketing, as they can send information at a time of day when individuals are more likely to read it.

Marketers should have a treasure trove of information out there on each customer. It is up to them to utilize it.

  1. Mobile

Every business should already have a mobile strategy. Ensuring a great customer experience is just as much a part of marketing as any advertisement, and the continued growth in mobile users means that businesses must ensure they have a pleasant experience browsing through your website or store.

Some basic measures to attract mobile customers include creating apps and making it easier for customers to pay your business through mobile. Given how much customers check their phones these days, a business should have an easy to access app which ideally can collect data used to help personalize marketing efforts.

Remember that all of these marketing trends are interconnected with one another. You cannot just focus on emphasizing mobile marketing without considering Snapchat, nor should you create videos that cannot be viewed by mobile users. But if you integrate all of these trends and look for ways to stay ahead in the marketing game, then 2017 should be an excellent year for your business’s attempts to attract consumers.

Author's Bio: 

I’m a social entrepreneur and a strong believer in using people-to-people networks through the use of technology to improve people’s lives. Think locally and impact globally – building community through business.